Muay Thai Boxing on Phi Phi island
I didn't think I'd have anything more to write about regarding my time on phi phi island. I was pretty much over that island... Until a group of us went out on our last night there.
It started out as just a venture out to a sports bar to watch an England vs England soccer match. Then we went to a Muay Thai (Thai style kickboxing) bar to watch a match. We arrived early so the bar was offering the ring to the bar guests if they wanted to fight. I hear they usually do this. Your payment (winner or loser) for competing is a small bucket of alcohol.
Two guys in our group that we met from the US decided to fight and were possibly the first fight of the night. They were given all the appropriate gear: gloves, head protection, official Thai boxing shorts, and shin protection.
The guys had a great friendly match together just as best friends would have. It was good fun. Another couple guys fought after them and then 2 Swedish girls stepped into the ring.
The girls were friends as well and it was obvious right from the start that they were there to capture the attention of the male crowd. They fought very cute and playful in their swimsuits and shirts. One of the girls, the more dominate one was in a strapless swimsuit top. She was enjoying the audience attention she was receiving from her top sliding down as she tried to fight.
This girl also spit at our group twice during her fight. It was hard to tell if she was trying to look tough by spitting or if she really needed to. Regardless she was spitting at us and it was distrusting!
When their match was over the strapless swim suit girl had won. She then proceeded to leave her losing friend, running off to flirt with the guys in the front row. It was pretty rude the way she ditched her friend for the attention of the guys.
As more guys continued to fight, this girl kept finding ways to make herself the center of attention. She would jump into the ring after the guys were done and in front of all of us, she offered the competitors a picture with her.
Finally the referee told her she couldn't come back in unless it was to fight. So she agreed to fight again.
The ref walked her around the ring pointing out into the audience looking for her next competitor. She pointed at each of the girls in my group but didn't point to me.
I was sitting amongst my friends taking all this in. Thinking about the girls attitude and thinking how it might be fun to fight her. I had never fought anyone before like this and didn't know if I wanted to do it in front of such a large crowd.
Thanks to an ex boyfriend I had also taken 3 to 4 months of Muay Thai kickboxing classes. So I kind of knew the gist of the fight, not that it mattered because this girl didn't even know a thing about boxing.
None of the girls in my group would accept the fight with blondie from Sweden. In unison they all pointed at me and I didn't hesitate any longer. I accepted and got up as the crowd literally started cheering like mad! As I made my way to the other side of the building to gather my protective gear, I was stopped several times by strangers. Mostly ladies but some men stopped me as well, all asking me and TELLING me to kick this girls butt! Most of them said she needed to be put in her place. Some said they didn't like how she treated her friend, regardless everyone was clearly on my team. It was a good feeling but also a lot of pressure! I had a moment where I actually thought, shoot! What if I'm not able to beat her!?
A friend took my phone and video taped the fight. It's actually posted on my Face Book home page if anyone wants to see it. That or wait tell I get home and Ill show it to you.
Sweden and I both stepped into the ring and said a few friendly words to each other before going to our corners. When the music changed to Thai fight music and the ref motioned to us to fight we came at one another.
From there things happened fast. In fact we didn't even complete a full round! When I threw my first punch I received a quick look of shock from Sweden's eyes! I don't think she was expecting me to actually punch her. That or... Oh who knows but I continued to get some nasty looks from her. I was trying so hard to remember all that I had learned in my Thai kickboxing classes as I danced around this girl.
She was a cat fighter, 100% and I quickly realized that it's almost impossible to fight a stylized technique against someone like this. I think I only got one kick in and then lots of punches while blocking her craziness. There were a few times when I wondered if I had knocked a few of her teeth out by the way she was holding her mouth.
She tried running out of the ring once and the Thai's encouraged her (didn't force her) to stay in. We fought a little more, with me dominating the match before she finally escaped the ring from the other side and that was the end! My arm was raised as the winner!
It was such an adrenaline rush to have just won that with everyone on my side.
While still in the ring, just after taking my gear off, Sweden came running back in at me. I put my arm out towards her as a block between us but also in kindness in case she wasn't coming at me in craziness. I was sure she was going to go wild on me but I was wrong and happy to be wrong! We shook hands and I asked her if she was okay, if I had hurt her. I hadn't. I gave her a friendly hug a high five and got off the platform.
One guy gave me $20 baht after I was back on the ground so I gave him my bucket of alcohol. I didn't want it.
I won't lie, I felt like a bad ass. That's definitely going in the books as one of the best things from the trip. It was good fun and a new kind of sport. Don't worry, I won't take this sport further when I return home. Just an action packed, one time event.