SCARY PLACE, RAJADAMNERN STADIUM IN RATCHADAMNOEN


A flying knee did it. Cornered, in a tight clinch, the fighter in red created enough space to slip a swift solid knee to the face of his opponent. Like the cherry tree George chopped, the fighter in blue fell, slowly, and then all at once.

He crashed silently but the crowd howled in unison to dub his drop. The referee raised the hand of the fighter in red while a couple of men picked the body of the fighter in blue like a lumpy sack of potatoes and carried him off on a stretcher.

Prior to this fight, another guy found himself waking up in the middle of the ring, face down, after receiving a series of vicious short elbows that opened the top of his left eye, then lights out. This one mustered the strength to stand up, after some time, and walk out of the ring, though probably still unsure what year is it.


Wow. Just, wow. The fighters at Rajadamnern Stadium in Ratchadamnoen Road brings it. No wonder the arena has remained a top attraction since its gates first opened in the early 1940s.

This is the oldest fight stadium in Bangkok, the other popular one being Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. But unlike the latter that has moved to a new home, Rajadamnern remains to be the original arena, right at the old site.

It offers more than just a venue for Thai boxing. It is really a damn spectacular experience. I almost had a fit once I took my seat ringside (THB 2000) and did a 360 of the stadium. Amazeballs.

 

From where I am, it all seemed ordinary but in the bleachers, crazy is an understatement. Gambling is legal here and the people bet on fights like the fate of the world depended on it. Animated. Wild. As if possessed by the devil. As if the fighters were animals on a race or a cockfight.

This is my first time to watch a live muay thai event in Bangkok. Pretty special. I learned a lot of technique, saw devastating blows, dipped my hand in the traditions behind it. It is a lot like what we do back home, except cooler and more cultured.


Actually, I realized significant differences from how we train. Here, they hardly rely on boxing. It is all about kicks and throwing hard knees to the body and some elbows while clinching.

Nobody defends much. Just eats strikes like french fries and done. If you are the one left standing in the end of five rounds, good on you. Now bring on the next fight.

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21 thoughts on “SCARY PLACE, RAJADAMNERN STADIUM IN RATCHADAMNOEN

        1. thank you. the stadium is quite the experience. wow, a runner. has running helped you much? i used to run every other day but stopped because i feel something wrong in my knees. maybe am not doing it right!

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  1. It is really shocking how they just stand in front of each other and absorb heavy shots. By watch a live fight you begin to understand what shots really score in thai muaythai, body kicks, knees and elbows. Hands and low kicks don’t score much.
    Did you bet on any of the fights?

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    1. amazing how they do pad work out of opponents there. going there is really a good learning experience. i did not bet, not even seated in that area! not sure how comfortable i will be but the bleachers possess its own appeal. they have been doing this for decades and how they look at the fights and fighters gave me a glimpse of the local culture behind muay thai. how about you? ever watched fights here?

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          1. It’s nuts! They use all kinds of confusing looking hand signs to set and agree on odds. The betting gets exciting usually when the fighters start clinching and one gets caught with a hard knee or elbow

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            1. how did you manage to bet and win? i won’t be surprised to know fights erupt in the bleachers as well because of how wild they conduct the gambling. but yes, i found fascination on their animation when hard blows are traded. the sound is incredible!

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        1. i have never seen anything like it before. what a wild experience! too bad i just missed you there! until when are you staying in bkk? i am in vietnam next week.

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          1. Only for the weekend then back to Phuket. I am trying to see if I can get in some training at the yokkao training centre (pk saenchai muaythai gym) tomorrow. If not then I will go to master toddy’s

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              1. Completely forgot to tell you. Went to the cinema. They said they didn’t have even though their website said they did. So I am still waiting to see it. Maybe I can watch it here in bkk if they have it

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