Muay Thai Live - The legend lives is a thrilling stage show of Muay Thai fighting skills followed by two fights. An ancient sport that evolved from army fighting, Muay Thai survived until the present time and is now more popular than ever.
Origins of Muay Thai and Muay Boran
The old form of Muay Thai called Muay Boran started out centuries ago as a form of hand to hand combat during war with neighboring countries. It was soon made part of military training. As the whole body was used as a weapon, Muay Boran was also known as “the art of eight limbs” using both fists, elbows, knees and shins as weapons.
In times of peace as fighters returned to their villages, competitions were set up and Muay Thai started to develop as a sport. Rituals were developed such as the Wai Khru, a ritual each boxer performs before the fight to honour his teacher, sport and country.
During the 1920’s rules were introduced to make the sport safer and to reduce the number of serious injuries. Boxers started to wear protective gear, some of the most dangerous techniques were abolished and whereas in the old days fights would last until only one fighter was left standing, time limits were introduced.
Although many things have changed some things have remained the same, like the respect for ancestors and teachers and defending the honour of the country.
Muay Thai boxing show
The boxing show takes place on a stage in a modern air conditioned theater. A performance of five acts, the show portrays the history, traditions and culture of Thai boxing from its earliest history until present day.
During an energetic and engaging performance with use of sound and light effects the muscled and athletic fighters demonstrate impressive acrobatic skills. Some of the most dangerous Muay Boran techniques are demonstrated and their names given.
The show that portrays some of Thailand’s greatest heroes in the history of Muay Thai consists of five acts.
Act I The Tiger King
The first act takes place in the early 18th century. A stranger appears at a temple fair looking to participate in a Muay Thai boxing tournament. No one knows the stranger is actually the King who loved the sport and excelled at it. He often appeared in disguise to participate in Muay Thai tournaments where he would fight his opponents who did not know he was their King.
Act II The prisoner with eight limbs
Act 2 tells the story of one of the greatest Muay Thai boxers in Thai history, Nai Khanom Tom.
In 1767 the Burmese invaded the Ayutthaya Kingdom and completely destroyed and looted its capital Ayutthaya. Among the many prisoners they took back to Burma was a great Muay Thai boxer named Nai Khanom Tom.
To celebrate the victory over Ayutthaya the Burmese King ordered fights to take place between Burmese champions and the best of the captured Thai fighters. Nai Khanom Tom was chosen to fight for the prisoners.
Before the start of the fight he performed the Wai Khru ceremony dancing around his Burmese opponent, who had never seen this before and thought he was trying to put a curse on him through evil spirits. After Nai Khanom Tom had easily won the fight the Burmese fighter claimed he had lost because the Thai had cursed him with his ritualistic dance. Nai Khanom Tom was ordered to fight nine more Burmese fighters that he all defeated.
The Burmese King, impressed with Nai Khanom Tom’s fighting skills, granted him freedom and allowed him to return to Thailand.
Act III The warrior with broken swords
This act tells the story of general Phichai, who fought against the Burmese armies after the fall of Ayutthaya. He was known both for his Muay Thai fighting skills and for the fact that he fought with a sword in each hand.
He became famous in 1773 during a fight against the Burmese. When one of his swords broke off, he used his legendary Muay Thai fighting skills to defeat the enemy.
Act IV The lethal art of Muay Thai
In this act fighters demonstrate some of the most dangerous Muay Boran techniques as they were used in previous centuries. Muay Boran is the old version of Muay Thai before the sport became regulated in the 20th century.
Some of the most dangerous techniques that caused too many injuries and deaths were abolished and are no longer used in modern Muay Thai.
Act V The modern action hero
The last scene tells a present day story about a young man whose girlfriend is kidnapped by criminals. He takes revenge on them using his Muay Thai boxing skills.
Two Muay Thai fights
After the show there are two fights preceded by the traditional rituals as the Wai Khru. During the fights the traditional music that is unique to Muay Thai is played on old instruments. After the show and fights visitors can meet the boxers and pose with them for photos.
To get the stadium boxing atmosphere and see the best Muay Thai fights in the country, head to Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen stadium in Bangkok that host the Thai championship fights.
Location and how to get there
The Muay Thai - The legend lives show can be seen in a modern theater located in warehouse 4 at Asiatique the Riverfront, 2194 Charoenkrung road, Bangkok. Asiatique is a large shopping and entertainment complex center on the banks of the Chao Phraya river with hundreds of shops and dozens of restaurants.
Get there by taxi or BTS Sky Train and Chao Phraya river boat. Practically next door to the boxing theater is Calypso cabaret.
Opening hours & show times
The show can be seen Tuesday through Sunday from 8 pm until 9.30 pm. Taking photos is not allowed.
Ticket prices are:
Standard seat 1,200 Baht
Premium seat 1,500 Baht
Children, between 90 and 120 centimeters tall
500 Baht Standard or Premium seat, same as parents
Children, Under 90 centimeters tall
Free, if they share a seat with a parent
Premium seats are those offering the best views, nearest to the stage.
Watch Muay Thai boxing show
Adult 1,799 Baht - Child 600/999 Baht