Once a year, on the King’s birthday, Thailand authorities legalize the traditional style “rope fights.” This means that instead of wearing gloves, the fighters have their hands carefully bound with actual rope, the way it was done when MauyThai was created, 1000 years ago. Throughout history Thailand and Burma have had many wars and MuayThai was originally used on the battlefield.

Back in 2007, while training in Thailand, Kru Kelly got a chance to see this special event up close. The birthday celebration rope fights were held in Bangkok under a major bridge near the river front – a beautiful setting to witness something few ever get to see. On this card there were 10 fights, each between a Thai and a Burmese opponent. All 10 fights ended in KO’s, with Thai fighters taking the fights 7-3.

Below are a couple of examples of the action. If you are ever in Bangkok on the King’s birthday, this event is not to be missed.