So here begins my string of 'catch up posts' from the last month. This MuayThai fight was the last thing I shot in Chiang Mai before leaving on a whirlwind tour of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia with my faithful ginger travel / life partner, Toni. <3

I'm embarrassed to say this was my first MauyThai experience - it's kind of an institution in this city. But I met a local fighter a while back (Kom) and he took me a dark, back-room type stadium 20 minutes outside Chiang Mai. It was like an underworld of fighters, coaches, young hopefuls and career gambler-smokers. The actual fight was a lot different than I had expected, but my only background comes from 'Million Dollar Baby' so... 

Each fight started with a prayer before the opponents performed their own rituals. The fighting itself was acrobatic and aggressive but also kind of polite? If one took a rough hit, his competitor would help him up and ask if he was OK. Maybe this is normal, or all the guys are friends on the side...even still, it was nice! 

Here's what I got: