Photo Essay: Blood, Sweat, and Tears From Inside The Muay Thai Ring

Gerrit Phil Baumann

Thailand’s national sport, Muay Thai, is known for its alternating savagery and poetry. Every match is war of attrition, with fighters delivering blows through a combination of fists, elbows, and knees to a soundtrack of traditional Thai music. Khaosod English photographer Gerrit Phil Baumann attended a match in downtown Bangkok last week to capture the ancient sport’s simultaneous beauty and brutality.

\
A Muay Thai fighter in the limelight after entering the ring. 

\
Every match opens with the "Wai Khru" pre-fight ritual. 

\
The ritual is a way for fighters to pay respect to their teachers and trainers. 

\
Boxers can use their hands, feet, elbows, foreheads, and knees to deliver or fend off an attack. 

\

\

\
Unlike international boxing, referees won't separate fighters when they start clinching. 

\
​Injuries recieved during the fight are quickly treated. 

\
It may take over an our to recover from vertigo after getting knocked out. 

\
When a boxer goes down and shows significant impairment ring-side medics may stop the fighting.