Martial Arts

To love peace and to be skilled in the art of war

Martial Arts


Fighting is a part of life. It can not be seen as an exceptional situation. Even when we don't fight physically with an opponent, we all have to fight in life. We fight for our health, our rights, to protect our friends and family, to overcome our shortcomings or for other reasons. So it is not bad to learn how to fight and to know how to win. For centuries in China the main idea was to win without a fight, that could be seen as the highest form of martial arts. Every Asian country has its martial art and it is not seen as something negative. Each country has developed its own system(s). It is remarkable that Thailand, a country where Buddhism is the main religion and were people are known to be kind and soft, developed an extreme violent version of fighting art called Muay Thai. Although soccer is very popular in Thailand, Muay Thai is still considered as a national sport.
Muay Thai

Probably one of the most extreme martial art disciplines in the world. The fighting techniques include the use of elbows, shins and knees. In this training camp in Chiang Mai Thailand, some boys and girls trained about 6 hours a day.
As always when it comes to contact sports the camaraderie among the students is strong. It was nice to see that everyone was very disciplined and that they obeyed and respected their teachers.
They accepted me for two days to practice with them and make pictures. They treated me with respect and kindness.
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Tattoo

In most asian countries tattoos are considered as symbols of "criminal societies". These tattoos are different, the young men are carrying their tattoos to protect their bodies. It are Buddhist prayers and symbols to keep them from harm.

One of the coaches told me that some of the Thai children in the training camp came from a very poor background and have only three options in life: crime, prostitution or Muay Thai. I feel a deep respect for them because they choose this extreme and violent martial art as their way to try and build a better future.
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Muay Thai-Lieven Blog-Lieven Verbrugge
Woman Warrior

Unfortunately I forgot the name of this young woman. She was from Canada and trained every day 6 hours. She had a calm and kind attitude and was very open to share her views with me. Once she entered the ring she became all warrior: she was dedicated, fast and gave fierce kicks and punches. During these two days, she gave me the feeling that she has many stories to tell. The contrast between her tattoot and athletic body and her pink-colored gloves struck me.