South East Asia is one of the most touristic places in the world and sparks a bunch of different interests in people. One niche aspect are the traditional martial arts of the Indochinese peninsula. Most of them are related among one another, and can be grouped to southern Chinese and Indian martial arts.
The most popular nowadays is kickboxing.
Apart from that there are some traditional arts as: Khmer Pradal Serey , Siamese Muay Boran (Ancient Boxing), Muay , Laotian Muay Lao , in Vietnam most and foremost VoVinam and/or Vietvodao. Apart from that there are some mixes in between with western boxing style.
I got an opportunity to visit one of the local training center. Watching the guys train, you could see that they where very fast, had good form and tremendous power.
The gym didn’t have a sandbags and a ring – just a plain open hall which is used as well for different other sports. Most of their work is shadow boxing and sparing. They do as well lot of things western boxer doesn’t do, such as sliding drills, punching drills, and blocking drills. One cool guy kept switching his jabs, left and right hand lead. He didn’t actually change his lead leg, but twisted his body about 50% and lead with a right hand jab. It looked quite tricky and in a fight would certainly be a new way to look at.
As already said they didn’t have a ring, so all sparring is on the vast floor. Normally you can try to shepherd your opponent onto the ropes or into the corner and pound them. This is much harder in such an open fighting situation. The speed and stamina of the fighter gives them big advantage in such an open situation.
Quite a good opportunity to have my camera cope with the low light situation and luckily I just had to struggle with this and not with the fighters itself.