Lethwei is Boxing the Burmese Way

Are you looking for a new sport to engage in? Regular boxing can be a bit mundane for the adventurous sports buff like you so why not give Burmese boxing a try? Currently becoming a very popular sport, Burmese boxing, also known as “lethwei” is the traditional Myanmar boxing related to the styles of Thailand’s Muay Thai, Laos’ Muay Lao, Malaysia’s tomoi and Cambodia’s pradal serey.

This fighting method is known for its features of uncovered hands and feet. It is a widely accepted belief that the Burmese monks had developed Lethwei around the 3rd century to train and defend themselves.

Two referees moderate a lethwei combat as this sport is being held in a circle where the players can exchange blows and throws. In Burmese villages, the ancient characteristics of the lethwei are maintained. Players used some fabrics to wrap their hands and some coconut shell to protect their genitals. Leather straps were also used to keep their teeth safe.

However, the dawn of the new century has witnessed the emergence of the Eastern ring, boxing gloves and the divisions. The existence of tattooed legs and trunks of Burmese boxers signify courage and power. Many players opt to have serpent, tiger, eagle, leopard and other animals inked on their bodies to represent some qualities and characteristics that they possess.

In lethwei, there are nine customary techniques that emerged. The Burmese boxing sport is composed of three parts: distances of the fight, weapons, and the goals of the combat. The distances of the fight include effective management of the length of the body-to-body contact, especially the throws and holds.

On the other hand, the sport makes use of all the body parts as much as possible on the throw and the blow. Lethwei’s nine primary weapons include the feet, knees, fists, elbows and even the skull. The combat’s aim is to land the blows on the opponent’s body.

Before the beginning of the fight, the lethwei-yei, a form of a warrior dance, is performed to exhibit bravery and ability. When the dance ends, crossed arms of the players hit each one on the shoulders with their opposite hands to register hostility. At the end of the combat, a victory dance is carried out after the referees’ decision has been made.

To win a lethwei fight, make sure to remember the following tips and laws:

 1 .You should carry out the throws in near spaces to inflict instant blow on your opponent while he reaches the ground.

2Always use the various strategies attributed to the animals of “thaing” such as the leopard kick, eagle flying kick, wild boar blow,  serpent hit and many others.

3Make sure to hit the opponent’s arms before you strike the center of his body.

Burmese boxing is indeed an interesting way of training and developing your strength. It develops not only your physical force but also your ability to strategize and formulate your plan to win in a lethwei combat. Invite your best buddies and explore the benefits and enjoyment lethwei can deliver.

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