'Good' Thai girls enter the boxing ring - IHT, September 13, 2007
...Until recently, it was considered very bad luck for a
girl or a woman to enter the boxing ring. Muay Thai is a sport steeped
in superstition, where gold and silver talismans, blessed by Buddhist
monks and engraved with words and symbols, are sometimes imbedded under
the fighter's skin. The presence of a woman, especially if she
was menstruating, was thought to cancel the invulnerability
conferred by these and other charms and blessings.
"Each boxer has magic words to protect himself," said Amnart
Saichalard, a former fighter who now teaches muay Thai at Chulalongkorn
University in Bangkok. He has gold talismans buried under his skin near
his Adam's apple and in his biceps.
"The belief was that if a woman came too close to the charm you would
bleed more during a match," Amnart said.
As a concession to tradition, girls these days enter the ring by
crawling under the bottom of four ropes. Boys can climb through the
ropes any way they want...
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