May 8, 2007

Muay Thai Legend - Nai Khanom D'tom

The great warrior Nai Khanom D'tom is regarded by Thailand as one of the first officially recorded International Muay Thai fighters to compete in mortal combat outside the borders of Thailand (Siam). During his residence in Burma, he went through formal training in various martial arts including Burmese boxing (Muay Bando) while serving in Pegu garrison. Because of his dissatisfaction with the personnel at the garrison he defected the Burmese post and joined the Siamese forces under General Taksin. After being captured by Burmese troops during a border skirmish he was returned to Burma as a slave. He was well known for his bravery and prowess as an athlete and excellent unarmed fighter in art of Muay Thai boxing. During the religious celebration ceremony at Ket That Pagoda many sports and games including Muay Thai, and Muay Bando, were being presented.

Well known for his prowess as a fighter, Khanom D'tom was given a choice to continue to be a slave or to fight for his freedom and show if his skills could defeat the Burmese champion. He was rewarded with his freedom after defeating not only the Burmese champion, but eleven more Burmese combatants one after another.

The Burmese King (Mangra) was so impressed with his fighting skill, that he gave loud applause and admired the Khanom D'tom saying that, "Every part of the Thai is blessed with venom. Even his bare hands, he can fell nine or ten opponents." Khanom D'tom was given a choice of either gold and jewels as a gift or to take with him his choice of women. Nai Khanom D'tom had no use for gold or jewels as his gift and chose to take with him his choice of Siamese women captured during the many battles between the Siamese and Burmese.

With the blessing of King Mangra he was allowed to leave Burma unharmed. To this day in Thailand, and in commemoration of Nai Khanom D'tom’s great feat over two hundred years ago, the local Thai boxing circles dedicate one night a year in honor of this great fighter.

Nai Khanom D'tom’s memory is celebrated every year in Thailand on March 17th as National Muay Thai Day.


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