Burma Lethwei

Myanmar has a tradition of kickboxing that’s said to date back to the Bagan era, although the oldest written references are found in chronicles of warfare between Myanmar and Thailand during the 15th and 16th centuries. Myanmar kickboxing (Myanma Let-hwei) is very similar in style to Siamese kickboxing or Muay Thai. The martial art’s status has raised perceptibly and nowadays occasional championship matches are also occasionally held at Aung San Stadium and Thuwanna Indoor Stadium in Yangon. Rules & Regulations Anything goes in the ring. All surfaces of the body are considered fair targets and any part of the body except the head may be used to strike an opponent. Common blows include high kicks to the neck, elbow thrusts to the face and head, knee hooks to the ribs and low crescent kicks to the calf. A contestant may even grasp an opponent’s head between his hands and pull it down to meet an upward knee thrust. Punching is considered the weakest of all blows and kicking merely a way to ‘soften up’ one’s opponent; knee and elbow strikes are decisive in most matches. The structure and limitations of each match varies with its context and with the calibre of the participants. Unlike Thai boxing, which has borrowed a great deal from the Queensbury rules in international or Western boxing, Myanmar boxing represents a more traditional form once shared by the two countries. Rules tend to follow situational norms; fighters, managers and judges get together before each match and
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