Muay Thai in popular culture
The combat sport of Muay Thai has been featured in media, including film, television, manga, anime and video games. It gained international attention when Yodtong Senanan led the Nak Muay Team against Osamu Noguchi's Kickboxer Team on October 16, 1972. It has heavily influenced the sport of kickboxing, and is used in mixed martial arts (MMA), where athletes train in its techniques.
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Muay Thai has been featured in an assortment of films:
|Master KIMs||–||The Nak Muay team appears in the final scene.|
|Duel of Fists||1971||A Hong Kong engineer (David Chiang) goes to Thailand to find his long-lost half-brother (Ti Lung), who is a Muay Thai boxer.|
|Bloodsport||1988||Paco (Paulo Tocha) is a Muay Thai practitioner.|
|A Fighter's Blues
|2000||Mong Fu (Andy Lau), a former Muay Thai boxer, returns to Thailand from Hong Kong and challenges the champion to a match.|
|Beautiful Boxer||2003||The life story of Parinya Charoenphol (Asanee Suwan), who masters Muay Thai in order to realize her dream of becoming a woman.|
|Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior||2003||The series popularized Muay Thai, and featured some Muay Boran techniques. The film had two sequels: Ong Bak 2 (2008) and Ong Bak 3 (2010)|
|Born to Fight||2004||Dan Chupong stars in the film.|
|Chok-Dee: The Kickboxer||2005||The film is based on the life of Algerian-French Muay Thai boxer Dida Diafat, who stars as himself.|
|Tom-Yum-Goong||2005||Tony Jaa, who starred in the movie and was also the fight choreographer, incorporates a Muay Thai style (มวยคชสาร, "muaykodchasarn", roughly translated as "Elephant Boxing"), which emphasizes grappling moves. The movie also showcased "Jaturongkabaht", which was used by the Royal Thai Bodyguards.|
|Fight or Flight||2007||A documentary on Thailand's ring fighting circuit.|
|Muay Thai Chaiya||2007||Is a film about two talented muay Thai boxers, boyhood friends whose lives take divergent paths after they arrive in Bangkok.|
|Chocolate||2008||Muay Thai fighters Yanin Vismitananda and Lim Su-Jeong star in this film.|
|Down for the Count
|2009||Muay Thai boxer Ahmad Al-Sulaiti appears as himself.|
|The Kick||2011||A Korean family of Taekwondo experts immigrate to Thailand and are exposed to Muay Thai fighting.|
|Only God Forgives||2013||A Bangkok policeman and a gangster settle their differences in a Muay Thai match.|
|A Prayer Before Dawn||2017||The film is based on the true life experience of Billy Moore who survived his Thai prison ordeal by becoming a Muay Thai boxing champion.|
Muay Thai has been featured in television series from reality show contests to documentary episodes.
|The Contender Asia||series||A reality-based television series that follows 16 aspiring Muay Thai middleweight fighters from 12 countries as they compete in a series of outdoor challenges and sanctioned matches.|
|Human Weapon||"Muay Thai"||The episode featured the history and fighting techniques of Muay Thai.|
|True Life||"I'm a Muay Thai Fighter"||Kit Cope and Ben Garcia travel overseas to make their mark in the brutal world of Muay Thai ring fighting. They are scheduled to compete in bare-knuckle fights that will be broadcast on Thailand television.|
|Fight Girls||series||A reality show similar to The Ultimate Fighter, where ten female fighters live together and train with a Muay Thai instructor in Las Vegas for six weeks in an effort to fight for a Muay Thai championship in Thailand.|
|Fight Quest||"Thailand"||Jimmy Smith and Doug Anderson learn Muay Thai.|
|Dhani Tackles the Globe||"Thailand"||Dhani Jones learns Muay Thai.|
|Babylon 5||"TKO"||Michael Garibaldi and his friend Walker Smith participate in an alien-run tournament called the "Mutai".|
|Gaki no Tsukai||–||The variety show features a "Thai Kick" punishment game where a boxer delivers a kick to the loser's backside.|
|Real World/Road Rules Challenge||"The Ruins"||featured a "Muay Thai challenge" where contestants kicked bamboo sticks in an elimination round.|
|Ring Girls||series||A reality show similar to The Ultimate Fighter, where ten female fighters live together and train with a Muay Thai instructor in Las Vegas for six weeks in an effort to fight for a Muay Thai championship in Thailand.|
|Power Rangers/Juken Sentai Gekiranger||Power Rangers Jungle Fury season||Robert "R.J." James, the Jungle Fury Wolf Ranger who wears violet, is a Muay Thai practitioner. He wears prajed (dual elbow bands) uses elbow and knee attacks, including a flying knee strike.|
|An Idiot Abroad||"Swim With Dolphins"||Karl Pilkington trains with a Muay Thai kickboxing group and later participates in a blindfolded match.|
Manga and Animation
Manga and anime shows occasionally feature characters who use Muay Thai techniques. Soman Sono Arikton and Tadashi Sawamura from the 1970 show Kick no Oni (キックの鬼, The Kick Demon) are among the first Muay Thai characters to appear in anime. The list includes appearances from other animations.
|Manga or Animation||Character(s)|
|Tatakae!! Ramenman||Muay Thai Chūchai|
|Dragon Ball||Draculaman, Pamput|
|Shingeki no Kyojin||Female titan|
|Noritaka||Sawamura Noritaka, Tchan-Poua|
|Captain Tsubasa World Youth||Bunnaak Singprasert|
|Karate Shokoshi Kohinata Minoru||Samart Sarindu, Charndech Nham Sae Gym|
Thanakorn Ammarath, Changnoi Jakkapong
SHIN "TEMUR" SHIRATO
|陣内流柔術武闘伝 真島クンすっとばす!!||Krut Muangsurin|
|KOKO TEKKENDEN TOUGH||Kreangarg Suwanpakdee|
|Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple||Apachai Hopachai, Tirawit Kōkin|
Agaard Jum Sai
|Hajime No Ippo||Jimmy Sispher|
|Katekyo Hitman Reborn!||Lussuria|
|Treasure hunting in Thailand||Thani Sor.Silachai|
|Kamen Rider Ryuki||Kamen Rider Impaler|
The following games feature characters that either perform Muay Thai techniques or dress like Muay Thai fighters with arm bands, handwraps, or Mongkhon headgear.
|Street Fighter||Sagat, Adon, Gou Hibiki, others[note 1]|
|Fatal Fury||Joe Higashi, Hwa Jai|
|Ehrgeiz||Prince Naseem/Doza||Art of Fighting||King|
|The King of Fighters||Joe Higashi (Fatal Fury), Hwa Jai (Fatal Fury), King (Art of Fighting), Benimaru Nikaido|
|Dead or Alive||Zack|
|League of Legends||Lee Sin|
|Mortal Kombat||Jax Briggs|
|Virtua Fighter||Vanessa Lewis,[note 2] Brad Burns|
|Tekken||Bruce Irvin, Bryan Fury, Mokujin, Unknown[note 3]|
|World Heroes 2||Shura (Naikanom Tom)|
|Buriki One||Payak Sitipitak|
|World of Fighting (freeware)||Ananda|
|Battle Arena Toshinden||Chaos[note 4]|
- Lumpini Gundam is a Gundam plastic model dressed in a Muay Thai outfit.
- Professional wrestler CM Punk uses a fighting style that incorporates elements of Muay Thai.
- Muay Thai fighters from Street Fighter III: New Generation sometimes appear in Elena's stage during the 2nd round.
- In Virtua Fighter 4, Vanessa Lewis used both Vale Tudo and Muay Thai move sets until Brad Burns was added in Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution, making her solely a Vale Tudo fighter.
- Unknown in the Tekken series can use any of the techniques of the other players, including the Muay Thai moves of Bruce Irvin and Mokujin.
- Chaos, from Battle Arena Toshinden 2 and 3, wears Mongkhon when he fights.
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- "An Idiot Abroad 2 Episode 3: Swim With Dolphins – Sky1 HD". Sky1.sky.com. Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- "空手小公子 小日向海流 – Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru". Ten Ryû, culture japonaise et arts-martiaux (in French). 2009-02-25. Archived from the original on 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2012-11-07.
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- サガットｖｓゴウ (in Japanese)
- "Rip Offs Page 3 – More Street Fighter and SNK inspirations". Fightingstreet.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
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His style is an assimilation of fighting styles he has learned from his travels around the world including Muay Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jujitsu.