IN THE CHANGING-ROOMS OF THE RADJA STADIUM
Special report by Serge TREFEU (2009)
The changing-rooms of one of big stadium of Bangkok, Ratchadamnoen Stadium (the oldest of Bangkok), are more than animated during the events of boxing which take place four times a week.
In Europe in the boxing shows the fighters are separated and have each their changing-rooms, here, in Radja there is only a single changing-room for everybody. It is a big room or all the persons mix. The boxers, the coaches, the members of the family and the punters cross themselves in a bustle good child.
Wooden tables are of use to the traditional massages of front fights. With the famous “nammuay” (heating oil), the boxers are coated from head to foot.
This oil allows warming all the muscles of the body. This rite is indispensable to avoid strains and nasty bruises from the first round of the fight, also for a better absorption of the knocks.
The strong smell of the nammuay embalms all the changing-room and mixes with that of the sweat of the boxers who warm up in shadow boxing.
There is practically never a hostility, or of big tension, between various opposite Team who often get ready the one next to the other one.
The boxers being massed sometimes speak and even laugh together with their future opponent. We are far from imagining that they are going to be engaged a terrible war on the boxing ring in some moments!
Above every table, on the wall, the doors coats allow to hang on the bathrobes of the boxers and especially the most sacred object of Muay Thai, “Mongkon”.
On the ground of changing-rooms between the oil, the sweat and the water which spread on the ground it forms a sticky mixture which becomes very slippery. Nakmuays concentrated for their fight pay it hardly attention, or even in go and come ceaseless from people who return and go out of the changing-room. They are quiet and try to channel the adrenalin which rises slowly before their to enter the arena where an incited crowd wait for them.
For the western boxers the road of the changing-room in the boxing ring is always a delicate moment but for the Thai nakmuays it countered almost as a simple formality so they are unmoved before their terrible confrontations…