Thai shorts in Thai Muay are popular for fighters throughout Thailand and are the official style of shorts worn by fighters in the country’s national sport. Although these types of fighting trunks ride a bit high, there is a purpose. Unlike trunks common in the Western world, Thai shorts are much shorter and are made for function. Meaning, Thai shorts are made to allow free movement in the legs which is important for Thai boxing.
Trunks that hang too low are not functional for the Nak Muay. When a Thai fighter kicks or knees, it is important that there is no impairment of his attacks due to drag from the Thai shorts against his thigh. Trunks that hang too down too long will hinder kicks and knees thus taking the power out of them and slowing down the fighter. In addition to being short in length, Thai shorts have patterns on both the front and back sides. These patterns are actually Thai writing and other symbols unique to Thai Muay.
On the front side of Thai shorts is commonly the name of the camp. The camp will not only be represented but actually the Nak Muay since he will take the name of the camp. For example, if a fighter has a name of Nok and comes from at Thai Muay camp named Pak Issan, the fighter would then have the name, Nok Pak Issan. So not only does the writing on Thai shorts represent his camp, it will also represent himself since a fighter will no longer bear his family name until he moves out of the Thai Muay boxing camp. For the time being, his Thai trunks will have significant meaning to him. The front will bear his new family name, the sides will often have symbols of strength such as a tiger, snake or elephant. The back sides may bear his nick-name such as Super Nok or Lightening Dtung, accordingly.
Unlike the United States or other Western countries, a Nak Muay will not wear his Thai shorts used in fighting anywhere but in the boxing ring. Although a Nak Muay will have other Thai trunks which he will train in at his camp, the trunks used in fighting will be significantly nicer. These Thai shorts will be flashy with flashy design and bright colors. Pink, Blue and Yellow are among colors that often bring curiosity to foreigners watching.
Yellow in Thailand is a Royal color for His Majesty King Bhumibol. In addition Yellow is the color representing the Moon God. Pink is a very popular color in Thailand worn by men and women alike. Unlike the Western countries, Pink signifies strength and became as popular as ever when His Majesty King Bhumibol wore a Pink shirt when he exited out of the hospital after a serious sickness.
For Thai Muay fighters who wear Pink Thai shorts, they are signifying strength and perseverance unlike the meaning of Pink worn by a man in America which symbolizes softness or even feminist traits. The designs, colors and length of Thai shorts are significant and are made the way the are with particular meaning and purpose. Whenever you are in Thailand take note of the shorts worn by a Nak Muay, a Thai fighter. Perhaps you will see new meaning in the color and design.