Photo Essay

Photo Essay :

Art of Harshness
© Zarni Phyo(

boxing (Myanmar Lethwei) is the difference with other martial art is that only
knockout is assumed as “win” in the most competition. This is the
sport which is based on courage and endurance and can attack the opponent
powerfully with legs, Knees, Elbows, hands and head.
     Lethwei is more or less similar to its siblings of
other Indochinese unarmed martial art sports such as Muay Thai from Thailand,
Laos Muay from Laos, Pradal Serey (Kun Khmer) from Cambodia and Malay Tomoi
from Malyasia. At first glance, many foreigners would mistakenly presume
Myanmar Traditional Lethwei as a branch or descendent of Muay Thai. But
Lethwei, as it originated, evolved and rooted in Myanmar soil since thousands
of years ago, has its own unique styles and features.  
     Lethwei fighters have to show Lekkha Moun ritual
before the start of fight. Lekkha Moun is the slapping of fighter’s own palm
against the other elbow or arm, and this is the unique way of challenging to
his opponent in front of spectators. In the past, even some fighters used to recite
or let the commentator sing the poem about his style of fight and harshness
before the bout. It is regarded as part of the mind game against opponent.

it is also the customary that the winner has to perform Lethwei dance at the
end of the fight.