Back in the 1990’s, the movie ‘Fightclub’, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, became a huge hit all across the world. The story involves an underground club where men get together and beat the shit out of each other. Rather than being a mindless action film, the whole thing was a satire on common notions of masculinity in today’s society.
Now it seems Thailand has started up its own Fightclub, minus the irony. Fightclub Thailand organizes illegal street fights where there is no protective clothing, other than a mouth guard and gloves. The soi is the ring and the pavement is the mat. There are some rules, the back of the head, the spine and the Adam’s apple are off limits, but other than that, anything goes.
The fights are considered to be a good outlet for men to release their tension. Supporters of the organization claim that it is better for street brawls to occur in a controlled environment rather than in the public eye. After each fight, the opponents are told to hug and call each other brothers for life, so there are no hard feelings. How sweet.
Fightclub Thailand has gained a lot of publicity over the internet but now the Thai police force are aware of it and are planning to shut it down. According to Thailand’s boxing act (1999) this type of event is strictly forbidden and is punishable by a one year sentence in jail. We’re sure that some arrangement can be made though. After all, this is Thailand. A place where almost anything goes.