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Burmese Martial Arts

The Myanmar kickboxing dates all the way back to the Bagan era. The Myanma let-hwei (Burmese kickboxing) is very similar in style to muay thai (Siamese kickboxing). However, it is not very well developed as a national sport. These kickboxing matches are normally held at temporary rings set up at paya pwe rather than in sports arenas. Similar to Thai boxing, the Myanmar kickboxing allows for flexible ruling on the ring. Every part of the body is a fair target. You may use any part of your body to strike an opponent with the exception of the head. Common styles of attack include high kicks to the neck, elbow thrusts to the face and head, knee hooks to the ribs and low crescent kicks to the calf. Like in many of the exciting action-packed movies that you may have watched, it is also permissible for the contestant to grab the opponent's head between his hands and pull it down to meet an upward knee thrust. To punch is considered a weak move and to kick is merely to "soften" your opponent. The ultimate moves are the knee and elbow strikes.


Using a ball that resembles the takraw of neighboring Thailand and Malaysia. Chinlon is an interesting pastime amongst Burmese of all ages. In fact, in Burmese, chinlon refers to games in which a woven rattan ball about 12 cm in diameter is kicked around. The name also refers to the ball itself. In an informal game, any number of players is allowed. They have to form a circle and try to keep the chinlon airborne by kicking it in soccer-style from player to player.

Football (Soccer)

Here's a great opportunity to meet the locals - attend a local football match. The competition is held between different yaq-kweq (residential quarters). It is a fun match to watch.

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