Video: Unchildren's Sports: A Shocking Series Of Pictures Of Kids Playing Muay Thai
2023 Author: Richard Flannagan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 05:58
While vacationing in Thailand in 2011, German photographer Sandra Hoyne accidentally got into a Muay Thai competition, held near the country's capital, Bangkok. The photographer, however, was not amazed at all by the spectacular fights, but by the fact that children barely six years of age took part in the competition.
Thai boxing (or "Muay Thai", which means "free fight"), is called "fight of the eight limbs", because it is allowed to strike with fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet. This is a dangerous sport - often athletes get serious injuries - fractures or concussions. Struck by what she saw, Hoyne immediately contacted the organizers for permission to shoot. This is how the project Die Kampfkinder (Children's Duel) was born.
Hoyne was so passionate about the project that she spent a whole month studying the lives of little boxers. She accompanied them to fights, found out how they live, what they are interested in, and why their parents are so calm about what is happening, encouraging dangerous children's competitions.
Sandra started studying photography at the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg (Germany). The first "pen tests" took place twelve years ago during one of the travels. Each time Sandra strives to get closer to the representatives of the culture of the country where she comes - she has a rich portfolio, which includes a series of photographs about the difficult life of people in Southeast Asia.
“When you see this, it's hard to keep your distance. I feel the need to tell as soon as possible about what is happening in the world, in what conditions many people live,”says Sandra. The photographer often sympathizes with her characters, with many of them she has developed friendly relations. "It can be difficult at times," she says, "but I remind myself that I am not only a friend to these people, but also a photojournalist."
Many were really shocked by children's fights, however, this is not so uncommon for Thailand. Thai boxing is a national sport that enjoys immense popularity in the country. In the hope of breaking out of poverty, many parents have been striving to send their children to Muay Thai school since the age of five. They are warmed by the hope that they will be able to raise a professional athlete who will be able to provide them with a comfortable life in the future.
Trainings take place twice a day for three hours, which, of course, does not have the best effect on children's health. “However,” says Hoyne, “none of the children were seriously injured or injured before my eyes, they simply lack the strength of adult athletes, and the technique of striking is not yet so well developed. Sadly, parents often put whatever money they have on the line in the hope that their child will win the competition. Hence - a huge pressure on the child, because in one fight parents can lose all their savings and be left with nothing."
Fortunately, not all parents put pressure on their children in the hope of getting easy money. Jason Lee, for example, comes up with unusual photo adventures for his little daughters, but this is not at all a way to make money.
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