There are lots of Muay Thai documentaries and TV shows out there, but discovering them and finding links to watch them online can be difficult. Here, I’ve built a directory where you can find all of them in one place. The videos listed here are separated by type (documentary or TV series, and those based on child fighters have their own category). Each listing contains a video. Click on the film titles for direct links to watch them.
I have already added as many as I can, but I am looking for help from the Muay Thai Community to add more. If you know of any Muay Thai documentaries, films or TV shows that need to be added, contact me by commenting below or via the Under the Ropes Facebook page
Muay Thai Documentaries
This is a mini documentary about Malaysian fighter, Bernard ‘Headhunter’ Radin, who was a fighter for Contender Asia 2.
This one is based on a true story and a drama rather than a documentary, but is worth including here. This famous film is based on Parinya Charoenpol, who we know as Nong Toom, now a world-renowned transgender Muay Thai fighter. Watch the trailer on YouTube.
Filmed in 1992 and broadcast on National Geographic, Born for the Fight gives an in-depth look into the history and culture of Muay Thai while following the lives of three fighters; Namkabuan, Saenliam at Sidyodtong in Pattaya and Oran, a young fighter from Buriram.
This 12-minute documentary follows the story of Bpaet, a young fighter at Wor. Wattana Gym.
Dreamchasers is a reality TV series on A&E network, but it’s featured here in the ‘documentaries’ section because this Muay Thai-related episode was just a one-off. It followed Nat McIntyre, a 31-year old amateur fighter from Minnesota, as he travels to Thailand to train at Lanna Muay Thai and has his first fight in Thailand. I’m not entirely sure when this was shot, but since then, Nat has won IKF and WKA professional titles, and is now a trainer at The Academy in Minnesota. Nat gives talks the viewer through the entire process from leaving his home gym to coming out of his fight against JR from Lanna Muay Thai. I think this is definitely worth watching. You can watch it by clicking the above link, which leads to Nat’s bio page, and scrolling down to the bottom, where you’ll find the video embedded.
This is the story of Rawai Muay Thai, in Khao Lak. The gym’s founders, Diana and Tuk, talk about how they met and set up the gym together, and how they care for their fighters.
This 27-minute documentary follows Tanet ‘Jacky’ Puangngoen, a Thai fighter living in Hong Kong. He’s also a gamer, and when he’s not training, he’s playing League of Legends. He talks about the parallels between his two passions as he competes in the Hong Kong Muay Thai championship.
In this 8-minute short film, trainer and ex-fighter Wisarut Wat Suksriwararak talks about how the true art of Muay Thai is being lost as the sport becomes more commercialized. “Now, Muay Thai is more about business than tradition”, he says.
An excellent, 5-minute documentary about Sylvie Von Duuglas-Ittu and her journey to have 100 fights in Thailand.
A National Geographic documentary that follows Sam-A Gaiyanghaadao, Bpragaiphet Eminent Air and Fa Tong Lanna Muay Thai.
Fight or Flight is described as a ‘multi-award-winning film set in Thailand. Based on an Irishman’s journey into the fighting circuit in Muay Thai boxing. The award-winning film explores Buddhism & Thai culture and a westerners initiation into the sport – with spectacular cinematography showing Thailand’s beauty and spectacular scenery’. You can watch the trailer, but you will have to buy the full movie.
A 20-minute documentary covering Gina Carano as she trains with Master Toddy for a professional fight in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
A short feature on Nong Benz Sit. Dobwad by PRI’s The World on how her fight career helps her to pay for her education and to support her family. Read the full feature to find out more.
A Can’t Stop Crazy production on Joe Schilling and his fight against Karapet Karapetyan for the WBC Light-heavyweight world title.
A behind-the-scenes look at the lives of some of the world’s best Muay Thai fighters, including Kevin Ross and Baxter Humby, as they strive to become Muay Thai Premier League and WMC World Champions. The above link gives the trailer. Unfortunately, the full documentary doesn’t seem to be available online.
This is a mini documentary about French fighter Jerome Adamoli, who trains under Krongsak in Paris.
A 2-hour feature by Foxsport in which Mark ‘The Hammer’ Castagnini interviews John Wayne Parr. It includes clips from some of his best fights throughout his career.
This documentary is mainly an interview with Kiatmoo9’s manager, Sudja Pumprakorn, and Jerdja Kiatmoo9, the gym’s head trainer.
A National Geographic documentary following John Wayne Parr, Masato and Buakaw Por. Pramuk as they prepare for the K1-World Max Championship.
A 20-minute documentary about Phet Jee Jaa, the 12-year-old ‘girl who fights boys’. The film starts from the point at which she was banned from fighting boys (as all girls were) and goes on to show the subsequent effect on her and her family.
A short anime about Buakaw, starting with his fight against Dutch champion, Andy Souwer in the K1 world Max Tournament in 2005, which he unexpectedly lost. It then gives the story of Buakaw’s childhood discovery of Muay Thai before depicting his rematch with Souwer in 2006.
Lumpini delves into the world of gambling at the famous stadium and how it affects Muay Thai. It follows Saenchai, arguably the most famous fighter in the sport; and Kwankao, a young fighter chasing the 130-lb Lumpini stadium title. The doc begs the question, “can the stadium and the sport survive the existential crisis wrought by corruption?” The film costs $3.99 to rent on Vimeo.
An episode of MTV’s ‘True Life’ series which followed Kit Cope and Ben Garcia as they trained with Master Toddy in Las Vegas and travelled to Thailand to compete in the annual bare-knuckle, Thailand vs. Burma event in Mae Sot in 2004. Unfortunately, the True Life episode doesn’t seem to be available online, but you can watch a feature on the entire bare-knuckle event (which is much longer and has a lot more fight footage) on YouTube in separate parts (Ben Garcia’s fight is in part 3 and Kit Cope’s fight is in part 7): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7.
A 23-minute documentary by Unreported World, which follows child fighters in Isaan and explores the topic of exploitation in Muay Thai.
A 5-minute film featuring 17- year old Ong-ard Padnamu and 20-year old Ekkachai Dangsuntad, who train at 96 Peenang Gym in Bangkok.
A 48-minute film in English and Spanish. The DVD no longer seems to be available for purchase, but you can watch the trailer on YouTube.
A Siangboxing documentary on Antione Pinto and his rise to stardom in Thai Fight. This film is in Thai language.
This is only 2 minutes long, but I think it’s worth sharing. It shows the inspiring story of Baxter Humby, a Canadian fighter known as the ‘One-Armed Bandit’. Baxter’s right hand was amputated at birth. Despite this, he’s won a number of belts including world titles.
A 5-minute piece on Prakaipetch Eminent Air, who was born with only one hand.
An 8-minute documentary on PTT Petchrungruang. He talks about how lots of teenage boys get tired of fighting and give up, but he refuses to do so himself, despite having a year-long losing streak. He also says that his dream is to fight on Thai Fight. Three years later, he’s now been signed to the promotion. Read Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu’s post on him to find out more about his story.
Interviews with the legendary Dutch pioneer of Muay Thai.
A shorter, 10-minute documentary on Ramon Dekkers and his career.
Master Toddy mentors Gina Carano, Christina Toledo, Lisa King, LaTasha Marzolla and Ardra Hernandez and takes them to Thailand to fight against Thai fighters. You can watch it in Youtube videos separated into ten parts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.
A short, 5-minute piece featuring Stephan Fox and Clifton Brown. Stephan talks about the WMC’s Muay Thai Against Drugs campaign, which encourages children to learn Muay Thai and promotes awareness of the dangers of drugs. Clifton goes to a Thai school to promote the campaign to the students.
A 20-minute feature on Saiyok Windy Sport (Pumpanmuang) and his life inside and outside of the ring.
OK, this one is actually MMA-related, but it’s just a little one. It’s a short feature by ESPN that covers Gina Carano’s transition to MMA from Muay Thai and the controversy that was involved.
Stand Your Ground is the story of Brendan Mcdonnell and how Muay Thai helped him deal with his father’s suicide. At the moment, only the trailer is available.
This film breaks down different techniques and principles of Muay Thai in both traditional and modern aspects.
A documentary filmed in 2002 and narrated by Jason Statham that follows three fighters — Sam Sheridan, a Harvard graduate who is training in Thailand with Apidet; Boonterm Kitmuti, a female Thai fighter and 29-year old mother of two who was previously forbidden to fight due to sexist tradition; and Gongprai Sor. Jintana, a young fighter from Ayutthaya.
Thai Prison Fights by Vice’s Fightland
A 10-minute documentary on the Prison Fight event at Khlong Prem prison in 2013, where prisoners fought in Muay Thai bouts against foreigners for the opportunity for reduced sentences (read my post on my visit to Prison Fight).
This documentary follows the USA Muay Thai Team as they take part in the 2014 WMF Pro-Am World Championship tournament. In order to watch it, you can contact the Under the Lights in Thailand Facebook page to receive access to the video.
Under the Rope is an eight-minute documentary about Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu. Its creator, Simon Mulvaney, describes it as “the story of how a feminist from the U.S.A. fell in love with a foreign community that has gender inequality at the core of its values”.
This is a 5-minute video from KCET about Jackielou Buntan. She talks about how she got into Muay Thai and why she loves the sport.
Muay Thai Documentaries on Child Fighters
This is a fantastic documentary about the Golden Horse Monastery in Northern Thailand, where travelling monk Kru Bah teaches the local children the art of Muay Thai. You can watch it on Youtube and read Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu’s review of the movie.
Todd Kellstein’s wonderful documentary about Stamp and Pet, two eight-year-old girls in rural Thailand who fight Muay Thai to support their families. I absolutely loved this documentary, it’s a must-watch. Read Sylvie von Duuglas -Ittu’s review of the movie.
Children of the Ring by E:60
A 15-minute film by ESPN on children fighting Muay Thai in Thailand.
A documentary following five young fighters in Northern Thailand. The full film doesn’t seem to be available online, but you can watch the trailer on YouTube.
A Channel 4 documentary on children’s Thai boxing in the UK, which follows five young fighters including Iman Barlow’s younger brother, Thai. Unfortunately, the above link is not available to watch in the UK, which could possibly be due to the controversy it caused among the UK Muay Thai community after it’s release, as a result of its rather negative and unfair representation of the sport.
A documentary from National Geographic’s ‘Taboo’ series. The above link is from Damien Trainor’s website and includes a short review from him.
A documentary filmed at a gym in Northern Thailand, about young boys who take up Muay Thai and compete in bare-knuckle matches. The full film is not yet available, but you can watch the trailer on YouTube.
A 27-minute short film, filmed in 2012 featuring Monlit Sitpohdaeng and Jongsanan along with Ben Brown, who is a student of theirs at PHAS3 Martial Arts in California. See the film’s website and watch the trailer. You can watch the film in full on YouTube and on Vimeo.
The Contender Asia
A 2008 reality TV series, filmed in Singapore and hosted by WMC Vice President, Stephan Fox. 16 aspiring middleweight fighters from around the world were put together in a house and divided into two opposing teams. They took part in challenges and fought against each other for the Contender title and a cash prize of $150,000.
The Challenger Muay Thai
Stephan Fox’s 2011 follow up to Contender Asia. Fighters included Antione Pinto, Cyrus Washington and Jordan Watson. As of yet, I haven’t found a way to watch this online. If anyone knows of a link, please let me know. Watch a teaser here.
A reality TV show in which seven American female fighters, including Miriam Nakamoto and Felice Herrig, live and train together. They’re trained by Master Toddy, with Gina Carano and Lisa King as mentors. They compete against each other before going to Thailand to fight against experienced Thai fighters.
Inside the Fight – USA vs. Thailand
A four-part series following some of the best Muay Thai fighters in America as they fight against Thai champions.
Muay Thai Journal
Master Toddy’s follow-up from Ring Girls and Fight Girls. This reality series features nine female fighters from around the world who train with him in Bangkok for six weeks. First, they fight each other. Then, they fight Thai opponents. This series was aired on Canada’s Fight Network and Australia’s Fuel TV, but is currently unavailable online. You can watch the trailer and the pilot episode online.
A series by Liverkick which focuses on Muay Thai and kickboxing in Europe. It’s broken down into 20-minute Episodes, listed below.
Warriors of the Mongkol
Help the directory to grow. If you know of any Muay Thai documentary or TV show that isn’t listed here, please submit it in a comment below.