This past year has been an exceptionally good year for Petchrungruang’s star fighter, 19-year-old PTT. In March he won the 26th Isuzu Tournament at Omnoi Stadium against a very experienced fellow finalist, Diesellek Pengkongprai. PTT walked away with the Isuzu Champion title belt, 1 million Baht, and a brand new Isuzu truck. By winning the tournament he was given the opportunity to fight for Thai Fight, winning his debut match against another very experienced fighter for that promotion, Payak-Samui Lukjaoparongtom. PTT was signed to Thai Fight and has gained greater visibility and reputation as he tears through his competition, his last two fights ending in very quick KO victories and winning yet another tournament for the Thai Fight title and another 1 million Baht. Two titles and two million Baht in one year. Good year.
Left and far right are the Isuzu belt and Thai Fight belt. In the middle is the Omnoi Stadium title, which PTT won a few years ago.
Tamboon, or blessing ceremonies, are special occasions but also very common in Thailand for businesses, new buildings or homes, and involve a combination of Buddhist temple practices and family/friend get-together feasting. Monks are brought in to conduct the blessing, which includes a white string spanning all through the space to be blessed. The monks all hold the string as they chant, which charges the string and the space all at once. The gym members, fighters, friends and family all sit facing the monks during the chanting. Then the monks are offered a spread of food, everyone takes part in putting the rice into the bowls so that everyone shares the merit. The monks eat and then there’s a blessing with water being sprinkled over everyone in attendance, the monks are given offerings and gifts for the temple (usually necessities like soap, toothbrushes, matches, etc. for the monks), and once the monks are headed back to the temple everyone else sits together to eat a massive array of really amazing food.
Last year Kru Nu held a blessing ceremony on his birthday, as a way to kind of “reset” the gym after a spell of bad luck. This year is a celebration of all the good luck the gym and PTT have had over the past year. This year there was a special treat of traditional Thai dancers in the small ring.
Traditional Thai dancers in the small ring (the original ring from when Kru Nu was a kid)
Traditional dancers, PTT with his 3 belts and a very proud Kru Nu