The Thai and Burmese have competed against each other for centuries, both in times of war and times of peace.
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We were very saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Saya U Aung Pwe Maung, the leader of the Aphyu Yaung Lethwei club. His considerable knowledge and wealth of experience was a major asset to our project. A wonderful coach, referee, father and former Lethwei competitor. It was always a joy seeing him and being around his fighters.
Moe Thee was a friend who was featured throughout our Born Warriors documentary saga and in our online clips. He adopted the name Moe Thee when he began to compete as a teenager. Moe was a Lethwei competitor, promoter, teacher and went on to become a 2009 48kg Golden Belt champion.
The bitter history between Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and Thailand (formerly known as Siam) began on ancient battlefields. This included 24 wars between Ayutthaya (the ancient capital of Thailand that flourished from the 14th-18th centuries) and Myanmar that were fought by the nation’s most powerful armies.
The ancient bare-knuckle/bound-fists tournaments and fights that were held throughout Southeast Asia was a popular pastime and sport of the people, military and royalty. Every fight became a betting contest, as well as a contest of local pride. The general view is that this type of fighting was nothing more than a brutal blood sport fought to the death. This notion has largely been propagated by various forms of media from popular movies and books as well as all through the internet. Martial artists are often heard calling what they do “the older, deadly form” of a specific fighting art all the time to elevate them above the norm and attach themselves to these ancient traditions.
The brand new Born Warriors Deluxe Edition includes all three award-winning Born Warriors documentaries, plus a bonus disc which features the newly updated Born to Battle: Burma vs. Thailand documentary and the extended edits of Fight Day & Bouts from the Archives V2, which shows rare and unseen archive footage that immerses the viewer into the competitive world of Lethwei. The complete 4 Disc set in limited DVD or Blu-ray editions runs over seven hours.