Sandrine Hermand-Grisel

Photo Editor - Photographer
All About Photo
      
Muay Thai Kids by Alain Schroeder
Location: San Diego, CA
Nationality: French
Biography: Sandrine Hermand-Grisel is a professional photographer who specializes in Fine Art Photography and Printmaking. She grew up in Paris, France and in London, UK before she moved to the United States with her family in 2006. She decided to use her... MORE
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Muay Thai Kids by Alain Schroeder
all about photo
Jun 7, 2022
All About Photo is pleased to present 'Muay Thai Kids' by Alain Schroeder


Part of the exclusive online showroom developed by All About Photo, this exhibition is on view for the month of June 2022 and includes sicteen photographs from the series 'Muay Thai Kids'

MUAY THAI KIDS

Far from Thailand's iconic tourist destinations, Isan, the kingdom's largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia. Poverty forces many residents to seek work in Bangkok, but fearing the temptations of city life (drugs, gangs, sex trade…), children are often left behind under the care of grandparents.

To keep them out of trouble, and with the prospect of earning money to support the family, kids are enrolled in Muay Thai (the traditional martial art of Thai boxing that is the country's national sport) as early as 5, and can be competing by 6-7 years old.

Training camps (2500 in Isaan and 1200 in Bangkok) are schools of life filled with deprivation, discipline and respect for fellow combatants. Every story is similar, the kids dream of one day fighting on TV, building a house for their parents and defending the pride of their community, while gym owners, trainers and families rely heavily on their earnings.

Betting is fierce and the pressure on the children is palpable. Few will become champions, but for poor kids with limited options, Muay Thai is a way to meet the cultural expectation of helping their families and a chance at a better life.

In July 2021, the IOC recognized Muay Thai as an Olympic sport. It promises to be a baptism by fire at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games for many young fighters who are now starting to dream not only of money, but also of medals and glory.Alain Schroeder - Muay Thai Kids
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