Cambodian Boxing

In a land of color and spectacle, none is so vividly primal, yet richly codified, as Muay Thai. As a refugee people fleeing an unknown enemy in Yunnan, the Thai were forced to run and hide, and to battle for everything they ever might have. Centuries later, it is the Thai who stand victorious in the merciless struggle for dominance of the Indochina peninsula, their much larger foes, Cambodia and Burma (Myanmar) having become shadows of former empire. Even in victory however, there is a toll; how much is Thai, and how much Khmer or Burmese?

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Thai Traditions

Muay Thai (Thai boxing) is a powerful but mysterious martial art boiled in the stew pot of warfare and left to simmer over centuries of sustained aggression. Records of its origin were lost when the Thai capital was burned by the kingdom’s oldest foe, the Burmese, but the customary blood sport has remained at the heart of Thai culture. Their families unable to feed them, poor young boys are sent to boxing schools to be turned into courageous fighters, modern gladiators, whose pain and valor fuel the gambling underworld.

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Finding Silat

A forgotten empire once ruled the dark jungles and fierce tribes of Sumatra. In the deep forest, death lay around every bend in the trail, along every bank of the river. For the young man, forced out by his clan to make his way in the world, find adventure, and travel far in a perilous rite of passage, the ability to fight and control magic, to disappear, may have been all that kept his head off a cannibal’s spear. Much later, the skills nurtured by these wandering warriors of Sumatra would be put to the ultimate test against a conquering race from far across the oceans.

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Vale Tudo

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) may be the most quickly growing sport in the world, but it’s nothing new in the tough world of Rio De Janeiro. Once an oppulent playground, now sullied by poverty and crime, the city yet casts a seductive net; one of natural beauty, diversity, and vitality as much as desperation. Generations ago, a fighter, a Japanese lone wolf, found the Rio mélange intoxicating enough to put down roots and teach his ancient art. The original students, the Gracie clan, have become legendary as the originators of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu because it was they who brought Vale Tudo (anything goes) out from the clammy heart of the Brazilian underworld and into the forefront of sports.

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Georges St. Pierre

The self styled pure martial artist, Georges St. Pierre brings a clean, composed intensity to his fights. Josh Koscheck meanwhile brings a violent, often malevolent intensity. At the top of the stack, St. Pierre looks to a new trainer, boxing maestro Freddie Roach, and an ever evolving game plan, to survive a second scrape with Kos.

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Along the Ganges

The Ganges river, running a 2,700 mile course from the Tibetan plateau to it's delta in West Bengal and Bangladesh, stretches to the extremes of the Indian sub continent's history. Hinduism and Buddhism originated with civilizations nourished by the river's annual floods, and the same civilizations would go on to profoundly affect not only the rest of Asia, but the world.

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Six legged cattle

Seven billion and counting...as earth's human population grows larger, it's resources grow more scarce. To stave off the starvation sure to follow ocean and land degradation, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization is encouraging people in the world's poorest nations to begin farming insects for food. Meanwhile, in the wealthiest nations entrepreneurs are looking into ways to market insects as an attractive food item, although, you may already be eating many more insects than you might imagine.

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Getting fit, caveman style

Are you a "zoo human"? If you ever feel confined by glass and concrete, by your job, traffic, diet...by our modern world of flat planes and grids and order, you might be. Movnat founder Erwan LeCorre, fortunately, has a solution; get out in nature, leave the gym behind, along with your shoes, and move your body in all the contortions thousands of constantly evolving generations of our human ancestors found natural and necessary to survival. Your mind, says LeCorre, will follow, and this is good, because he doesn't want you to to be a "Human Chihuahua".

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On the prowl for answers

When a lost hiker turns up dead in the jungle near a small village on the side of a Javan volcano, the body partially consumed by animals, who is to blame? Harimau, say the locals, Tiger...but both the Javan and Bali tiger have, tragically, been considered extinct for these three decades past. Could there be a remnant population? An escaped captive tiger? Or is something else amiss? Legendary tiger conservationist Deborah Martyr helps solve the mystery, while warning of the perilous situation facing the Sumatran tiger, Indonesia's final surviving species of this enigmatic big cat.

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Kelantan Tomoi

One wide brown, slowly marching river separates the northernmost Malay state of Kelantan from the war torn, disputed Thai province of Narathiwat, but much more binds them. Here, where people often speak both Thai and Malay, national borders blur. Harmony is often shattered by terror, however, as Muslim fanatics seek to free the Thai provinces from the control of a Buddhist government. It is on this backdrop that men from both sides of the border, as well as from Muslim nations far away, meet to engage in the most honorable form of combat.

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Indian wrestling

In his quest to save his beautiful wife Sita from the evil demon Ravana, Param, the exiled prince,called upon the ferocious Hanuman, king god of the race of monkey warriors, to help him. The epic tale Ramayana is believed to be true by millions of devout Hindus, and for a small sect of modern warriors, Hanuman is patron and hero. Their demon however is no Ravana, but a tough life of poverty in India's holiest city; Varanasi.

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Muffled voice

Just months after committing to a bold plan to protect the Sumatran Tiger and to double the cat’s population by 2022, the next year of the tiger, Indonesia seems set to put economic concerns once again before environmental ones. However, conservationist Deb Martyr and biologist Zoe Cullen, of Fauna and Flora International, are lobbying against the potentially devastating roads slated to be cut through this last great tiger stronghold; Kerinci Seblat National Park.

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Spice Islands

Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and other spices indigenous to islands east of the “Wallace line” are today largely relegated to the back of the spice rack, but in a time before Indonesia, these “Spice Islands” were like floating El Dorados, so profitable was the spice trade in Europe. Warring caliphs, sea faring pirates, Arab and Chinese merchants all flourished by sailing the winds into these fantastic ports at the ends of the earth, but when the “Spice Road” to Europe was disrupted, famous explorers set out in search of the oceans of the east, and to test the theory that the earth, indeed, was round.

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Border Brawls

An ancient blood feud rages in the border town of Mae Sot.

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Undeniable Denali-Boulder Weekly

One of the "Seven Summits", Denali is North America's tallest, and most dangerous, mountain.

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Suriname

A trip with National Geographic photographer Jad Davenport into the as yet undisturebed jungles of the Northern Amazon reveals the truth to the legend of El Dorado.

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Paleo Magazine

In parts of Vanuatu, the stone age never really left.

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Please Mind the Gap

Business degrees are a big business in the kingdom, but not every degree means business.

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Muay Siam Daily

Thailand's daily Muay Thai update featuring photos of the Sitjaopor twins, Petheak and Pettho.

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