What is Muay Pla Kad?

The Muay Bpla-Gad (betting on the fish fighting) is the name given to competitions with special fighting fishes (Betta).

Background

Muay Bpla-Gad is the name for fish fights that are fought with special fighting fish (betta). As a betting sport, Muay Bpla-Gad is conceptually related to Muay Gai (cockfighting), Muay Ngu / Muay Nguhauw Gab Panporn (fights between cobras and mongooses) and Muay Thai (fights between humans).

The Betta fish is native to Asia and lives in the shallow waters of rice fields, ponds or streams. Male Betta fish are extremely territorial, and if you put two males in the same container, cruel fights inevitably ensue. Players bet on the winner. In Thailand, gambling is illegal. Organized fish fights therefore usually take place underground.

Betting on fights of animals or humans (see Muay Thai) has always been an important part of Thai culture. The tradition of fishing in Thai history is said to date back at least to the 18th century, the time of Rama I, the first king of today’s Thai royal dynasty. For centuries, the inhabitants of rural areas have been collecting Betta fish from the waters around their villages in order to determine the champion with them in battles.

People bred the fish and played with them by putting them in the same tank. On land you could easily find them in places with mud and water. Fighting fish are characterized by a dark color and a short tail, and as a rule, male fish are used for fights.

In recent years, however, this practice has become increasingly controversial, so that there is now a ban on fighting fish in Thailand. Animal rights activists have spoken out against this practice because it is cruel and unnecessarily harms the fish.

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