Ass-kicking Athletes of Antiquity: Nai Khanom Tom
All of the athletes we’ve covered here at MCD have had a distinct advantage over Nai Khanom Tom–mainly that their exploits are verifiable by history. Then again, if we know Nai, which we think we do, history is probably another opponent he could elbow in the throat hard enough until it cried diamonds.
Again, nothing we’re about to tell you about Nai Khanom Tom can be verified, mainly because all the record from his time were destroyed by the Burmese, who you’ll find out in about 500 words had a good reason to hate Nai.
The story goes that many hundreds of years ago the Burmese invaded Thailand and captured hundreds of its people as slaves, Nai among them. After several years of Nai presumably smashing rocks to pieces with sick-ass elbow drops, the Burmese king organized a seven-day festival to show off how awesome he was, because kidnapping a group of people who communicated through punching didn’t already show that.. During the festival the king grew board of the dancing and happiness of his people and decided that he wanted to see some broken limbs. Preferably Thai ones.
Realizing that he had a supposed Muay Thai master chained up in a cage somewhere, the King ordered his men to bring Nai Khanom Tom before him. The King then informed Nai that the finest Burmese boxer in the land was going to come out and punch his face off. Rather than break down and beg for his life, Nai asked if he could get his groove on and perform a ritual dance to channel his Muay Thai powers and the anger of the gods themselves into his fists. The King, amused but intrigued, allowed it.
Regardless of whether or not you believe in the ass-kicking powers of dancing, you’re more than likely aware that Muay Thai is one of the single most brutal and effective martial arts in the entire world and Nai Khanom Tom was like Tony Jaa on all of the steroids. He could have insulted the King’s mother as a warm-up and requested more shackles and we’d still put our money on him.
Which was probably a good idea, since the boxer sent to fight Nai was instantly incapacitated by a flurry of elbows, knees and head butts. The few sources we have on the matter don’t go into that much detail about what exactly Nai did to his opponents only that he “crushed his opponent.” Considering Muay Thai fighters have been known to break their own legs by kicking too hard in organized combat, we can only imagine the damage a Muay Thai legend did to an opponent when he didn’t have to hold back.
The best part is just coming up though–the King, annoyed at Nai’s insulting and frankly piece-of-cake victory over his finest warrior, claimed the victory didn’t count and sent out another Burmese boxer to remove Nai’s skull from his face. After Nai rather predictably elbowed another chump’s ribs into his colon, the King order another fighter to take his place. This continued until Nai had shattered the eye sockets of nine champion boxers.
The King at this point either realised Nai was going to keep punching until he was back home or that he was slowly running out of people willing to walk into a meat grinder made of roundhouse kicks and shoryukens and called a stop to the competition. So what did he do? Order his men armed with swords to stab Nai to death? Put him back into a cage and enjoy being king some more? Nope, he released Nai and gave him two Burmese wives. Why two wives? Come on, nine highly trained Burmese men couldn’t stop this guy, giving him one wife would have risked her lady parts eroding through friction.
Now again, this is just a legend. But as we pointed out at the start, the Burmese destroyed all the historical records linked to that time and what better reason is there for doing that than nine of your best warriors being owned by one really pissed of prisoner? We’re either living in a world where Nai Khanom Tom is just a legend, or one where a whirling sentient fist punched his way to freedom and had two wives to carve out a manly bloodline that could be sat next to you right now. We know which one we prefer.
Karl Smallwood is a freelance comedy writer that you can hire! His work has been featured on Cracked.com, Toptenz.net and Gunaxin.com you should probably click those links to make sure he isn’t lying. He also runs his own website where he responds to the various pieces of hate-mail he’s gotten over the years, in fact, he got so much hate-mail that he wrote a book about it that you can buy on Amazon. When he isn’t writing, Karl also Tweets and uploads pictures of himself drinking on Facebook.
Karl also documented The Most Hilarious Overreactions to Scary Movies. For a more contemporary ass-kicking athlete, check out Karl’s account of the five-decades-and-counting winning streak enjoyed by The Great Gama.