Thailand’s champion Sombat Banchamek, or Buakaw, gives Muay Thai lessons to U.S. Marines as part of the “Cobra Gold 2023” (CG23) joint military exercise at the Lopburi Province, Thailand, March 5, 2023. REUTERS/Napat Wesshasarta
American soldiers received Muay Thai lessons from a champion fighter in Thailand during the annual multilateral “Cobra Gold” military drills hosted by the Asian nation.
Soldiers took instruction and punched and kicked alongside Thai champion Sombat Banchamek, or Buakaw (White Lotus) as he is widely known in the country.
“For every U.S. soldier who came to train in Cobra Gold, they also want to exchange and study our culture regarding Muay Thai, which is our national art,” Buakaw said.
The 42nd annual Cobra Gold exercises, a war games event, was attended by 7,394 personnel from 30 countries this year.
“This stuff we need to know how to do and to learn from one of the best in the entire world,” said U.S. soldier SPC Adam Castle.
“It’s been really great to learn some skills that we can take back and use in the future,” he added.