Earlier today I got a chance, thanks to the film's directors, Timo Ruge and Gerrit Staron, to check out the new Buakaw documentary titled "Buakaw: Boxer, Legend, Legacy." The documentary runs about 47 minutes and is available to stream on-demand via Vimeo right now for $6.99 and I absolutely urge you to check it out. We know that the price tag might set you off a bit, but doing so supports the filmmakers, who have funded most of the film themselves and were simply looking to tell the story of one of the most famous Thai Fighters in the world in Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek.
The documentary is all based upon interview and behind-the-scenes footage of Buakaw and his camp as they train and show you what a day in the life of Buakaw Banchamek is really like. It starts off by following Banchamek in early 2012 in his hometown in his then newly-constructed gym after his very public departure from Por. Pramuk gym with some help from Thai Fight. You get a good inside look at the simplicity of Buakaw's home life and how, to his family and everyone in his home village, he is just Sombat to them, a fun-loving, caring kid that they've known for their whole lives.
Showing Buakaw in this setting really provides a stark contrast from the bright lights that we are accustomed to seeing him under, as we get some details on his back story and what led him into a life as a Thai Boxer. It is interesting to see interviews with his manager and trainer, who have known him for a long time, and to hear how his life changed thanks to Boxing. His good friend and trainer tells about how word got around about Buakaw fighting for K-1 and how it impacted his life to win the K-1 World MAX 2004 tournament for good. It is interesting to hear Buakaw talk about the tournament and then hear his friend talk about how they celebrated; with Buakaw coming home and taking him out bowling.
For many, Buakaw is a larger-than-life icon in the world of Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but this documentary does a great job of humanizing him while showing his personal and professional growth from just another kid who couldn't afford to continue with school to one of the most famous Thais in the world. You also get to hear Buakaw's take on why he has decided to challenge foreigners and what he wants out of the rest of his career as he is now transitioning into training his own pupils, although Buakaw himself admits that he has a lot to learn.
For the relatively short length the documentary is dense with content, although there are some gaps due to some of Buakaw's ongoing legal issues, but they artfully work around them and instead of focusing on some of the negative parts of Buakaw's life and career focus on the positives, which is refreshing. The documentary itself is tastefully done and tells the story of one of the best Kickboxers and Thai Fighters to compete and make a name for himself. Buakaw: Boxer, Legend, Legacy is skillfully directed, contains beautiful imagery and is mixed in surround sound with a pretty fun soundtrack. It is absolutely worth the $7 to learn more about Sombat "Buakaw" Banchamek and to see him in a way that you never have before.
LiverKick highly recommends that you check out the full video here.
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His first novel, the Godslayer, is available now.