Amateur fighters brawl in brutal real life Fight Club on street

Amateur fighters can often be found brawling on the streets of Thailand in front of invested fans of the movie Fight Club.

While most people sit down and choose to re-watch the 1999 hit, enthusiasts in Bangkok instead re-enact the movie and fight in a makeshift ring.

The real-life scenes first emerged in 2016, when Chana Worasart launched Fight Club Thailand to allow amateurs to test their skills after he was partly inspired by the Brad Pitt film.

The club attracts crowds who watch on as shirtless men brawl in a makeshift ring placed between shipping containers, where they pledge to only exchange blood and bruises underground.

Describing the popularity of the club, Chana told AFP: "Here you don't have to know how to fight. You just need to have heart and that's it.

"I think the popularity is due to a variety of occupations and fighting styles that are different from the styles in the (professional) ring."

Surathat Sakulchue, 23, is one of the many contestants who challenge components to the gritty underground fights.

While a grocery store owner during the day, he lives an alternative life at the club where he is surrounded by macho men and their aggression.

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He explained that fighters are expected to participate using all four limbs and says the set-up is "quite different" to traditional Muay Thai fights.

He went on to say that "fighting with containers surrounding us is just fun and exciting".

The group is now an online sensation and has gathered an avid following of 73,000 members on Facebook, reports The Sun.

And while it goes off script by allowing people to share information about the club to outsiders, it has become a popular hit for calling itself "the ring that will change violence into friendship".

Contestants can give everything they've got during a single three-minute round, with no winners or losers announced.

They must play by the rules which prohibit anyone from elbowing, grappling, throwing opponents to the ground and punching each other in the back of the head.

When the club was first launched, authorities were called to concerns because the matches reportedly violated the Boxing Act – which can lead to a punishment of a one-year jail sentence and fines that reach a maximum of $600 [£478.81].

Despite this, the fights have spurred on due to organisers stating that the club is not governed by the Boxing Act and are not hosting unsanctioned fights.

According to Chana, the group is approved by the Department of Provincial Administration and has guidelines in place.

These consist of on-sight medical care, screening procedures, a risk-acceptance pledge and of course protective equipment.

Chana added: "I don't oppose the idea of turning this into legal, sanctioned fights, but at the same time, we can't lose the underground identity, so the question is 'where is the balance?'"

"We don't ask fighters to kill each other. If you're too tired or too injured to go on, then we'll stop the fight."

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