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Video: Sepak takraw, like volleyball on speed
Not for the gravitationally challenged, this insanely difficult sport has a mad following in Thailand
Produced by CNNGo contributor Joel Gershon. Narrator and translator: Peeraphat Puspavesa. Other translators: Anuth Duangmarn, Phasoot Kerdkaew and Naruedech Hemkrasri.
Sepak takraw isn’t one of those sports you can just pick up in an afternoon, like tennis or squash. Or bocce. It’s kind of a cross between football, volleyball and hacky sack, but the sport’s insane upside down foot strikes make it pretty inaccessible for your average couch potato.
"Sepak" is the Malay word for "kick," "takraw" the Thai word for "woven ball." The sport’s origins are hard to pin down. Here in Thailand some historians say a net-less form of sepak takraw was played during the reign of King Naresuan of Ayutthaya (1590-1605), while some Malaysian historians say it was played there back in the 15th century.
Regardless of who invented it, sepak takraw is an incredible sport to watch. Check out our video of Bangkok’s sepak takraw scene.