From the Heart of the Writer

Dear friend, thank you very much for your interest in reading the story of the fighting fish. I have put over 6 years of my time and effort (not to mention money) into the serious, intensive study of the practice of the fighting fish game in an effort to write down my experiences and share knowledge with you the reader. I would like to ask you to support my continued research by making a donation in exchange for reading the article below. Please contribute money as you see fit, it is much appreciated.

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Thank you for your kindness.

Precha Jintasaerewonge.

The selective fighter


In this chapter I will dwell more closely on the selective fighting fish or game bred fighter, in Thai term call "Pla Kheng". The selective fighters are complexes short tail Betta splendens that was bred for fighting purpose. These fighters has been developed for over a hundred years ago and up to the present. The process of selection is to reproduce the next generation of the better fighter. The development is gradually progressive and we can observed these changes for every five years or so. In the beginning the purpose of breeding fighter was only for the short time hobby and for entertainment after field work. The breeder of the winner gained fame and pride. In this period of time (some where around 1855).

The breeders will name his fighter family in a certain region and another region will threaten and claim superiority over to other breeding region. For example, the fighter bred in Pad Rew (Cha Chueng Sao) province will be claimed more superior than the fighter from Thonburi (now united with Bangkok) province etc... In the 20th century, when the Western culture has spread to all over the Asian countries. The commercial and money becomes the main stream of economic and social development. The purpose of breeding had been changed from hobby to money. The breeders had developed breeding strategies compatible to theirs time and meet the customers requirement.  They will breed the fighting fish for sale in a large quantity or one can say in mass production, for example one breeder may hold 200 tanks or more and he will develop fighters with tough scales attacking an opponent in a more precise position. Somewhere around 1972, the family of the fighter has been change from the fame name such as "Hanumana" to a number say family number no.15, family no.63 etc. The practice of the breeders follow the stream of modern thought, commercial and number, as a passage to the digital world!

The short finned fighters are divided into two groups, one: for a game breed or selective fighter and second: regular fighter or pet shop quality. Both groups came from the same parents’ bloodlines stocks. What is the selective fighter and how its difference from the pet shop quality.

There are three main factors made up to be so-called the selective fighter.

I.  Selective parents: The parents of the selective fighter male and female were getting from the families of the winner in the very tough fighting ring. The basic considerations for choosing the fighters to breed are:

  •  Attacking hard on one of the following position: tail, mouth, cover gill edge and stomach or depending on the breeder selection style.
  • Excellent body structure
  • Good fighting style: good self defense; turn back hit, counter attack, or double hit etc.
  • Toughness of the heart or stamina: A fighter does not runaway even injured badly. Expresses a willing to fight by open the cover gill fully when an opponent is approaching. Many breeders consider this is the most important factor, especially if using the Thai fighting ring regulation.
  • Sharp teeth: This attribute is also persuading the breeder to select the fish to breed. Though many breeders do not bother much on this factor. They believe that all fighters have sharp teeth. The good breeder only has to find when it is on the top condition.

The choices of selection on the parents stock is based solely on the breeder's hypothesis and belief.  This will make a breeder different from the others breeders and production of quality fighters. The male has to be a winner of the tough fighting ring. On the female lines the breeders favor to get from the family that has very good heart and the male has good winning record.

On the regular fighter, breeder simply gets the fighters that have been fought in the fighting ring, no matter if it's a winner or a loser. Or he may get it from what he has in his stock to breed for a large quantity. The breeder may combine many families and put them together in one large tank. Some breeders may sell his non-qualified selective fighters the same as the regular quality. In this case sometimes we might find that some regular fighter can beat the best selective fighter.

  II.      Keeping and rearing the fighter: The method of raising selective fighter different from the regular fighter in the various ways.



Regular fighter 

Selective fighter



Dry feed, Betta pallet as many as they can get


Live food only: Water flea, Mosquito Larvae, Blood worm. Termite, shell meat, fresh fish meat or boiled fish meat, strictly diet.


Water condition

Change water every week or every day pH value Neutral

Remove the filthy object and adding new water every two or three month ,  pH value high




4 - 6 month

7 - 12 month

Parents stock


Any fighter in the fighting ring 

The best winner in the fighting ring

Tank population


May comprised many families in the same big tank 4 * 4 square meters. Possibly 5000 fishes per tank.

About 200 fishes in 2 square meters and keep one family per tank.



Medium to large

Small to medium


Appropriate marketing size.


When the fish is tested to be good enough


III.  Selecting fighter method: Not all the best parents’ stock produce the best fighters.  But using the best parents stock is a prescription of breeding the best fighters. The performance of the best fighter is also depending on its age. Some families show theirs fighting talent when they are just 5 month.  Some families are best between 7 - 8 months and some families even best after 12 months.  The work of the breeder is to find the period of fighter’s talent by sampling each family to fight to the other family. Many breeders take their fighters to test with other fighters. We call this as in-house testing or testing the fighter quality amongst the group. The purpose of testing is to see its potential fighting skill. The serious breeder would take his in-house winner to fight in the fighting ring or to compete with the other fighters.

Normally the breeder would test each family for three to five times if it is not good enough he will sell this family as a pet shop quality or he might wait for few months to test it again. Few breeders never test theirs fighters and do not participate in the fighting ring. They are only concentrating and focusing on breeding and raising the good stocks. However they do distribute their samples of each batch to the hard core players for testing. If these hard core come back to buy that family that means it's a good fighter. Because these hard core players are the best testers of the fighter.

Selecting Desired Fighter Attributes


The following are the selection attributes of Plakat Thai that the breeder focusing on. (There is no significant sequence of the list).

The following are desired attributes of the Plakat Thai that the breeder focus on. (There is no significant order to the list.)

  • Fighting Style
  • Sharp Bite (or mouth)
  • Fight Endurance
  • Tough Scales
  • Size

Each breeder has attributes that he prefers, or places more importance on than the others. It is very fascinating to me, to discuss different fighting styles and attributes. I hope it is also fascinating to the reader, as it is not intended to be offensive to anyone. No matter what technique is used to breed the fish, it is obvious that selective breeding over the passage of time has given the Siamese fighting-fish unique fighting skills. Even more amazing is that the Siamese fighting-fish has a certain pattern of fighting. Some fish randomly hit an enemy, while others may only hit a single targeted position or a fixed two or three positions at a time. Below is a picture of the attack positions that can generally be observed.

Five attributes of the best fighter


Fighter uses its present conditions and its instinct bloodlines to battle it out an opponent. If a few sample in that family have unique fighting style and fighting habit. We can also assume that the rest of the fighters in that family will fight in the very same way. Once both fighter are dropped in the fighting jar. It will use all its pre-program instinct and it health conditions together to fight its opponent.

The following are the attributes that each fighter has to have in order to winning the game.

  • Stami
  • Tough scale
  • Fighting style
  • Sharp teeth
  • Perfect body structure

An ideal fighter is a fighter that has full degree of all these five qualities altogether and using them in his battle. But quality is something concerning to the subjective and opinion. In the top conditions, all selective fighters possess all these five qualities but the degree of each quality may vary on its bloodlines and its present conditions. For example, the regular fighter or pet shop quality fighter may have very good structure form or has even very sharp teeth and 100 percent stamina heart but its meat and scale not tough and has very basic fighting styles habit, this is come from keeping and rearing of the breeder. So it could easily beat by the better fighting skill and tougher scale fighter. The selective fighter should possess each of these five qualities above 50 percent by average. And it should have one or two distinguished qualities such as tough scale and sharp teeth showing in the fighting performance. But how to determine the percentage on each quality is also a problem. Since there is no set of standard to measure each quality. Each score judgment is based solely on the opinion of the breeder or the selector. The serious breeders often do setting the high standard quality on his fighter. This is why good fighter always obtained from the serious breeder or selector. However, some serious breeders do not want to score theirs’ fighters. Because they knows the true nature of the fighter that the good fighter is a creature under the law of change or law of uncertainty and we can not cultivate or train the fighter to fight better than it bloodlines so it will fight according to its families' habit. Its fighting style expressed by it bloodlines but not controllable by human training program.  As long as we can not decode the fighter bloodlines gene we also can not predict its fighting quality. And this is so exciting in this game.

The following are the rough discussion on its fighting quality.

Stamina: Stamina means the fighter willing to fight until he has no energy and he never runaway. Some said this fighter is willing to fight until die. In the past Thai fighting fish possess this quality fully. I remember that the fish can fight 6 hours and none swim away. When we leave it to the next day morning they were still fight. In the present time, all breeders often introduce new import bloodlines from Vietnam or Malaysia into theirs breeding pool. So its main streamlines had lost it stamina’s nature. By exchange with the stamina habit, they can develop very good structure form, very tough skin and very sharp teeth in return. But what they have paid for is the stamina habit of theirs’ fighter. The fighting period is shrunken from four hours to two or three hours and one of them usually runaway or stop to fight. The fighting regulation has been developed to help the player acquire the result faster. The breeder concentrate on the tough scale, sharp teeth and attacking position, which was in turn the breeder dismiss a stamina habit of the fighter. So the tough heart was intervened by those qualities. The decline on the stamina’s quality of the fighter may meet the requirement of the present time players. Since people have no time to stay with theirs fighter too long. We can know the stamina of the fighter only went we fight it with the good quality fighter and it not runaway even he got injured badly. Today the tough heart is a must quality; it is call for an ideal fighter for the professional player. Because it ensures him that even his fighter is mess up of wound, it will not runaway. The worst case on the fighting situation is draw and the very rare case is lost. In case an opponent’s heart not so tough, a stamina habit is an importance factor to winning the game. There are a lot of matches that an advantage fighter simply runaway when he can not knock down its opponent.

Tough scale: The scale of the fighter considered as its shield.  Small he is injured, small he hurt, more he can attack its opponent. An emergence on the tough scale fighter in Thailand should give credits to Malaysian fighter.  Thirty years ago (1977) there was a group of player fly from Malaysia to fight the fish in various fighting rings in Bangkok. Theirs' fish were extremely dark, swim very fast and has very tough scale, round form type and small size. They carry only five fighters and won most of all matches. The only reason they won all was the Malaysian fighter has very tough scale and Thai fighter can not break its scale. This period of time Malaysian fighter has entertained winning and captured all over Thai fighting ring. Many Thais players import Malaysian fighters to fight for the big bet and share the fighters among their group of friend, and the price is pretty high. The male of those fighters became stud of the next generation of Thai tough scale fighter. Many sellers claim theirs fighters were import from Malaysia, but actually they were not. In this recent years, the Vietnamese fighter also contributing its tough scale and big body structure to Thais breeder gene pool. Right now Thais fighters are mixed up various bloodlines and hard to indicate whether the main bloodlines are Malaysian, Vietnam or Thai.

The tough scale fighter mean, the scale of the fighter does not easy break even he was attacked many times. Actually, using the term "tough scale" is misleading. Because scales are laid on the meat and the meat hold the scale. So it should be said the good quality of meat that holds the scale.  So we should call thick skin, good muscle rather than tough scale. So far for easy understanding and conventional language usage I will use tough scale for the meaning the "the fighter not easily get injured".

There are 3 variables for the tough scale, they are bloodlines, age and cultivation method. The best selective fighter must have these three variables. That the breeder does selects the parents from the toughest skin fighter, he also raising the fighter for the appropriate age with diet the fighter in an appropriate control program.

Fighting style: Fighting style means an intellectual of the fighter to winning the fighting game. So if the fighting style derived from the bloodlines an intellectual of the fighter should also developed from its bloodlines. There are two levels of the fighting styles, the basic fighting style (level 1) and an intellectual fighting style (level 2). The basic fighting style derived from its bloodlines. The fighter use his basic fighting technique that driven from its bloodlines. He will use this basic fighting technique if the fighting situation is normal or an opponent has far difference quality. Some fighter would apply to level 2 techniques if he faced the situation that an opponent is the tough and hard to beat. The fighter that is able to learn from its opponent and adapt its fighting technique according to an opponent fighting style is considered to be the superior fighter. An example of this type fighter is, he seems to be the loser in the first hour but he can recover the game and turn to be the winner in the second hour. The player calls this type of fighter "money fighter" because he can take challenge bet at disadvantage side. That is he bet smaller sum but earn larger sum of money when his fighter win the game.

There are two cases that the fighter can win the game by using the fighting technique.

  • The quality of the fighters is far differences so the winner can easily beat an opponent only level 1. Some fighter has basic fighting technique in which an opponent hardly to fight back, for example, the fighter that always stay in touch and attacking from behind. This situation is very hard to resolve.
  • The loser was attacked at the weak point. Each fighter has its own weak point. One family may has weak point at mouth. Another family may has weak point at tail and so on. Some very good fighter can be easily lost, if he can not recover the game. On the other hand, an intellectual fighter can find the weak point of its opponent. He will concentrate and hit only that part more and more until an opponent can not stand by. A fighter knows the weak point when his attack effective, his opponent show its weakness once that part is attacked.

Sharp teeth: There are two types of teeth, short teeth and long teeth. Short teeth may slowly penetrate an opponent in the second hour and generally it is aging fighter, 8 to 12 month. Whereas the long teeth can penetrate an opponent in the beginning and most of them are young fighter. (I say "most of them" because some aging fighter has long teeth). Short teeth and long teeth, often make the players confusing, especially inexperienced players. They always think that long teeth are the best fighter because it can penetrate an opponent in the early stage of fighting. But sometime this kind of fighter will stop to fight in the second hour because they are young. Whereas the professional players favor short teeth because they know that this kind of fighter is doing well in the late hour of fighting. Its muscle is more mature and more strength though it may fight slows, but it punch is more accurate and preserve its energy. So it can stand to fight longer and pay back to the young fighter in the later hours. Short teeth and long teeth have something to discuss more. The professional player knows how to match and wining the game. We often found that the long teeth can be changed to be no teeth (can not hurt enemy as it used to be). 

Perfect body structure: Unlike other qualities, a body structure is a physical existence that you can see, observe and learn from its presentation. Most of the professional players consider the body structure is the first priority. The structure form is a primary advantage in matching and fighting. That is to say you are in the winning position even before put the fighter in the fighting bottle. In the animal kingdom a bigger and the one who has balance physical structure always take an advantage over the smaller and un-balance body structure. This is why most of the players try to match theirs fighter bigger than theirs opponent all the time. In the fighting fish view, a better body structure implies the fighter can stand to fight longer, and who can stand to fighter longer is the winner. For me the perfect body structure is the super-set of all qualities, it is supportive to other qualities.  A fighter does attack harder and more effective. Fin also has its own importance role on supporting the body structure. A fighter has badly torn fin inferred that he is a weaker and coward in the crowd. In an animal kingdom the loser is always a loser. So no matter the fighter has long fin type or short fin type. Its fin should be complete or minimal torn.

Structure form type


This section we will focus on the structure form of the fighter in practical way. If we define the best fighter is "the family of the fighter that won many matches in the professional fighting ring". In fact, the best fighter may come in any body structure form. Also in the practical being we hardly to make clear cut difference of one fighter's structure form from another. I can describe the fighter in the real matching in the fighting ring like this: Thick as Anabas form type, long as Channa form type and mouth has good curve as Chitala form type. Also one structure form may not always imply an advantage in winning position over the other structure form. Though the structure form really has a very significance factors of winning and losing the game, but other factors also should not dismissed.

  • A matching advantage (which one is bigger). The bigger always has a very high percentage of winning the game. And this is the rule of thumb of hard core players.
  • In the peak condition of the fighter. Once a fighter is in the top conditions it will express all five attributes that has been discussed above in all extreme degrees. And this is the warrior that hardcore player dream for.
  • Knowing an opponent’s weaker. This is a line divided of an amateur and professional.

Because other attributes are not visible. One can see the difference only when they are fighting but that is too late to help you winning the game. The physical structure is something we can see and pre-evaluate of your fighter and your addressed opponent. It can guide you some idea of the game.

In the practical matching the fighter can grouped into three structures: Excellence body structure, moderate body structure and poor body structure.

Excellence body structure

Description: It has a round form and thick body structure. By over all looking it has a very balance structure, from mouth tip lead the good curve with head and shoulder to the tail. Tail fin and anal fin balance with the body structure, which is not too big or not too short. It’s moving manner slow, confident and smart.

Fighting style: Fast and offensive, target position very accurate on mouth, stomach (pectoral fin) and tail. If this fighter has sharp teeth, it can easily win the game.

Note: Though this fighter has perfect structure form. But it may lose because of has no tough skin, lose its stamina and no sharp teeth.

Moderate body structure

Description: Its structure looks similar to an above form type. But by over all looking the body look flat and slim. So it shoulder also smaller than the round form type. Many new comers can not distinguished this difference and allow it to be the same size. But in fact the round form type has a bigger shoulder. Its flat body structure often misleading the new comer and always earning the smaller size when matching with the round form type. This is one weak point of side matching, but fair in above matching.

Fighting style: Usually this structure form has long fin, its fighting and swimming very fast. So a fighter has both defensive and offensive.  Targeting mostly on tail and cover gill. This fighter does very well in the first hour. But if an opponent does not knocked down in the first hour. The second hour he may slow down or quit to fight. Its physical slim can not standby for a long term fight in other word, it is lack of resistance.

Note: A problem of slim structure is the fighter might not stand to fight longer than 2 hours if it matched with the bigger fighter. So the winning chance is fast and hit an opponent at the very crucial positions, such as mouth and pectoral fin. That make opponent can not fight and lose control.

Poor body structure

Description: Any part of a body structure that looks extreme and not balances to overall fighter’s structure considered as a poor structure. For example, a fish that has too short body, too long body and even too big head. However having too long body is better than too short body. Most of the short body structure has a deformation at the bone of the tail (Caudal Peduncle). This make it can not swim fast that mean it would be fight slow and be defender. Some fighters may defend by heading forward. This made him even more worst situation and considered as a stupid fighter. Some fighter has curly bone at caudal peduncle that causes the fighter difficult to side turn or go forward.

Fighting style: Because he can not move fast, the fighting style of this fighter is counter attack. And because of short body structure type has a big head each punch like a hit of hammer, and the counter attack create a double power. Each punches so powerful and may create a very serious injured on an opponent’s mouth. Though this type of fighter may defensive and slows but its attack very effective. A winning chance is, it can break enemies' mouth before enemy can hurt him. It is often can be found that this fighter being in the winning position only one or two hard punch at mouth. To beat this type of fighter is to find the fast fighter targeting hard at its pectoral fin, that make it lost control.

Note: This structure type often came from inbreed and has very tough scale and tough heart. Indeed the fighter may look very terrible. But actually it has a deformed structure.

First upload 22/04/2006

On the problem of change


An eastern philosophy believes that changing is common and lay underneath of all object and creature in the world. The term of "change" in fighting fish mean "un-stability quality of the fighter". For the fighting fish, changing has its role in every parts of the game. Changing can happen into two directions. One, the fighter is changing in the positive way. Two, the fighter is changing to the negative way.  The problem of changing in the fighting quality is known and accepted to all professional players.  There is no problem on changing of the fighter from the weaker state to the strengthen state. But the player often damned his fighter when he found that his fighter is upside down changed from what he has just seen yesterday. An average life span of the fighter is about 2 years. So its’ changing factors are vary and sensitive more than human can feel. It can happen just over night without any showing sign.

The study of change in fighting fish based on the observation of the professional player over his fighter.  A fighter was sold when it was in top condition but when the time is passed by one or two weeks the fighter was changed to the weaken state. The topic of changing in fighting fish is very importance that we can not dismiss.

An affect on changing.


The degradation in fighting fish quality can be considered to be both negative and positive ways. It is negative way when we consider it as an individual. Most players consider changing in the very negative way because it makes him lose money. Thinking changing as a positive way, if we consider the problem of degradation in the large scope we can see that fighting fish is also under "the universal law of changing" it is a very normal and actually it is the great force to moving the fighting fish activity along the other social activities, this is a holistic thinking.

  • Degradation sharing the chance of winning and losing, so there is no champion in the fighting fish game. The family of "xxx 11" may win 20 matches continuously but after 26 -100 matches the player found that the percentage of winning only 30 percent. The player infers that family "xxx11" is under degradation state. His losing means the winning of an opponent or others. The fighting fish game would come to the end if one player never loses. So it is not a monopoly game.
  • Degradation increasing the good fighting fish population. From above fact the player keeps searching the new family, new breeder, new source and new region of the fighter. So the fighting fish spreading from one place to other place. Some players try to control his fighter quality by supply the good bloodlines fighters to his breeder. Because he want to make sure that his fighter has a good age and under his supervising.
  • Degradation makes the breeder and seller more serious to select the fighter. To try to avoid degradation breeder has to control on feeding, age and test the fighter until he is sure on his fighter quality. However, realizing on an uncertain of the fighter quality many breeders limit themselves as a purely breeder doing only keeping and rearing the fighter and let the buyer or seller responsible for testing the fighter and made judgments on the quality of the fighter by themselves.
  • Degradation makes the game more fun. Because the player never know when his fighter is in the weaker state. It is happen many times that the professional player loses all matches badly in one day.

An expression of the fighter in changing state.


It is hard to believe that the best fighter that just won a big match yesterday has changed to be the weak state and lost badly today. Most of the degradation fighter does not show any sign of its weakness. However, we can observe the fighter expression indicate that he might degrade in the following:

  • A fighter has shows the mental weakness. He is not sensitive and sometime scares the strange object such as black pen tip. In which he used to be very aggressive toward the pen tip when pointing around him.
  • A top condition fighter should swim around in a relaxation manner; its fin should spread in an alert and readiness.  He should very sensitive to any object moving around him. If a fighter stays in one place its moving character seem not a natural way we may assume also that he is in an illness state.
  • A fighter does not build or build the bubble nest only one layer, also the bubble nest seem very easy to break. The top condition fighter should build the bubble nest in a very solid group and consistence. However, some fighters has show sensitive and very alert manner. But he is already in the weak state.
  • The fighter slow down its aggressiveness. He just swims around and do not show much reaction with any stimulator such as white board pen tip or your finger that you are moving around.

These four guidelines are just basic and simple expression of degrade fighter. Some fighter still fighting very good even though he does not even build the bubble nest and some even express some coward. 

The changing status.


So far the research on changing in fighting quality is just an opinion of the player. There is no scientific explanation on this subject matter.  There are four states of changing in the fighting fish quality.

  • The basic changing of fighting fish quality. The changing may happen from time to time. That is the fighter growing from small to bigger. For other type of fish such as gold fish or guppy, we may interest only color and body form. But the fighting fish is difference each family may develop teeth, fighting style, attack position, scale toughness, heart toughness, defensive and offensive technique in the difference age. Some family good when it age only 6 month. Some family is bad in 6 month but good in 10 month, etc.
  • The rising of the fighting quality.  Fighting fish can change from normal state to be the better state. Once it is in the top fighting state, the fighter would have very good teeth, scale very tough and fighting like a warrior.
  • The degrading of the fighting fish quality. Fighting fish also can change from top fighter to be simple fighter. It is still hard to explain why the same batch of fighter can be changed from top to bottom just only a week.
  • A change of fighting style. This is also in the category of changed even though the fighter still fighting very good. A change of fighting style is, for example, this batch should fight tail more and some what on face.  But when the fighter change his fighting style he may targeting only mouth and cover gill.  However, it is also depending on an opponent fighting style. The fighter has to use his intelligence to counteract to his opponent. So his fighting style would be changed accordingly.

The factors of change.


Knowing the factors of change in the fighter is so importance. Because it can helps us to be more cautious, concentrate and pay attention more to the fighter. But some factors can not be controlled,

There are six known factors of change impacted to the fighter. 

Weather change. The fighter often found to be changed when the weather is changing. The changed can be happened just over night. For example, the present time is rainy season the fighter possess the very good fighting skill but then the weather has changed to be hot weather after 2 days. Then the fighters in the same batch would be slow down. On the other hand the fighter might change oppositely if previously he was not a good fighter.

Changing age. The fighter could change the fighting style according to its growing age. For example, the fighter may attack very hard on tail when its age is 7 month. But when he is 9 month the attacking target would change to cover gill or mouth and remain attacking the tail a few. The young fighter often attack at tail and cover gill. Whereas an aging fighter often attack mouth and neck.

Immediate changed environment. Some fighter change its fighting style when he moved to another region. For example, the moderate quality fighter from middle part of Thailand move to Southern part. Or southern part fighter move to northern or middle part of The country. In the modern time the fighter easily fly across one country to another continent. The stress during transportation and difference water condition are the main causes of changes. This can be easily solved by rest the fighter 5 days to let him get acquainted with the new environment.

Difference training. Good fighter in the hand of different trainer may produce the different fighting quality.  The good trainer would promote the fighter quality, but non-experience or non-serious trainer may simply produce the standard quality of that batch or even spoil the best fighter. There is no fixed training method promotes the fighter to be the good fighter. Training method should apply according to the fighter structure, age and experiences of the trainer.

Bad keeping. This factor no needs to explain in detail. If the player does not know how to keep his fighter in the good condition. The fighter would not show its talent which mean that it degrades itself. Many breeder refuse to sell non serious player because of this reason. When the player loses the game he may tell other that this breeder not supplies the good fighter.

Unknown factor. Some batch of fighter just simply temporary change and turn back the good fighter after it’s degradation about a week. Exchange information among the players can follow up the quality of the fighter.

Age as an unavoidable factor of change.

Age is one of the most importance factors on changing in the fighting fish. It is a law of nature and out of human control.  As have been said change in the fighting fish could be either upgrade and degrade. Fighter age is related directly to its changing fighting ability and style of fighting.

The changing of fighting style from the factor of age may group into 5 areas. 

  • Fighting style
  • Attacking position
  • Sharp teeth
  • Stamina
  • Scale

The comparative table below gives some rough picture on changing the fighter according to its age. This table is based on my personal experiences and a discussion with the professional players. 

Age style Attacking Sharp teeth Stamina Scale
4 – 6 Very fast  Not - accurate Very sharp Not good Not tough
7 – 8 Fast Accurate Most Moderate Moderate
9 – 11 Slightly slow Very accurate Moderate Most Very tough
12---- Slow Very accurate Not good Most Moderate

 A table above considered being very consistency when we compare the fighting fish with other animal or even ourselves.  An animal young age (4 - 6 month) always alert and fast but lack of fighting technique and experiences, scale and meat also not full mature grow. The aging fighter seems to possess of the real fighter quality.  Only the weak point of this fighter is its fighting style slow and preferred t o be more defensive.  The fighter age 12 month considered being old fighter.  We may find out that the most appropriate age of the fighter is 7 - 8 month which is the full mature of all development and it is a middle range between the young and old fighter. However on the other hand this age is a crucial transformation age.  We often found that the fighter easily change to degrading and upgrading on this age.  So we may conclude that all age of the fighter has it own positive and negative point. 

The fighter quality related on its age.


There are three period of the fighter life that the breeder having them to fight in the ring.

Age 4 - 6 months.

Presentation: The general physical presentation in this age is, the size is small to medium, there are few considered big size. A fish has small face and the neck not thick. The lower lip neat and slim, the fish’s scale bright and meat look soft and elastic. The scale is shiny bright and very active. Some family very good fighting in this age, the fighter is extremely fast and some family has very sharp teeth. The breeder may select medium or larger size of its batch to test with other family to see the potential fighting quality. The good fighter in the younger age often is the good fighter when it is older. But it may temporally degrade. So the player change to play other family and come back to check the quality of this family again. The only point is the breeder has to find the most suitable prime period of the fighter. The reader may ask, how this fighter could win if the meat and scale not so tough. The answer is the fast attack of the young fighter can prevent itself and also the sharpness of its teeth can hurt an opponent to hardly to pay back. On the other hand the weak side of this age is the soft mouth and the heart not so tough.  I found that if the fighter cannot beat an opponent within one hour. It would be very difficult for him to win the game. Another weak point is its punching is not so accurate. And the most weakness of this age of the fighter is if the older fighter can break the younger mouth first then the young one is hardly to win. There are many cases that the younger fish hit the older fighter injure badly in the first hour, since he is faster. On the other hand an aging fighter can chew of the mouth of the younger just only 2 or 3 times and this could affect to stop the younger. So the mouth hitter can win the young fighter in the long run. The serious player always rely on the aging fighter. Usually the serious breeder use this age of fighter just want to see expected potential fighting style that may bear in the near future. For the hard core player this age of fighter are used in the short period of time. He knows that it is only one stage of a transformations age of the fighter.

Fighting style: The young fighter is usually fast and doing very good in the first hour. The performance is more offensive and very keen to fight. However, some family in the young age of 4 - 6 months does not have this unique fighting style.  So it may hit various part of an opponent and cannot make the serious wound to its opponent. If this age of fighter match with the older age he may look good in the beginning because he fight very fast.  But since he has soft mouth if the older age fighter attacks the mouth hard the younger fighter may not keep longer fight or sometime no more energy to finalize the game. Most of the young fish often like to attack tail and gill.

Attacking position: Most of the young fighter does attack an opponent randomly. So it has no serious injured to its enemy. In the first hour it may fight very aggressive and look more advantage. But in the later hour a young fighter has used most of its energy so it obviously slowdown once the aging fighter pay back and make him hurt. The main area of young fighter attacking is cover gill, tail and body trunk.

Sharp teeth: Young fighter has sharp teeth and easily penetrates an opponent skin in the first hour. If an opponent is also relatively young and if it can over take the fighting style of its opponent. It will win very nice. However if an opponent is an older age and also the good fighter, the winning seem hard to happen.

Stamina:  Young fighters often not stand to fight to an end of the game.  It would runaway after the second hour. Some fighter even beat an opponent before it runaway. In the animal kingdom an older age always show it superior power over the younger one. One can see this in the dog behavior. And also the strength of muscle of the young fighter is not full mature, so the fish feel more pain than aging fighter.

Scale: The young fighter the scale not so tough.  The good point of the young fighter is fast and sharp bite.  These two essential qualities make the young fighter often win the game. The fast movement can prevent itself from counter attack. And sharp bite can hurt an opponent before its opponent pay back.

The good point of this age is the fighter extremely easy to dealing and training. The fighter is very adaptive and aggressive. Some families are hypo -aggressive and attacking the glass all the time. The soft training is sufficient and conditioning in dry Indian almond leaf 5 days should be enough. 

Age 7 - 8 month:

Presentation: The general physical presentation is middle range. The meat and scale are not so rough. Mouth and the swimming fin are not so thick. Head neck and trunk are balance and good shape. Most of the breeder and player like this age of the fighter, the fighting qualities seem to be ready in this age. The meat and scale has matured developed. The size is medium that easy to find the match. The fish is active and very easy to training and keeping. The fighter is still keep the fast speed of fighting. The negative part of this age is the fighter may change its fighting quality within 2 weeks or in short the fighting quality not so reliable. Though some family may not change it fighting style until the last fish in the batch. There are many breeders insisting that if this family fights well in the age of 7 month.  This batch could be dropped down in an age of 8 month. And it would turn to be good fighter again in an age of 10 month.  So some breeder just play the fighter 7 month age and stop awhile when they found that they are drop down. Then retest again when theirs age is around 9 month.

Fighting style: The fighter performance is slow in the beginning. It might have warm fight about 15 minutes. During this period of time a fighter would play defensive for learning an opponent fighting strategy. The real fight will begin after 20 minutes or 30 minutes. A fighter targeting an opponent quite accurate and precise but the wound still spread over. Attacking parts are often presenting 2 or 3 areas such as gill and tail. This age of fighter keep constant fighting speed until to an end of the game. Unlike 4-6 month and 10 month up age of the fighter, it often quit or slow down to fight after one and an half hour.

Attack position: An attack position of this age depending on bloodlines of that family. However I found that it often attacking two positions such as gill/tail or mouth/tail. One may find also that an attack position may changed when it age was 6 month. Attacking two positions is an ideal fighter that the winner always has. We often found that an opponent injured only one part is hardly to lose. For example, if it injured only on mouth it still can swim and open the cover gill (if you use the open gill regulation). Some fighter hurt only the tail still can swim and open the cover gill. However, the stomach is the particular place that if a fighter is hurt too much may finally lose, since he can not move and taking breath.

Sharp teeth: The teeth of this age moderate and may not immediate penetrate an opponent in the first few minutes but it will do well after 30 minutes some can see the result after 60 minutes in which the fighter can dig harder and deeper. However some family has very sharp teeth and can win the match in a very few minutes.

Stamina: The fighter of this age is often possessing very good stamina heart. Most of them fight until no energy to move then keep on the surface of water. So the winner is the one that has more energy to chasing another. And this is concern directly to the method of keeping and training of the player.

Scale: The scale of this age is moderate tough and flexible because of mature of meat and muscle. If the fish is kept in the very good condition it will produce a lot of mucus coated over its entire body. The mucus would strengthen the scale more harder and not easily break. This is the reason why the fighter should be kept in the light dry Indian almond leaf all the time. The leaf condition the water a bit acid which makes the scale of the fighter flexible and adaptive.

Conditioning this age of fighter is the most importance. Because the fighter of this age often have big size and fat. The conditioning period should be longer say 7 - 15 days. This is to slim down the fighter and makes him more flexible. If conditioning too short the training would very hard and the fighter may not express it aggressiveness. Feeding period is doing only 1 time for 3 days. However some families are already good shape and good condition from its tank. In this case conditioning and training is doing in the moderate way.

Age 9 - 12 month.

Presentation: The scale and meat look rough, mouth thick both upper and lower lips. The lower lip has out growth triangle shape. The upper lips shorter than the lower lips when look by side. Head and shoulder look thick and the body is looking short and compact.

Some players said that this age of the fighter quite old. The teeth not so sharp and fighting speed even rather slow. Since they are aging they can stop fighting in the second hour. If an opponent is more active he could lost at the end of the game. If the fish do not keeping in the good condition the scale easily break.  They are arguing also that most of the fighter in this age are too big and look scary so they are hard to get match and most of all this age is very hard to train.  However, some players like this age of the fighter. They said that this age of fighter has tough scale and very good heart. The teeth may not very sharp but it can slowly penetrate an opponent’s scale in the second hour of fighting.  The only point is we need to know how to keeping and rearing this fighter and most important is that, this age of fighter once in the top form it is hard any one to beat him. This age of fighter hardly to be down. And the most important is the fighter has very strong mouth.

Fighting style: The fighter is more defensive and slow in this age. The fighter does targeting an opponent very accurate and paying very close intension to opponent. It seems also that he is slow and idiot. However each of his attacking is effective. Most family is concentrating on mouth and gill edge and it do not afraid the mouth lock.

Attack position: An aging fighter mostly concentrating on mouth and stomach. The fighter will attacking and irritated the same position until injured the big wound.

Sharp teeth: The professional call this age of fighter "short teeth". Since it can breaks an opponent stomach after 60 minutes of fight. Unlike a young age that can breaks an opponent scale in the first 15 minutes of fight this is we call "long teeth". Most professional holding this age of fighter because he know how to dealing with this type of fighter.

Stamina: This age is a most tough heart. It often won the game only by a stamina factor. When a young use too much energy and become exhausted. Then this fighter would take this chance to finish the game.

Scale: Not all aging fighter has tough scale. In fact scale of aging fighter is easily broken if it is treated in the bad way. Its meat and muscle is not flexible as good as the young fighter, and swim slower. This fighter often loses to the young fighter on the speed of fighting and sharp teeth factors.

A problem of aging fighter is that it hard to deal and train. The aging fighter is good for someone who knows how to keep and deal but not for every one, especially an amateur may feel annoyed and upset on the way of this fighter fight. Since the fighter has a big bone so it should condition about 2 weeks and feeding very appropriate amount. The training should provide longer say 8- 10 days. There are two reasons why the age of fighter 9 - 12 month still available if they worth to keep or why the breeder wait until then. First; it is a breeder policy that he will not sell the fighter if the fighter not in his setup age. Since he believe that only an aging fighter is good for the tough ring. Secondly; this aging fighter has been using when it was young but has been degraded. Breeder then decided to keep it to see when it back to be the good fighter again. As a player we believe that the batch that has been good before will turn back to be the good fighter again.

The following table and chart can give you some picture on the fighting quality on each age of the fighter. (The score in the table come from my personal estimation)

From a chart tell us that an average age of the good fighter is around 7 - 8 month.  When we define the good fighter we mean the fighter should possess the good attribute together in all aspects. However, one can find also that an age of 7- 8 month is also a critical age since it is a changing period between young fighters and aging fighter. One can find also that the fighter can degrade and upgrade within a week. And this is one of the most headache topics in the fighting fish society.

Another interesting also is in 9 - 11 month age of the fighter. We can see that the fighting attribute is vary we often found that the best fighter and the worst fighter can be found at this age.

What shall we do with changed fighter


A changed fighter either upgrading or degrading should be quickly moved.  For the upgrading the trainer should take him to fight. Some player even train the fighter at once he get the fighter from the pond, and not even condition in dry Indian almond leaf for 7 days as we usually do, we call ‘fresh training’. Because he afraid that if he keeping the fighter in dry almond leaf about 7 days and training for 7 days the fighter may already degrading or not as good as the day he saw the fighter fight in the ring. However, there are two things one should take it for serious reconsideration. One, the meat and scale of the fighter if not condition in dry almond leaf water would not firm and loose. Since the seven days separation diet, and a bitter astringent Dry Indian almond leaf would make the fighter scale neat and tough. Two, the fighter still not in the mutual independently adaptation to the new environment in Thai word call "homesick". So he may easily runaway after fight only 10 minutes, something like it play-fight in the tank among his brother. So the player should very careful and very sure what he is doing. 

For the degrade fighter, the player will keep individually in earthenware jar size around 5 liters or larger depending on an availability space. For the breeder, he may keep the batch a while and test again next few weeks. If it is still not good he may sell the whole batch as a pet store quality.

You come I'm so please, I'm regret when you leave.

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