Takraw in Thailand: hacky sack + volleyball = amazing

Part of the fun in exploring other cultures is getting into their off-beat sports. Brazil’s Capoeira, for example, is a strange combination of dancing, fighting, spinning in circles and working out.

In Southeast Asia, the unique sport of choice is Sepak Takraw. Positioned on either side of a low net, two to three team members kick a wicker ball between them, ultimately bouncing the projectile over a net to the other team. Like volleyball, the sport has sets, spikes and a great deal of strategy, but the real finesse comes in striking the ball hard over the net. It takes amazing balance, a good jump and a near back flip to make a good play, the end result of which is an outstanding, acrobatic display. Take a look: