In the famously lawless Golden Triangle of Burma, Laos, and Northern Thailand, Thai Army Lieutenant, retired boxer, and fight promoter Jawee Sukantha raises a band of orphaned boys as professional fighters. These kids often come from the so called "Hilltribe" villages, the final, dirt poor remnants of cultures displaced in antiquity by the arrival of the Thai people. Calling upon a historic animosity between the rival kingdoms of Burma and Siam, Jawee stokes nationalistic pride in Muay Thai and Thai culture by invoking the rite of "Kaad Chiek" boxing, in which a fighter's hands are protected not by gloves, but by a simple bit of torn cloth.
The men who answer Sukantha's call to these bloody, dangerous fights are not so different from the hilltribe boys who emulate them, separated only by a span of time. Once caught up in the intoxicating world of professional fighting, these men lose sight of their lives beyond the ring and, pushed from the spotlight by younger generations find a bleak prospect; underpaid unskilled labor, or a return to the ring, to fight with their people's old enemy, the Burmese boxers.
It is left up to each boy either to follow the glory of the warrior or seek a more secure life by leaving the fight game behind.