What is Muay Thai? The ultimate guide to Muay Thai


Nov 08, 2023


Phraya Phichai’s leadership and success in battles against the Burmese made him a symbol of resistance and hope for the Thai people. Muay Boran was the old term used to refer to martial arts in Thailand. In Muay Thai history, there were multiple disciplines that fit under the Muay Boran term. The primary Muay Boran styles, in Muay Thai history, are Muay Lopburi, Muay Korat, Muay Chaiya, plus the weapon system known as Krabi Krabong. The first mention of martial arts developing in the region now named Thailand comes from 600 AD.

  • The first and fifth rounds fall into the category of the “unspoken rules” in a Muay Thai contest and form a part of the unique way that a fight is scored.
  • Generally speaking, kickboxers focus more on footwork and punches while Muay Thai fighters focus on all weapons along with clinching with an emphasis on kicks which score more.
  • With roots that stretch back through centuries of tradition and evolution.
  • The length of fights differ between promotions but many female fights are timed the same as the male fights.
  • Similar to the Pra Jiad, the Mongkon carries religious significance and is believed to offer protection and blessings.
  • However, it has also been turned into a standalone competition discipline, with athletes performing the wai kru ritual and being judged for it.

Even if your opponent sees the strike coming and has their guard in place, this may not be enough to stop you from breaking through their defense and causing them trouble. As the most direct knee strike in Muay Thai, the straight knee is likely the first that you will learn. Usually targeted at the opponent’s torso, the straight knee can be landed from inside or outside the clinch and directed at the chest area beneath the breastbone. Make no mistake, if you land this strike, it will not go unrecognized by your opponent. This type of push kick is an excellent way to counter an opponent that approaches recklessly, as it can give them a nasty surprise on the way into range. In order to pull off this kick, a fighter must have tremendous balance, technical ability, and excellent flexibility.

Most importantly, giving your best during every training is the way for progress. In short, show up and train as regularly and frequently as you can. Today, Muay Thai is practised and competed not only in Thailand, but also all around the world. Before you join a gym, it’s good to have a base level of fitness. They host 3 fight nights per week and the Lumpinee champion belt is the highest accolade a Thai boxer can achieve. Muay Thai is now popular across the globe with numerous organisations running national and international competitions that are screened to millions of fans.

The knees, however, are an integral part of the “Art of Eight Limbs,” and contribute to the comprehensive fighting system of the most refined striking discipline known to man. Like all sports, Muay Thai competitions are governed by a strict set of rules and regulations. They are put in place and appropriated by officials and the referee to ensure the safety of the fighters as well as the fairness of the competition without any bias.

muay thai

The mongkhon, or mongkol (headband), and pra jiad (armbands) are often worn into the ring before the match begins. Young men would tear off pieces of a loved one’s clothing (often a mother’s sarong) and wear it in battle for good luck as well as to ward off harmful spirits. In modern times, the mongkol (lit. “holy spirit”, “luck”, “protection”) is worn as a tribute to the fighter’s gym. The mongkol is traditionally presented by a trainer to the fighter when he judges that the fighter is ready to represent the gym in the ring. Often, after the fighter has finished the wai kru, the trainer will take the mongkol off his head and place it in his corner of the ring for luck.

Early in the match it seemed the fighter from France was too strong for the smaller but faster Thai. Eventually he began to tire, and seeing that he was on the verge of losing, his brother broke the rules by hastily jumping into the ring to help. This caused a riot and fighting ensued between the foreigners and Thai guards and spectators.

It is important that you have both heels off the floor when in your stance. This is because it gives you better balance and stability, which are crucial in Muay Thai. As a sport heavily linked to traditions and culture, one of the most distinctive aspects of Muay Thai is the pre-fight ceremony known as Wai Kru Ram Muay. Training Muay Thai makes one leaner and gets one into a better shape. And when a person feels good about the way he/she looks, the more confidence they exude. At the same time if one makes the effort to train Muay Thai regularly, he/she will get better at it and seeing that improvement over time has a direct effect in the growth of self-confidence.

The system in Muay Thai favors the fighter who can land more shots effectively and inflict more damage. The more aggressive do not necessarily score more points if the strikes do not inflict damage. It is quality over quantity and this is a reason why casual fans often misinterpret the results of a fight. K-1 made modifications to its rules over the years, differing from Muay Thai most notably in the absence of elbows and limiting the use of clinching. Due to its popularity, many kickboxing promotions today continue to apply the same rules.

After fighting for many years, he retired and became a TV personality (as seems to be a common trend for Thai athletes). Legend says he won a fistfight against a https://thefightingcock.co.uk/2024/03/thailands-football-development-highlights-obstacles-and-the-sportsbook-environment/ master of Tak City. Following the fall of the capital, he was captured and sent to Myanmar. In the foreign land, he fought, UFC-style, for Myanmar King’s entertainment. Even though his early life was nothing eventful, his later days were entirely different. Rick Rufus, a world-champion kickboxer, decided to challenge Muay Thai.

The tale narrates how Nai Khanom Tom defeated 9 Burmese fighters, one after another, during his imprisonment after the Siam kingdom was under siege. The historical event (half steeped in myth) is now celebrated as Muay Thai day which takes place every year on March 17th. The history of Muay Thai can be traced historically to the Sukhothai dynasty of Thailand around the 13th century.

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