Muay Thai

Discipline
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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Thailand
TIME OF ORIGIN:Pre 14th Century
PRACTISED:Over 600 years
FOUNDERS:

Founder Unknown

FOCUS: 

Striking, Clinch Fighting

ALSO KNOWN AS:Thai Boxing, Thai Kickboxing, Tharshanning, Art of Eight Limbs
PARENTHOOD:

Muay Boran, Krabi Krabong

DESCENDANTS:

Kickboxing

OLYMPIC SPORT:No

NOTABLE FEMALE PRATITIONERS

Julie Kitchen – England
Lucia Rijker – Netherlands
Cristiane Justino – Brazil
Miriam Nakamoto – United States
Tiffany Van Soest – United States
Iman Barlow – England
Valentino Shevchenko – Peru
Alena Holá – Czech Republic
Amanda Kelly – Scotland
Felice Herrig – United States
Gina Carano – United States

NOTABLE MALE PRATITIONERS

Tony Jaa – Thailand
Apidej Sit Hrun – Thailand
Samart Payakaroon – Thailand
Buakaw Banchamek – Thailand
Sakmongkol – Thailand
Changpuek Kiatsongrit – Thailand
Yodsanklai Fairtex – Thailand
Coban Lookchaomaesaitong – Thailand
Diesel Noi – Thailand
Alexey Ignashov – Belarussia
Dany Bill – France
Giorgio Petrosyan – Italy
Saenchai Sor Kingstar – Thailand
Kaoklai Kaennorsing – Thailand
Artem Levin – Russia
Simon Marcus – Canada
John Wayne Parr – Australia
Vladimír Moravčík – Slovakia
Tomáš Hron – Czech Republic
Stephen Wakeling – England
Joe Schilling – United States
Andrei Kulebin – Belarussia
Chaz Mulkey – United States
Romie Adanza – United States
Ky Hollenbeck – United States
Ilya Grad – Israel

Discipline
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NATIONALITY:Thai
DATE OF BIRTH:
AGE:Over 600 years
BORN:

Kickboxing

RESIDENCE:Full-Contact
ALSO KNOWN AS:Thai Boxing, Thai Kickboxing, Tharshanning, Art of Eight Limbs
OCCUPATION:

Striking, Clinch Fighting

JOB TITLE:

Muay Boran, Krabi Krabong

RELATED FEMALE INDIVIDUALS

Julie Kitchen – England
Lucia Rijker – Netherlands
Cristiane Justino – Brazil
Miriam Nakamoto – United States
Tiffany Van Soest – United States
Iman Barlow – England
Valentino Shevchenko – Peru
Alena Holá – Czech Republic
Amanda Kelly – Scotland
Felice Herrig – United States
Gina Carano – United States

RELATED MALE INDIVIDUALS

Tony Jaa – Thailand
Apidej Sit Hrun – Thailand
Samart Payakaroon – Thailand
Buakaw Banchamek – Thailand
Sakmongkol – Thailand
Changpuek Kiatsongrit – Thailand
Yodsanklai Fairtex – Thailand
Coban Lookchaomaesaitong – Thailand
Diesel Noi – Thailand
Alexey Ignashov – Belarussia
Dany Bill – France
Giorgio Petrosyan – Italy
Saenchai Sor Kingstar – Thailand
Kaoklai Kaennorsing – Thailand
Artem Levin – Russia
Simon Marcus – Canada
John Wayne Parr – Australia
Vladimír Moravčík – Slovakia
Tomáš Hron – Czech Republic
Stephen Wakeling – England
Joe Schilling – United States
Andrei Kulebin – Belarussia
Chaz Mulkey – United States
Romie Adanza – United States
Ky Hollenbeck – United States
Ilya Grad – Israel

Discipline
flag
COUNTRY:Thailand
LOCATION:Full-Contact
FOUNDED:Pre 14th Century
OPERATIONAL:Over 600 years
FOUNDERS:

Founder Unknown

ALSO KNOWN AS:Thai Boxing, Thai Kickboxing, Tharshanning, Art of Eight Limbs
SECTOR:

Striking, Clinch Fighting

DESCRIPTION:

Muay Boran, Krabi Krabong

WEBSITE:

ACOSSIATED INDIVIDUALS

Julie Kitchen – England
Lucia Rijker – Netherlands
Cristiane Justino – Brazil
Miriam Nakamoto – United States
Tiffany Van Soest – United States
Iman Barlow – England
Valentino Shevchenko – Peru
Alena Holá – Czech Republic
Amanda Kelly – Scotland
Felice Herrig – United States
Gina Carano – United States

ACOSSIATED ATHLETES

Tony Jaa – Thailand
Apidej Sit Hrun – Thailand
Samart Payakaroon – Thailand
Buakaw Banchamek – Thailand
Sakmongkol – Thailand
Changpuek Kiatsongrit – Thailand
Yodsanklai Fairtex – Thailand
Coban Lookchaomaesaitong – Thailand
Diesel Noi – Thailand
Alexey Ignashov – Belarussia
Dany Bill – France
Giorgio Petrosyan – Italy
Saenchai Sor Kingstar – Thailand
Kaoklai Kaennorsing – Thailand
Artem Levin – Russia
Simon Marcus – Canada
John Wayne Parr – Australia
Vladimír Moravčík – Slovakia
Tomáš Hron – Czech Republic
Stephen Wakeling – England
Joe Schilling – United States
Andrei Kulebin – Belarussia
Chaz Mulkey – United States
Romie Adanza – United States
Ky Hollenbeck – United States
Ilya Grad – Israel

Muay Thai

Summary

Muay Thai is considered to be the cultural sport of Thailand. Scholars have debated much of its history over the years because of the Burmese attack on Siam’s capital city in the 14-century where most of the written history was destroyed by the invading army. The bit that was left is collected in small volumes and held as part of Thailand’s sacred text and cultural heritage. It is often referred to as “the art of eight limbs” because of its use of punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes.

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

The word Muay comes from the Sanskrit word Wavya, which means to “bind together” and the Thai comes from its origin but it was not always known by that name. It’s generic name pahuyuth meant “unarmed combat” but it was also called Toi Muay or simply Muay.

BEGINNINGS

Muay Thai is often referred to as “the art of eight limbs” because of its use of punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes. The history of how it began is the stuff of legends. The style of fighting is thought to have developed because of the migration of tribes from China through Vietnam to Cambodia. The major tribe was the Siamese who were also known as the Tai. They fought fiercely to dominate the tribes they found along the way from the south to the north and Central Thailand. Through conflict, combat styles and techniques improved and soon, fathers were passing them along to their sons and they in turn evolved the styles and techniques.

PRESENT DAY

Muay Thai has progressed a lot in the last century. By being the national sport, its popularity is unparalleled in Thailand and it continues to gain recognition throughout the world. In World War II, foreigners began to be heavily introduced to Muay Thai, which they called “Siam Boxing”. American and European soldiers would watch Thai soldiers practice Muay Thai amongst themselves and became interested in learning this style of fighting. As it gained more popularity in the 1920’s rings were erected in the open for fighters to compete. Rules began to change, as did the implements that were used in the fights. Gloves were changed from the traditional horsehide and hemp rope to those used in modern style Boxing. After World War II stadiums were erected in major cities and rules instituted for each game with timed rounds of 5.

Muay Thai has become so popular that there are training camps and gyms opening up all over the world.

FOLKLORE

The Thai were always fighting against the Burmese and during that period Muay Thai had been already part of the Thai culture and mandatory training for the military. As time went on the style kept being defined and refined. Soon the fighting style became a sport that young men engaged in and soon it was part of the Thai culture. There are legends that are recounted about how Muay Thai began that put more flavor on the story of the origin of Muay Thai.

The other popular Muay Thai legend is that of Nai Khanom who was a highly skilled Muay Thai fighter in 1767. When the Burmese sacked that Capital city they not only pillaged the magnificent temples, they also took prisoners with them to Burma. Among those prisoners was a fighter known as Nai Khanom Tom. The Burmese king decided to hold a festival to celebrate his victory when he got back to Burma and ordered the Thai slaves to fight with the Burmese fighters for pure entertainment. Nai Khanom Tom entered the ring and asked for a moment to pray. He began a ritualistic dance, which the Burmese fighter took to be some kind of cursing ritual. Nai Khanom Tom simply explained it, as his way of giving respect to his Muay Thai teacher and that it was nothing but a dance. This is where the Wai Kroo, the ritualistic dance that Thai fighters still perform to this day, is thought to have been born. When the fight began, Nai Khanom Tom went on to defeat all the Burmese fighters that were put in the ring with him and he won his freedom and was rewarded with other gifts. He returned to Thailand as a hero and went on to teach Muay Thai and is now known as “the father of Muay Thai”.

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Practices

PHILOSOPHY

Muay Thai’s Philosophy is simple: The body, mind and heart all need to be trained. A good fighter only gets better if all three are in sync. One aspect cannot work without the other this means that physical conditioning can only be effective in a fight if the fighter has the dedication, concentration and discipline. Patience is important. A Muay Thai fighter is taught to move with speed, but he is also required to show common sense and intelligence. Muay Thai, like most forms of martial arts, teaches self respect as well as respect for others, parents, teachers and the community. A Muay Thai fighter is required to have a sense of Brotherhood, help others when the opportunity to do so arises and never resort to fighting unless there is no other option available.

TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

Muay Thai Train Guide / James Kippax Fightrr.com

RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

The basic rules of Muay Thai are:

  • Fights can only last for five rounds; each round can only take 3 minutes. There is a two-minute rest period in between fights.
  • Boxers are required to wear gloves wearing no less than 172 grams. The gloves should be kneaded to change their original shape.
  • Fighters must wear trunks only and athletic groin protectors. There are no shoes, permitted but a fighter is allowed to wear ankle caps.
  • Fighters may wear a Mongkol (a sacred cord worn around the head) to perform the sacred pre-fight dance to honor their teachers, but they are required to remove this before the actual fight starts.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

Muay Thai has been featured in film, video games, television shows, and cartoons.

In Film the action most often happens in Thailand and depicts some kind of redemption journey that the hero has to go through. Muay Thai is often depicted as a way to better oneself or to find oneself. That is in keeping with the general philosophy of Muay Thai and probably the general philosophy of most martial arts. There are many films where Muay Thai is featured. Some of the most notable films include:

  • Duel of Fists, a 1971 film about a Hong Kong Engineer who goes to Thailand to find his long lost brother who is a Muay Thai boxer
  • Blood Sport, featuring Paco played by Paulo Tocha who is a Muay Thai fighter
  • Beautiful Boxer the true-life story of Parinya Charoenphol played by Asanee Suwan who learns Muay Thai to make his dream of becoming a Woman come true.
  • Only God Forgives is a film about a Bangkok cop and a gangster who settle their difference in a Muay Thai match.

In comic book action heroes there’s the Power Ranger’s Jungle Fury Wolf Ranger who practices Muay Thai and has a signature flying-knee strike.

In the gaming world Fatal Fury has a number of Muay Thai Fighters as does Tekken, King of Fighters and Mortal Kombat.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

NEWS

Muay Thai Authority – One of the greatest sites for Muay Thai news

BLOGS

8limbs – Honest account by one of Muay Thai’s most prolific female writers Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu
Muay Thai on the Brain – “Musings of a Muay Thai fanatic” from Melissa Ray
MuayTash – Down to earth interviews and experiences from Natasha Sky
Under The Ropes – Great female Muay Thai blog from Emma Thomas

References

Contact