Tuesday, April 04, 2006

"Muay Thai" or Thai Boxing: An Introduction

Thai Boxing


Muay Thai is the Thai name for an indigenous form of martial art practiced in several southeast Asian countries including Myanmar (where it is generally known as Lethwei) and Malaysia (where it is known as tomoi).

Ram Muay before an amateur Muay Thai match

It is the national sport of Thailand.

Traditional Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand as a martial art used by the military. The military style of Muay Thai is called Lerdrit, while today's "Sport Muay Thai" slightly varies from the original art and uses kicks and punches in a ring and with gloves similar to those used in western boxing. Muay Thai is referred to as "The Science of Eight Limbs", as the hands, feet, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A master practitioner of Muay Thai thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight points of contact, as opposed to the four points (fists, feet) in many other forms of martial arts. This effectively gives the practitioner the ability to debilitate opponents with any combination of the eight limbs.


Although Muay Thai is considered by some to be a derivation of a general indigenous martial art style native to southeast Asia, it was the first to be popularized outside of southeast Asia. This general indigenous style is believed to be Pradal Serey from Angkor in modern-day Cambodia.

Traditionally in the past, Muay Thai was used as entertainment to kings. It is thought by some sources that gloves were made out of wrapped twine, tar, and broken pieces of glass to ensure a bloody event, however it is still a subject of debate.

Other styles similar to Muay Thai can be found be found in Cambodia, Laos, and Burma.

source: Wikipedia

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