One of the freestyles of martial arts is Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, which means “punching”. Muay Thai is one of Thailand‘s most important cultural and national symbols, and every year March 17th is celebrated as “Muay Thai Day” in this country. The peak of Muay Thai’s popularity dates back to the 1980s and 1990s.
This activity is also known as art or 8-limbed sport since it is conducted using limbs such as legs, knees, elbows, and fists. The origin of Muay Thai is Thailand. The peak of Muay Thai development dates back to the end of the 20th and 21st centuries.
History of Muay Thai of Thailand
Muay Thai originated in the 16th century as a combat technique performed by the king’s warriors during peacetime. Muay was no longer only a technique to be utilized in real battles. It had evolved into a type of combat sport in which opponents fought in an arena while being cheered on by the audience.
These Muay Thai tournaments and sports gradually were established as part of Thai temple festivities and rituals. During the reigns of many Thai monarchs, the structure and regulations of this sport were altered, and Muay Thai and its associated rules evolved into its current form.
In 1921, the first Thai boxing ring was created, and new regulations for these bouts were devised. For instance, opponents would tie ropes to protect their hands and fingers in the past, but at this time, gloves and groin protection were utilized in place of ropes. It was around this period that the sport earned its current moniker, Muay Thai.
International Amateur Muay Thai Federation IFMA was created in 1993. In 2006, Muay Thai was included in SportAccord with IFMA. The SportAccord stipulated that no sport may use a nation’s name as part of its qualifications. As a consequence of IFMA constitution modifications, the name of this sport was changed to “Muaythai” to be a one-word name and not to be called the name of a country.
Bangkok hosted the inaugural Muay Thai World Cup in 2015. Statistics show that by 2020, there will be more than 3,800 boxing gyms open outside of Thailand.
Muay Thai Traditional wear
Before the battle, the mongkhon (headband) and pra jiad (armbands) are frequently worn into the ring. They arose at a period when Siam was always at war. In the past, fighters tied a piece of their mother’s clothes on their arm or on their fingers, which was a sign of good luck. But if we want to be more precise, Muay Thai doesn’t require special clothes like Taekwondo or Judo.
Muay Thai Techniques
Almost all body motions are used in modern Muaythai. Muaythai was formerly founded on these concepts of blow against the blow, but this is no longer desired or acceptable. The following are the most prevalent Muay Thai techniques:
Knee (Ti Khao)
Using the knee is one of the most important principles of Muay Thai exercises. The knee is used in 3 ways: Jumping knee strike, Straight knee strike and flying knee strike.
In Muay Thai, the hand strike in the form of a fist is used in different ways. This blow is mainly in the form of a straight fist, a cross, a hook, an uppercut, a spade, and a cork, and overhands, hammer fists, and back fists are all possible.
The use of elbow is used as the final blow and to end the fight, and it is the most dangerous type of blow in this sport.
The elbow strike is also used in different ways: horizontal, diagonal upward, diagonal downward, uppercut, down, spin back, and fly. Usually, oblique elbow strikes are faster than other forms and have less power.
Foot thrust (Teep)
Another Muay Thai technique is the Foot thrust or “foot jab”. Kicks are usually used to unbalance the fighter.
Another one of the most important kicks and techniques used in this sport is kicking.
Legs in Muay Thai are used to repel blows, which are blocked and controlled by the outer part of the leg. Thip kick, which means foot jab, and te Chiang, which is a kick that hits the lower arm and ribs of the character, are two common movements with the foot.
Muay Thai rules
Like other sports, especially Muay Thai combat sports, it also has special rules that every fighter must know.
- Muay Thai competitions are held in a ring with an area of 6.1 meters by 6.1 meters and 7.3 meters by 7.3 meters.
- Fighters competing in these tournaments must be over 15 years old
- The tribute ceremony before the start of the match is essential
- Before the start of the match, the 2 fighters must shake hands and salute each other, showing that they respect the rules and each other.
- The match consists of 5 rounds of 3 minutes and between each round the fighters are given 2 minutes of rest.
- Fighters must wear shorts, hand guards, boxing gloves, caps, and gum guards.
- Biting, hitting with the head, and eye-gouging are not allowed.
- There is no arm lock or wrestling in it.
- Intentional blows to the groin area are not allowed.
How to win a fight
The winners of these matches were awarded in Thai currency. In order to win a Muay Thai fight, you must block your opponent’s blows and land as many of your own as possible. Winning a fight in the ring is possible in several ways:
Knockout: When the opponent falls to the ground and after counting 10 seconds, it is not possible to continue the fight
Technical knockout: when the opponent is so injured that, according to the referee’s judgment, it is not possible to continue the fight
Winning by points: If neither side has been knocked out, the winner will be determined by the judges. The method of recognition is by using the points obtained by both sides by hitting each other during 5 rounds. The fighter with the most points wins. If the scores are equal at the end of the game, the winner will be determined by drawing lots.