Muay Thai History
Muay Thai is also called Thai boxing. It is basically the cultural martial art of Thailand. It was originated almost several hundred years ago. In Muay Thai, the entire body will be used as a weapon.
In the 14th Century, most of the history of Muay Thai was lost when Burmese sacked Ayudhaya.
Burmese also looted the depositories of knowledge that was held in the capital and temples. During this period most of the written history was lost. A history that was left behind is protected and preserved as a national treasure for Thai heritage and culture.
Muay Thai uses the body as a weapon so it minimizes the needs of weapons. Hands will act as a dagger or sword. Forearms will act as armor against blows. Elbows will fell at the opponents like a heavy hammer. Knees became staff and legs turned into an ax. Whole-body will work as one unit. Elbows and knees are always in search of an opening while grappling. It will help to bring the opponent to the ground and kill him.
Muay Thai’s Origin
When the tribes migrated south from the steppes of Vietnam, China, Burma, and Laos the fighting style of Muay Thai was thought to be developed for almost centuries. The major tribe of that time was the Siamese (Thai) they fought fiercely for their survival as they moved to the south. Smaller tribes are now known as central and northern Thailand.
Some older soldiers and parents taught their child and students the defensive and offensive techniques, skills to enhance awareness, and proper posture and position. Those sons and students further went on to teach their children and the roots of this effective fighting style start to get strengthen.
Vital elements in the war were power strikes and proper technique, for both of these hand-to-hand skills was needed. It was supposed that each movement and strike will deliver a crushing blow so that the fighter can move to the next opponent without any worries of attack from the previous one. It seems that hand-to-hand combat evolved in a Darwin-like manner that demands the survival of the fittest person. Those soldiers or parents who fought well were supposed to teach others before falling themselves.
There was always a chance of an attack on Thai from neighboring countries, including Cambodia and Burma so the Thai was under constant guard. Burmese and Thai fought several wars and in both countries wars cause wreaking destruction. Muay Thai was part of this culture at that time and training was also part of the Thai military. This process of training the art of Muay Thai continued for centuries by the military. This art includes; defining and refining the skills, techniques, and tactics for the wars against Cambodians and Burmese.
Those Thai men who return from their duties of the military engaged themselves in sports for fun. They supported each local fighter in which they saw skill and promise. Survivors of many battles and old warriors become Thai teachers and instructors. They love the sport too much and for the defense of the Thai kingdom, Muay Thai remains the Thai culture for more than 500 years and generation passed the skills to the next generations.
Wai Kroo/ Ram Muay
Wai Kroo’s tradition is also several centuries old. It is the traditional dance that is performed before the Muay Thai fighters start a fight in the ring. The purpose of Wai Kroo is to show honor to the sport of Muay Thai, country, and the fighter teachers. Ram Muay is also the unique dance and each master instructor teaches differently to his students. In this dance, students will move in each direction and will touch the corners with a prayer. The purpose of this dance is to show respect to spirits and his opponents.
Modern Muay Thai
Muay Thai has achieved great recognition in the last 100 years. Because it has attained great popularity nationally it has started to gain recognition and exposure internationally as well. As the name of Thailand was formerly Siam. So Muay Thai was named Siam boxing by foreigners.
Due to an orient fighting style in the Second World War French labeled Muay Thai as a “Le Sport Orient”. Soldiers from America and Europe watch the Muay Thai practice with great interest. Up to that time, it was only the cultural gem in which the wonderful culture of a country like Thailand was hidden.
Soldiers from other countries got impressed by the Muay Thai style and requested Thai soldiers to teach them the basics of Muay Thai. As this sport gained international exposure rules of the game began to change and become more in line with sports like boxing.
In the 1920’s Modern Muay Thai roots were planted and the concept of the ring was introduced instead of open courtyards. An old-fashioned hemp rope and horsehide were replaced by the gloves as used in boxing.
In the past, hardcover for groin protection was also added that prevents fighters from brutal knees and kicks. After the end of Second World War rules were formally added into the sport.
Flights were divided into 5 rounds and each round time limit was set. Time was monitored using a clock rather than the old-styled coconut shell with holes that were properly sinking in the barrel of water. As the Muay Thai grew in the popularity stadium in the major cities were built.
As the Muay Thai starts to resemble boxing, a system of defined rules, weight classes, and the championship came into being in the coming years. In Thailand, fighters will fight every 3 to 4 weeks so that they can support their families. Muay Thai fighters earn very little money as compared to the fighters in America and Europe. Today, Muay Thai is finally achieving recognition. This sport is gaining popularity from all around the world. Recently it has been accepted in the Olympic Games as well. It will become more popular as new training centers are opening all around the world.
Sky Hoon. About
Martial Art Fan
He started his love on martial arts by watching MMA and Angela Lee. He then started this blog to learn more about the different martial arts.
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