International Federation of Muaythai Associations

Muay Thai, translated into English as Thai Boxing, is the national sport of Thailand and is a martial art with origins in the ancient battlefield tactics of the Siamese (or Thai) army. It evolved from Krabi Krabong, literally long and short weapons, the weapons tactics of the Thai army. The early Muay Thai bouts pitted different companies within the Siamese army against each other in unarmed combat (Muay Boran) with few rules and no weight divisions or time limits. They became quite popular and eventually were shown in stadia across the country. In the early 20th century, time limits, boxing gloves as well as a uniform set of rules were introduced. During the latter half of the 20th century Muay Thai was exported to many countries and is now practiced by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

Kicks can be thrown to the opponent’s legs (known as low kick or leg kick), body, arms, the back or the head. Saenchai is an exciting fighter, known for his flashy style of fighting. He has built his reputation by taking on fighters who are several weight division above him… and beating them. Soldiers returning from duty would organise and compete in tournaments in local villages and towns. Initially there were few rules, and no rings, protective gear or weight classes – but over time these fights slowly developed into the fully sanctioned ring bouts we see today. Nowadays a much more sensible approach is taken where fighters kick heavy bags and spar bare-shin, to toughen the shins over time.

If you constantly train with big or small people, it will affect your performance. Taking private lessons is the greatest piece of advice, but what if you barely collect money for your regular sessions? Well, a trip to Thailand could skyrocket your skills, but the majority of us don’t have the money to travel around the world. I mean, of course, it is hard, these are movements you have never done before.

The sport was influenced by British boxing where codified rules and the boxing ring were put in place. During this period, fighters also ditched wrapping hands with ropes (“Kard Chuek”) and began wearing boxing gloves in competitions. As a tactic, body punching is used less in Muay Thai than most other striking combat sports to avoid exposing the attacker’s head to counter strikes from knees or elbows. Soldiers have trained and used Muaythai techniques for as long as there has been an army in Thailand. For the military, it has always had use for the close combat fighting skills, the martial art of the battlefield.

muay thai

Step with your weaker leg cm forward, and point your lead foot forward. The foot of your stronger leg is at 65-to-85 degree angle to your lead leg, knees slightly bent for better movement and footwork. All other punching techniques are for advanced Muay Thai practitioners, not basic punches.

  • Saenchai is an exciting fighter, known for his flashy style of fighting.
  • The fighter in the middle would then train with each person in the circle for a designated amount of time, switching at even intervals.
  • Muay Thai has been around for a long time and has cultural and religious traditions woven into the sport.
  • When the chance presents itself, he will attempt to bring the fight to the ground.
  • Once you have your stance in order, it is time to work on your posture.

A good pair of leather gloves could help to protect your hands from the impact of bags and pads for years. As is the same with other sports, cheating and corruption can, unfortunately, creep their way in. However, focusing on this right now is not going to be congruent to learning about the basics.

Due to its effectiveness, Muay Thai is a popular choice of striking for many MMA fighters. Muay Thai is a completely different sport from traditional boxing as known in the West. While classic boxing uses only punches, Thai boxing involves a wider range of techniques including elbows, knees, kicks, sweeps, and elaborate use of clinching. Muay Thai training begins with learning the basic stance and movement.

In, your footwork and posture are crucial to your movement, both in attack and defense. While standing straight and tall, you should also have a slight bend in your knees to facilitate better movement. This also aids in generating power and torque as it allows your hips to rotate freely with the movement of your back foot. In terms of effectiveness in self-defense or street fights, both boxing and Muay Thai are ideal skills to possess. Competitors typically wear 4oz gloves and wrapped with ropes to mimic the legacy of Kard Chuek.

It is a great self-defense skill, making it ideal for everyone to learn especially kids and women. Knees in Muay Thai are typically close range weapons used during clinching. They are often thrown to the body, especially the ribcage but also on thighs and directly to the head.

However, it won’t take long for novices to get to grips with its rules, learn to appreciate the beauty of its techniques and traditions, and even learn to emulate the heroes who step into the ring. It’s all about burning those extra calories and Muay Thai training does it exceptionally effectively. Each Muay Thai session lasts about 1-2 hours and consists of warm-up, shadow boxing, drilling techniques, heavy bag work, padwork, before finishing off with strength training exercises. One 2-hour session can burn 1000 calories, making it a great and fun way to lose weight.

The spectacular, crowd-pleasing slips, bobs, weaves, and glides out of range might be amazing to watch, but elusive fighting isn’t all entertainment. In this chapter, we break down five of the most useful elbow strikes a Nak Muay (Thai boxer) can take into the ring. Now, disguising a flying knee is one of the most difficult things you are going to be able to do against an opponent in Muay Thai. So, let’s get down to business and look at some of the main knee strikes in Muay Thai. Other than helping to set up combinations or even ending contests, fundamental boxing skills can also keep an opponent from moving into range.

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