Sunday, May 10, 2009

Introduction to Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a type of martial art that is practiced in most parts of the world and the most famous practitioner is none other than my favorite hero Tony Jaa, The art is of Muay Thai which is the National Sport of Thailand has a rather unclear history. There are 2 theory on the origins of Muay Thai, one states that it was a martial art from China that was brought to Thailand by the Tai Immigrant, another theory says that it was adopted from Khmer Martial Arts, which I personally feel that it make sense since Bokarto and Muay Thai is quite similar in many aspects.

March 17 , National Celebration of "Boxer's Day", originated from the incasion of Burmese into Ayutthata, Siam in 1963 where a group of hostages were taken in. In 1774 King Mangra had thrown a 7 day, 7 night festival where boxing is one of the highlighted entertainment that is going on that time. Nai Khanom Tom is the fighter selected to fight the Burmese National Champion and won the fight in a short moment, but the referee did not validate the KO by giving excuses like Wai-Khru(boxing dance) is distracting the fighter and so on. Then 9 more Burmese fighters was selected to fight Nai Khanom Tom back to back. And yet he still won all 9 of the fights. And King Mangra grant Nai Khanom Tom freedom together with 2 wives. Now the Boxer’s day is a celebration to remember this national hero.

During the ruling of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) was the golden age for Muay Thai, as King Chulalongkorn is interested in this sport himself, Since the country is very peaceful during this era, Muay Thai is consider as a “Physical Exercise” and “Performance Art”. There was once death occurred during the performance in the ring somewhere in the 20’s, King Rama the VII started to push for rules and regulations such as gloves for this deadly sport.

Like most Martial Arts, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on fitness level, Their training may include running, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, abdominal exercise, and weight training. Training includes coaches on thick pads, sand bag, and sparring. Most professional Muay Thai boxers come from the lower economic backgrounds, and Boxing allows them to earn the income to support themselves and their family and it deserves our highest respect.

Muay Boran which was claimed as the Ancestor Muay Thai of was divided into 4 types:

- Muay Korat - Focused on strength, their punches can kill buffalo in one single blow.
- Muay Lopburi - Focused on movements of the Fighter.
- Muay Chaiya - Focused on defense as well as using elbows and knees.
- Muay Ta Sao - Focused on speed, particularly in kicking and punching

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