The perpetual invasions suffered by Thailand during the process of forming made the Thai people depend solely on defending themselves. In the old times weapons that were available were only spears, pikes and clubs therefore during hand in hand combat fighting methods can quickly change and the body s natural weapons such as the head, fists, elbows and feet became vital tools for the Thai people.
This sport which was included in military training was made famous by King Naresuan 1560 A.D.
The Burmese knew of his prowess as the best unarmed fighter in the realm and gave him a chance to fight with their best for his freedom. Upon his return to Siam he was hailed as a hero and Siamese-style boxing
spears King Naresuan
In Thai military and the monarchy therefore they make sure Thai soldiers always study Muay Thai boxing.
In early times Muay Thai boxers used their bare fists to fight.
The head was used as a weapon and the groin was an acceptable target.
Horsehide strips were used as gloves. Since these practices were obviously dangerous to the fighters' health, regular boxing gloves were introduced about 50 years ago and have been used ever since.
Times for rounds were decided with measuring a coconut shell with a hole bored through the bottom into water. When the coconut was filled with water and thus submerged the round was over.
Boxing Gloves Wrapped fists
one of the most passionately followed sports in Thailand
Boys as young as 7-8 can start training to become a Muay Thai fighter
After the fight there is a Wai Khru dance that the boxers perform
This dance pays homemage to the teachers, the dance also offers a little warm-up for the boxer
Each boxer wears a headband and a armband. The headband is considered a good luck charm and a spiritual object
After the Wai Khru, the head band is taken off by the teacher
They believe the armbands offer protection and are only taken off after the fight
Beside one side of the ring, a band plays from the dance until the end of the fight. The speed and intensity of the music increase as the fight does. The music is supposed to be serene so even the fighter cant resist
Tha Wai Khru is also known as Ram Muay. They are important parts of the ceremony and are performed before each session.
Wai Khru can be brief and basic or more eloquent and draw applause from the audience
Some people say that those who watch the dancers well can see who is going to win the fight
This dance is very respected because it is part of their spiritual beliefs
The Wai Khru is a tradition that has been done for many years
Wai Khru shows respect to the chairman of the competition and is also a way to realize and appreciate their teachers and all the knowledge they have gained. It also creates a strength of mind and relaxes the mind and body.
Boxers that dance the same way do not fight together because it would then be obvious that they have the same teacher, so there are different styles of dance.
Modern Thai boxers have eight weapons to choose from:
Targets : be aware of weak points on the human body and find ways to protect them.
The three-step walk:
designed to maintain balance
must form the fist correctly and use the combined forces of the shoulder, hip and foot to put additional power behind the punch
Elbow jab :
it is used to cut and sometimes to knock out opponents. It is delivered in a hooking, uppercut or overhand motion.
The power comes from the butt and hips when moved forward.
Grappling/Throw downs/Clinch work:
This involves grappling while standing up and trying to knee the sides or stomach of the opponent, and to pull the head down while bringing up the knee.
Basic Techniques Side kick Elbow jab Straight punch
Learning Muay Thai
5 minutes of jump roping
Learned the 3 steps
1,2 punch (left, right)
Side kick/ low kick
Blocking in the knee
Jump roping helps endurance Very important to keep fists up for protection and to be ready.
Learning Muay Thai The 3 step walk, the1,2 punch and then the side kick and the elbow jab was learned on the first day.
How long have you been a trainer for Thai
Can you tell us about your experience being a
7 years old start and fight for more than 100 times. I
stop last year.
Do you get a lot of students? Whats the average age?
Not many now because they were older and left to college or
moved away. The range is 8 to 50 years old.
Are there any professional girl Thai boxers?
Yes, a lot. Now a lot but in the past not so many.
How do you think Thailand will do in the Olympics with Thai
Personal Response- Neelam
The Thai boxing class overall was a very fun experience. We learnt a lot about how to kick and punch but the most challenging was determining a good sense of strength and stamina. The trainers were really professional and pushed us all to reach our limits physically and mentally. I really enjoyed the class and would do it again any time. I also would recommend anyone to try it.
This was a very remarkable and enjoyable experience. It has become something that I want to learn more about. Not only did I learn a lot of the techniques of Muay Thai I also enjoyed learning it. It was an epic experience, and I highly recommend it to everyone because Muay Thai will help you stay fit and keep you active, and youll enjoy it as well. Learning Muay Thai was an incredible experience, and I will most certainly be thinking about continuing it in the future.
The experience was very worthwhile. Even though
the trainers didnt speak any English it was easy to
know what they wanted me to do and it was
helpful that I am able to understand some Thai. Muay
Thai was very enjoyable and I would keep taking
lessons. I find it very useful and a very active sport.
It was difficult at first, but later I got it became easier
with more practice. It was important to watch the
trainer first so that you can mimic the same actions. I
learned more about boxing itself and that a lot of
strength and stamina is needed as well as patience.