Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and is one of the most popular sports in the world today. From the past till present, Muay Thai is considered as a cultural heritage of the nation.



Characteristics of Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combative sport which allows the use of almost all bodily organs, e.g., head, hand (fist), foot, knee, and elbow, as weapons in combat. Furthermore, it is an art demonstrating ability in moving various parts of the body in combat and self-defense to the accompaniment of music. It is a kind of sport that develops functional efficiency in the body systems, as well as mental development and self-confidence. It can be very useful in daily life since Muay Thai requires prompt decision making. Those who train consistently in Muay Thai will be enabled to make good swift decisions to solve their problems effectively.



Muay Thai is an individual unarmed combat activity, therefore a high level of fitness, both physical and mental must be reached through consistent training. The combat may be fatal, particularly when the training is inadequate, and therefore the competitors must strictly follow the rules and regulations as well as having good manners and sportsmanship.



Value of Muay Thai
Training in Muay Thai promotes physical, mental, emotional, and social development as well as transmitting and preserving Thai culture. It is a form of martial art that can be used for self-defense if endangered. In

addition, good fighters can earn a lot of money, many competitors receive hundred thousand Baht for each fight.



Customs to be observed by Muay Thai Trainees
Manners to which the Trainees must strictly adhere are the demonstration of respect and gratitude to their teachers who have imparted the knowledge to them and performing a ritual of acceptance before beginning training. Furthermore, newcomers must pay respect to their seniors and not fight against others taught by the same teacher. The trainee swears to observe these things at the ritual of acceptance. In addition, the trainee must be very patient, attentive and obedient since accidents are otherwise likely to occur throughout the training.



Muay Thai is a martial art that allows the use of various bodily organs for fighting. It originated in Thailand long ago and can be traced back to the Sukhothai period that is about 800 years ago. It is now practiced

all round the world and sometimes referred to as Thai Boxing, but should not be called Kick Boxing.



Muay Thai has been part of military training since ancient tomes to supplement the use of sword and pike in war. It was also employed for recreation, exercise, and self-defense. There are always Muay Thai

contest at annual festivals particularly in those for charity. Muay Thai was one of the skill of kings in the old times, Pra Chao Sua, a king in the Ayudhya period, often visited villages incognito to challenge local

fighters in order to find recruits. There are three main historic people of Muay Thai;

Phra Chao Sua or the Tiger King,

Nai KhaNomTom, the great fighter and

Phraya Pichai Dab Hak, the great warrior of Thonburi period.


They are the heroes who raise the legend of Muay Thai especially Nai KhaNomTom who could win ten Burmese opponents without a rest in a contest. It can be said that if Thailand doesn't have these people, Muay Thai may lose its history and legend.


According to the Department of Fine Arts, Nai Khanom Thom, who was captured by the Burmese during the fall of Ayudhya, defeated ten Burmese fighters consecutively in a contest on March 17, 1770. The day is now commemorated as


"Muay Thai Day"


 In 1972, the Ministry of the Interior legislated for the Regulation of Conditions for Permitting Betting in Boxing and Wrestling in

accordance with the Betting Act B.E.2470(1927). The rules ofcompetition were established by the Department of Physical Education and have been effective from April I, 1937.Since 1963 the Department of Physical Education had set the curricula for physical education teacher training. The Third Class Certificate in Physical Education required the competition of seven subjects, namely Track and Field Sports, Calisthenics, Teacher's Ethics, Boy Scouts, Health Education and first aid. The First Class Certificate in Physical Education required 4 out of 6 addition subjects, i.e. Sword and Pike Fighting, Judo, Gymnastics, Fencing, Muay Thai, and Boxing. Muay Thai has become a professional sport since the promotion of contests at the Suan Kularb Ring. The audience, sat or stood around the ring which was in

the ground and was 20 metres in size. The contestants tied their hands with strips of cotton, wore "Mongkon" at the head and armbands on both arms. The first stadium for professional Muay Thai,

Rajadamnoen stadium, was opened on December 23, 1945. The Rules have been revised, and some equipment for injury-prevention has been introduced.Muay Thai has been a sport for competitions since 1971. The first competition was held in Bangkok with competitors from five institutes: Srinakarin University: the Colleges of Physical Education at Chiang Mai, Maha Sarakham, Yala, and Chon Bun. Muay Thai was one of the competitive sports in the Thai national Games was in 1993 at Khon Khaen.



Luang Pho Koon Parisutho Opening New Signs For International Amateur Muay Thai Federation and Muay Thai Conservation and Promotion Center on 14 March 1996 at The National Stadium Greeting by Mr. Kwang Robcob Director General of Physical Education Civil Servants, and Hundreds of Peoples




The characteristic of Muay Thai depends on the master movements called "Mae Mai" used in the fighting as well as techniques, training and experiences of fighters. Mae Mai Muay Thai means the styles of fighting with one's own fists, feet, knees and elbows to protect oneself. The senior masters classified Mae Mai Muay Thai into 15 movements named as follow:

Sa Lap Phan Pla

(the master of basic movement used to escape outside in order to perform other techniques)


Paksa Waek Rang

(the master of movement at close quarter used to fight with other techniques)


Java Sad Hok

(the master movement used to side step out of the straight punch and counter by the elbow)


I-nao Taeng Krich

(the master movement used to block the straight punch by fighting with elbow at close quarters)


Yok Kho Phra Sumaru

(the master movement used to defend the straight punch at close quarters by letting the punch pass over the head while throwing the punch at the chin)


Ta Then Kham Fak

(the basic movement used to defend the upper punch by pushing the punch out the arm)


Mon Yan Lak

(the master movement used to defend the fists by pressing against the top of the chest or the abdomen)


Pak Luk Thoy

(the master movement used to defend the kick by throwing the elbow to the shin)


Jorakae Fad Hang

(the master movement used to attack the opponent when he loses his balance by turning the body and throwing the swinging back kick to the kidney)


Hak Nguang Aiyara

(the master movement used to defend the kick by throwing the elbow to the hamstring)


Naka Bid Hang

(the master movement used to defend the kick by twisting the tip of foot with both hands and striking the knee to break it)


Wirun Hok Klab

(the master movement used to defend the kick by throwing the heel to the calf)


Dab Chawala

(the master movement used to defend the straight punch by throwing the punch to the face)


Khun Yak Jub Ling

(the master movement used for basic training--the attacker attacks by throwing a suit of punch, elbow and kick and the defender counters by a suit of punch, elbow and kick as well)


Hak Kho Aiyara

(the master movement used for walking forwards to pull the opponent down in order to throw the knee up to the face or the chest of the opponent.)


Apart from the master movements as said above, there are a lot of techniques of Muay Thai, which derived from the past to the present.

There is a very well known saying regarding Muay Thai technique:

'Kick loses to punch,

punch loses to knee,

knee loses to elbow,

elbow loses to kick'


A never-ending circle encapsulating the fact that you must practice and master all of the Muay Thai weapons.



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