The art of muay thai is often considered to be the most devastating of the striking arts by many. Its easy to see why after one watches a full thai rules match. The combination of kicks, knees, elbows and punches can create a formidable weapon that generates power like no other martial art. A leg kick by a trained thai fighter is the equivalent of hitting someone in the leg with a baseball bat. The art of muay thai can be deadly indeed, but that is not what it is about to the people of Thailand. It is a very spiritually martial that is heavily ingrained into the culture of Thailand.
HistoryThe early history of muay thai is hard to trace as the archives and records at Ayuddhaya where destroyed with much at the thai capital by the Burmese. It is known that a form of muay thai was used as training for the Thai army and used in hand to hand combat during battle. The art went from battle field training to more of a spectator event, that was often a big part in festivals and celebrations. Fighters would eventually use hemp rope around there hands, a precursor to boxing gloves.
During the reign of Rama V, Thailand was at peace with its neighbours and the whole country prospered. Rama V, took a keen interest to the art and its popularity was greatly increased. Training camps began to pop up, where masters of the art would train students who in turn received food and shelter. Students would often adopt the camps name as there own surname as everyone one at the camp was seen as family. It was not until the reign of RamaVII that rules where written down and adopted. The first boxing rings were built and referees where placed in the ring with the fighters. Rounds where timed and more modern muay thai gloves were used as well as cotton ankle protectors.
The modern age of muay thai, has seen a growth of the art through the sport of mma, but purest of the art would say that mma has diluted the true form of muay thai.
Famous Muay Thai Practitioners
- Buakaw Por. Pramuk - Two Time K1 Max Grand Prix Champion
- Yodsanklai Fairtex - Three Time Lumpinee Stadium champion
- Ramon Dekkers - First foreigner in Thailand to be chosen as the "Muay Thai Fighter of the Year"
- John Wayne Parr - 10 time World Champion
- Anderson Silva - 10 title defenses for UFC middleweight tiltle.