Muay Thai – The Old And the New


If you’re not familiar with Muay Thai then hopefully you’ll find some useful information here, or at least a starting point to help you on your way!  You’ll find that considering that people have always needed to protect themselves, in some way, or another there’s a whole wealth of history to be found, that everybody should at least know of. The interesting thing is, that not a lot has changed over the years although Muay Thai hasn’t always been called Muay Thai, the methods however, were so effective that not much needed changing, although skill, and technique are crucial.

What is Muay Thai, also known as Thai Boxing?

Muay Thai literally translates to “boxing” in Thai, so it is pretty self-explanatory where the name came from, and why it is used. Muay Thai, is a reasonably modern combat sport based on Muay Boran which was the original Thai martial art, no gloves were worn, rope was used to wrap around the hands, dating as far back as the early twentieth century.

The sport was influenced by British boxing such as boxing Reading which became a home for many young fighters over the years.  The western influence helped established codified rules and the boxing ring, during this time of transition, fighters also stopped wrapping their hands with ropes (“Kard Chuek”) and began competing with boxing gloves.

Muay Thai Origins

Muay Thai has a history dating back to the Sukhothai dynasty of Thailand in the 13th century. According to Thai history, the first Thai army was formed in order to defend the kingdom, and soldiers were trained in both armed and unarmed combat.

Muay Boran and Muay Thai as we know them today evolved from this martial art over time. Muay Thai formally became a National sport during the Rattanakosin Kingdom era (around the 18th-early 20th century), with rules and regulations being introduced.

Muay Thai today

Muay Thai has evolved over the years, beginning around World War I, to become a combat sport loved and practiced all over the world. Modern Muay Thai incorporates traditional boxing elements such as the use of padded boxing gloves, 3 to 5 rounds with time limits, defined rules, and takes place in a ring (squared platform).

Muay Thai uses kicks, elbows, and knee strikes in addition to punch variations seen in western boxing (e.g., jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts). Clinching, sweeps, and throws are also strategically used in modern Muay Thai to make it a complete combat art. Because of the 8-point contact, the sport has proven to be one of the most effective stand-up striking arts, and it is practiced by many MMA fighters!