A Few Basic Concepts of The Muay Thai Kick Boxing Traditions

Muay Thai Kick Boxing has been getting increasingly popular now. Besides learning the techniques of this sport one must also be aware of its history as well as its socio-cultural significance.

Muay Thai Kick Boxing is a kind of martial arts whose practice is traditionally found in south east Asian countries, especially in Thailand. It is in fact the national sport of Thailand. Through centuries of its evolution Muay Thai Kick Boxing has taken on various western influences. It has adapted to various other forms of martial arts, kicks and punches seen in western kick boxing. Thus it has grown a difference with the original ancient martial art called Muay Boran. This change has been largely due to the international recognition of this sport. Various cultures have lent bits of their own to Muay Thai Kick Boxing.

Unlike other forms of kick boxing, in which there are usually two or four points of bodily contact between the fighters, Muay Thai Kick Boxing requires more physical involvement of the fighters. Hands, shins, knees and elbows are the points with which a Muay Thai fighter, or a Nak Muay, can hit his opponent. Apart from the usual kicking and punching, Muay Thai also involves tricks of the elbows, elbow chops, neck-wrestling, special punches like jabs, hooks and cobras.

Muay Thai Kick Boxing has had its origin in the royal courts of Thailand and other adjoining countries in southeast Asia. Some say that with the coming of the Tai people from China, Muay Thai Kick Boxing established itself as a distinct kind of sport and a source of entertainment for the royal families and the noble men in Thailand and its neighbouring countries. The Muay Thai boxers attained high esteem in the court. It began to be considered as an art, not just a sport or kind of entertainment. The skills of the Muay Thai were highly esteemed and the notable practitioners became legendary figures. Muay Thai Kick Boxing also became a source of livelihood for many common people in Thailand. The royal families and the nobility honoured the Muay Thai boxers and invited eminent practitioners of the game to teach the art to royal soldiers, kings, princesses and to the king’s personal guards.