What Is Muay Thai
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon.
Today its definitive origins are debated by modern scholars, as much of the muay thai history was lost when the Burmese ransacked Ayudhaya, Siam’s capital city in Thailand, during the 14th century.
Muay Thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs", because the Muay Thai fighter uses punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called Nak Muay Farang, meaning "foreign boxer".
Most written muya thai history was lost when the Burmese looted the temples and depositories of knowledge held in Ayudhaya, and what volumes were saved are now national treasures that are preserved and protected as documentation for Thai culture and heritage.
History Of Muay Thai
The history of Muay Thai can also be traced to the middle of the 16th century. During the battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured in the year 1767. The Burmese knew of his expertise in hand-to-hand combat and gave him an opportunity to fight for his freedom. Soon after winning the match, he was freed by his captors and allowed to return to Siam. He was acknowledged as a hero, and his fighting style became known as Siamese-Style boxing, later to be known as Muay Thai. This fighting style was soon to be recognized as a national sport.
Muay boran, and therefore Muay Thai, was originally called by more generic names such as Toi muay or simply muay. As well as being a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, muay became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. These muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay khat chueak. Kickboxing was also a component of military training and gained prominence during the reign of King Naresuan in 1560 CE.
Muay Thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs", because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called Nak Muay Farang, meaning "foreign boxer."
Muay Thai Techniques
In its original form, Muay Thai consisted of an arsenal of nine weapons – the head, fists, elbows, knees and feet – known collectively as na-wa arwud. However in modern Muay Thai, both amateur and professional, headbutting an opponent is no longer allowed.
Almost all techniques in Muay Thai use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block.
The punch techniques in muay Thai were originally quite limited being crosses and a long (or lazy) circular strike made with a straight (but not locked) arm and landing with the heel of the palm. Cross-fertilization with Western boxing and western martial arts mean the full range of western boxing punches are now used: lead jab, straight/cross, hook, uppercut, shovel and corkscrew punches and overhands as well as hammer fists and back fists.
The elbow can be used in several ways as a striking weapon: horizontal, diagonal-upwards, diagonal-downwards, uppercut, downward, backward-spinning and flying. From the side it can be used as either a finishing move or as a way to cut the opponent's eyebrow so that blood might block his vision. The diagonal elbows are faster than the other forms, but are less powerful. The elbow strike is considered the most dangerous form of attack in the sport.
The two most common kicks in muay Thai are known as the thip (literally "foot jab") and the te chiang (kicking upwards in the shape of a triangle cutting under the arm and ribs) or roundhouse kick. The Thai roundhouse kick uses a rotational movement of the entire body and has been widely adopted by practitioners of other combat sports. It is done from a circular stance with the back leg just a little ways back (roughly shoulder width apart) in comparison to instinctive upper body fighting (boxing) where the legs must create a wider base. The roundhouse kick draws its power entirely from the rotational movement of the body; the hips. It is thought many fighters use a counter rotation of the arms to intensify the power of this kick, but in actuality the power is from the hips and the arms are put in said position to get them out of the way.
Muay Thai knee techniques is an important technique in Muay Thai. Knee (Kao) is one of the lethal weapons in Muay Thai. The violence of the knee is equal to that of the elbow if the thai boxer used it properly with a good technique and timing.
The knee kick can be done by raising the knee to attack and requires proper balance. The main characteristic of using knee-kick is thai boxers generally have to be at close-quarter with opponent, but sometimes we can use knee kick to attack opponent while he is in long range such as flying knee kick. In most cases, to use knee kick, thai boxer has to try to grab the opponent's neck, in order to lock and attack. However, when he does the clinch and knee kick, he may be attacked by opponent's elbow strike, as some time he may lose his concentration and defense.
The foot-thrust or literally "foot jab" is one of the techniques in muay Thai. It is mainly used as a defensive technique to control distance or block attacks. Foot-thrusts should be thrown quickly but with enough force to knock an opponent off balance.
"The Muay Thai clinch. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy."
In Muay Thai, clinching is described as grappling of the hands around the neck of the opponent during an offensive or defensive combat. This particular technique is used as an effective method to subdue the opponent or control the aggressiveness of the other fighter.
The clinch technique is different from other martial art forms such as Judo as it permits utilizing the knee techniques, punching, kicking and delivering elbows. Being able to use these various attacking methods provide the boxer with the advantage of striking using the Muay Thai clinch.
Defenses in muay Thai are categorized in six groups:
- Blocking: defender's hard blocks to stop a strike in its path so preventing it reaching its target (e.g. the shin block described in more detail below).
- Redirection: defender's soft parries to change the direction of a strike (e.g. a downwards tap to a jab) so that it misses the target.
- Avoidance: moving a body part out of the way or range of a strike so the defender remains in range for a counter-strike. For example, the defender moves their front leg backwards to avoid the attacker's low kick, then immediately counters with a roundhouse kick. Or the defender might lay their head back from the attacker's high roundhouse kick then counter-attack with a side kick.
- Evasion: moving the body out of the way or range of a strike so the defender has to move close again to counter-attack, e.g. defender jumping laterally or back from attacker's kicks.
- Disruption: Pre-empting an attack e.g. with defender using disruptive techniques like jab, foot-thrust or low roundhouse kick, generally called a "leg kick"(to the outside or inside of the attacker's front leg, just above the knee) as the attacker attempts to close distance.
- Anticipation: Defender catching a strike (e.g. catching a roundhouse kick to the body) or countering it before it lands (e.g. defender's low kick to the supporting leg below as the attacker initiates a high roundhouse kick).
What Is The Difference Between Muay Thai And Kickboxing
Kickboxing is a generic term for fighting sports/systems that use kicking and boxing techniques, though the rules of some but not all kickboxing groups do allow additional techniques such as elbows and knees.
Muay thai uses kicking, punching, elbows and knees, clinches and has some ceremonial aspects. Techniques like hammerfists and backfists, and palm strikes, have been incorporated.
So, you might say Muay Thai is one specific type of kickboxing, albeit supplemented with additional techniques. And indeed, kickboxing has historically emerged predominantly from a mixture of Muay Thai, karate and western boxing, though later on fighters with all manner of martial arts backgrounds have competed in kickboxing and any style is inevitably influenced a bit by whatever has been proven to work well within the rules.
There nothing inherent in either system that makes it a better workout, or particularly harder or easier (though learning to use and defend against elbows and knees is obviously an additional challenge). If the specific kickboxing system being offered doesn't happen to incorporate knees and elbows, it may be less effective for self defence, but not hugely so - you'll still learn close-range body punches.
You have to wrao your hands with flat unwrinkled hand wrap for a proper smooth wrap.
Wrap the pad over the knuckled on the fingers, not on the back of the hand.
Here is a tutorial on how to wrap your hands the easy way:
Muay Thai Highlights & Fight Techniques Videos
Martial Arts Stackexchange
The Jakarta Post
How To Wrap Hands For MuayThai Boxing - Youtube