Taking A Deep Dive Into Thai Boxing
Thai boxing isn’t just another variation of boxing but it is a traditional martial art. Referred to as Muay Thai, Thai boxing is a martial art that not only uses fists but also kicks, knees, and elbows, as well. This is an incredibly popular sport throughout Thailand that can be found practiced virtually everywhere. Popular as a martial art, as a mainstream sport, understanding Muay Thai or Thai Boxing (the two terms will be used interchangeably from now on) better will not only help you appreciate the sport but also get a great understanding of just why it is so popular.
Read on to learn more!
Brief History of Thai Boxing
This martial art is often referred to as “The science of eight limbs.” The reason for this is because of the focus on using very specific points of the body for combat. Hands, feet, knees, elbows, each person has two of each which is how that name comes to be. Muay Thai focuses on using all these parts of the body from the left side and right side in order to create an efficient and effective fighting style that uses a wide array of moves and options to get the job done.
Modern Thai boxing is actually a blend of different kickboxing martial arts, as Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia all have their version of similar styles of kickboxing based martial arts. When looking at modern Muay Thai that is recognized as the current national martial art of Thailand, that style is specifically descended from three main places: Muay Boran, Krabi Krabong, and the military use of weapons being replaced with body parts. That combination has helped create this style, the blend of which took the name of Muay Thai in the 1920s.
While there are standard sized gloves in today’s Thai boxing, originally hands would be wrapped in leather straps or rope. In the unregulated days headbutts were allowed (they are not now) and those old 80’s action movies showing shards of shells or glass being ground into the hand wraps? That actually did happen in some unregulated fights.
A National Obsession
Muay Thai is the official national sport of Thailand and to say that fans there are obsessed with the sport is an understatement to just how dedicated they are. This sport can be found in giant arenas, in small village gyms, and everywhere in between. If you are visiting a settlement of any size, chances are you will be able to find a Thai boxing match going on somewhere. Alongside some of the most legendary brands and shops selling the best Muay Thai gloves in the nation.
A Note On Style
One thing that sticks out to many who watch this sport is that it sometimes seems to be a bit slower than MMA or boxing in that the speed of the fighters doesn’t appear as fast – but that can be a bit deceiving. Not only can well-trained and experienced fighters move deceptively quickly but because the full body is turned into blows, the kicks, punches, and even blocks have been described as devastating since the full body goes into them. Many experienced fighters in one style will move to Muay Thai and describe it as feeling like they were getting hit by a truck…or hitting one when they were blocked.
Muay Thai is a remarkable combat sport, and likely the