History Of Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a traditional combat sport from Thailand that uses leg strikes, punches, elbows strikes, knee strikes, clinches, and sweeps. It is also known as the art of eight limbs. Muay Thai dates back to the mid-1600 when Ancient Thailand was in conflict with neighboring kingdoms. Since Thailand was considerably a poor nation, they lacked the funds to manufacture weapons that matched their aggressors. This forced them to train their bodies as a weapon. Not having the luxury of sparing anything, they found the way to use every single part of their body that could be potentially used to strike. This gave birth to the concept of elbow strikes and knee strikes – something that was not seen at the time by any other form of fighting. By the 19th century, Thailand was at peace and the art of Muay Thai was adopted as a form of exercise, self-defense, recreation, and personal advancement. At the time, the art was using hemp ropes wrapped around the fists in place of gloves. Since that proved to be extremely hurtful for a sport discipline, gloves were introduced from traditional Boxing to allow fighters to remain healthier. By 1913, the art was officially named Muay Thai. And 10 years later, Muay Thai officially adopted the Boxing ring as the fighting grounds. In 1993, the International Federation of MuayThai Amateur (IFMA) was founded and 128 countries recognized it as a sport. In 1995, the World Muay Thai Federation (WMTF) was founded and approved by 70 participating countries. Today, there are nearly 200 participating countries in the world and Muay Thai is soon to be considered for integration in Olympic Games. Muay Thai is also one of the most preferred forms of striking chosen by Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) practitioners.
Muay Thai In The Movies
Muay Thai has been more evident than most people would realize. During the 70s, 80s, and 90s, Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris turned everyone’s attention to Kung Fu and Karate. And soon enough, there were as many Karate dojos as there were Burger Kings franchises across the world. Muay Thai was living under a big shadow. However, with a little bit of research you will remember Muay Thai from:
- Kickboxer– Van Damme fought a Muay Thai Boxer who cheated by throwing sand in his eyes and forcing him to fight with his eyes closed.
- Salt– Angelina Jolie was a highly trained government agent and very skilled in Muay Thai techniques throughout the movie fight scenes.
- OngBak Trilogy – Professional Muay Thai fighter and superstar Tony Jaa performs in a historical movie series of Muay Thai in Thailand
- The Marine 2 – In this movie a Marine shows his Muay Thai skills while fighting for his life
- UFC 3 – Roland Payne, a Muay Thai fighter weho fought Hugo Duarte, was at the time mistaken for a kickboxer.
- Chocolate – An autistic girl uses Muay Thai to claim the debt that is owed to her family.