Muay Thai, which translates to “Thai Boxing”, is the national sport of Thailand. It is a martial art with roots originating from military use dating back to around the 13th century during the time of the Sukhothai Kingdom.
Muay Thai is known as the “Art of 8 limbs” because it makes use of 8 points of contact namely, punches, elbows, knees and kicks. This differs it from other stand-up combat sports such as boxing (2 points - fists) and karate (4 points - fists and feet).
Today, Muay Thai is practised and competed not only in Thailand, but also all around the world.
What is Muay Thai or Thai Boxing?
“Muay” translates to mean “boxing” in Thai, so Muay Thai is literally Thai boxing. Taking elements from Muay Boran, the traditional Thai martial arts, Muay Thai as a modern combat sport was first formalized in the early 20th century. The sport was influenced by British boxing where codified rules and the boxing ring were put in place. During this period, fighters also ditched wrapping hands with ropes (“Kard Chuek”) and began wearing boxing gloves in competitions.
Muay Thai is a stand-up striking sport, with two competitors in the ring throwing punches, elbows, knees and kicks at each other. Clinching, sweeps and throws are also allowed. Besides the 8-point contact, a key difference between Muay Thai and many other stand-up combat sports is its emphasis on traditional elements such as the pre-fight dance ritual known as Wai Kru Ram Muay, the head dress (Mongkon) and the Sarama music that accompanies each fight.
Read this ultimate guide to Muay Thai to find out everything you need to know about the sport.
Muay Thai History
The history of Muay Thai can be traced historically to the Sukhothai dynasty of Thailand around the 13th century. As recorded in Thai history, the first Thai army was born out of a need to defend the kingdom and soldiers were taught both armed and unarmed combat. Over time, the evolution of this martial art gave us Muay Boran and Muay Thai as we know it today.
Due to wars with neighboring kingdoms and tribes over the centuries, Muay Thai became a way of life for the people of Siam (as Thailand used to be called). One of the most famous stories of Muay Thai came via the great Nai Khanom Tom, during the Ayutthaya period. The tale narrates how Nai Khanom Tom defeated 9 Burmese fighters, one after another, during his imprisonment after the Siam kingdom was under siege. The historical event (half steeped in myth) is now celebrated as Muay Thai day which takes place every year on March 17th.
During the Rattanakosin Kingdom era (around 18th-early 20th century), Muay Thai was formally became a national sport where rules and regulations were introduced.
Modern Muay Thai
Muay Thai has grown over years since around World War I period to become a combat sport loved and practised all around the world. Modern Muay Thai encompasses elements of traditional boxing including the use of padded boxing gloves, 3 to 5 rounds with time limit, defined rules and take place within a ring (squared platform).
Muay Thai takes much of its strikes and techniques from ancient Muay Thai, also commonly known as Muay Boran. Muay Boran was created primarily for hand-to-hand combat during warfare. As the sport evolves, dangerous techniques from Muay Boran that may be deadly have become forbidden in Muay Thai such as strikes to the joints or back of the head.
Other than variations of punches as seen in western boxing (e.g. jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts), kicks, elbows and knee strikes are used in Muay Thai. Clinching, sweeps and throws are also used strategically in modern Muay Thai to make it an all-rounded combat art. Due to the 8-point contact, the sport has proven to be one of the most effective stand-up striking art and practised by many mixed martial artists.
The stadiums of Lumpinee and Rajadamnern in Bangkok are considered to be the most prestigious arenas of Muay Thai. Fighters, local and foreign aspire to compete at the stadiums.
Muay Thai Techniques
Muay Thai techniques can be generally classed into attack, defense, and counter technique. To become adept in Muay Thai requires constant practise, drilling the techniques over and over until they form part of muscle memory.
Muay Thai training begins with learning the basic stance and movement. With the chin tucked in, the body is kept upright and hands in guard position to protect the head, and feet are kept roughly shoulder-width apart. Right-handers keep their left foot a little to the front while keeping their right feet roughly 45 degrees to the outside. Left-handers (Southpaws) do it in reverse with their right foot in front. This posture allows the fighter to be in balance and ready to strike or defend when appropriate.
Attacking techniques consist of punches, elbow strikes, knee strikes, kicks, push kicks and clinches. Defense techniques consist of blocks, lean backs, deflections, leg catches and dodges. These techniques mix and match to combine into combinations(combo) that can be used for attack or counter. An example of a combo that is often taught and used is the jab-cross-low kick. Each attacking technique includes a series of variations.
Here is a look at the various attacking technique and variations:
Punches are the most commonly used weapons in Muay Thai. The main punch techniques include the straight lead punch (jab), straight rear punch (cross), uppercut, hook, overhead punch, and spinning back fist. Punching power is generated with speed from the feet up, through shifting of weight, and rotation of the hip and shoulders.
The elbow is one of the hardest parts of the human body, making them an effective weapon in Muay Thai. There are many different ways to throw an elbow: sideways to the head, from the top down, reverse to the chin, flying elbow from the top down and spinning back elbow. When executed properly, elbow strikes can knock out an opponent or inflict deep cuts that can end fights via stoppages.
The Muay Thai kick is a devastating weapon delivered via the shins. The kick is delivered from the outside, with the arm swung backwards along with the inside rotation of the hip to generate force. Kicks can be thrown to the opponent’s legs (known as low kick or leg kick), body, arms, the back or the head.
Beside the standard roundhouse side kick, Muay Thai kicks can be delivered in a variety of ways such as jumping kick, spinning back kick, axe kicks (top down with heel landing on opponent’s head), and the acrobatic cartwheel kick as popularized by Muay Thai legend, Saenchai.
Knees in Muay Thai are typically close range weapons used during clinching. They are often thrown to the body, especially the ribcage but also on thighs and directly to the head. Jumping knee strikes can also be devastating if landed. When used effectively like other weapons of Muay Thai, knees can end fights by knockouts.
Knees are thrown with the rear leg to generate more force. They can be thrown straight or diagonally with clinching to keep the opponent within striking distance. They can also be delivered to the opponent’s head by jumping.
The push kick, referred to as “teep” in Muay Thai, can be used as both defensively or offensively. It can be used as a technique to keep opponents at a distance and disrupting an advance or as a strike if delivered with power and accuracy.
There are a few ways to use the teep including the straightforward front push kick which can be delivered to the solar plexus, the lead leg, or even the face as a show of dominance. Teeps can also be thrown as a side kick with the rear leg, or jumping front kick for even more power.
Clinching in Muay Thai is a grappling technique usually used in combination with knee and elbow strikes. Clinching is a close range fighting style that requires many years of practice to master. Takedowns, or tripping the opponent to the ground are also allowed and performed during clinching. When used to the right effect, clinching can help fighters outscore their opponents and win fights.
How to Improve in Muay Thai
There is no shortcut to becoming good at Muay Thai. Professional fighters in Thailand train twice daily, six days a week and competing almost every month. Many of them accumulate hundreds of fights on their record over their career as they started training as young as four or five.
Muay Thai techniques are simple and it is all about drilling; grinding the same techniques over and over again on a daily basis until they become second nature. Besides working on techniques, cardio and strength are important elements to become good in Muay Thai. This is why running and strength training exercises are also done everyday in a fighter training program.
Trainers are addressed as “Kru” in Muay Thai which means teacher. Krus are respected and always trusted for doing what is best for a fighter. Be it that push during training or the advice given, students must always give 100% trust as the Kru knows what is best. Even fighters with many titles to their names listen to their trainers.
Most importantly, giving your best during every training is the way for progress. Push yourself and give all you have got. In short, show up and train as regularly and frequently as you can.
What are the Benefits of Muay Thai?
With roots dating back to the 13th century, Muay Thai was originally developed for hand-to-hand combat in warfare. Over time, it evolved to become a martial art and fight sport that we know today.
Although it remains to be a full-contact sport, the times have changed with more and more people taking up Muay Thai for a variety of reasons. While many continue to compete in the ring, there is an increasing population training Muay Thai for fitness and recreational reasons. Today, Muay Thai is embraced by practitioners of all ages all over the world.
Here’s a look at ten benefits of Muay Thai:
It’s all about burning those extra calories and Muay Thai training does it exceptionally effectively. Each Muay Thai session lasts about 1-2 hours and consists of warm-up, shadow boxing, drilling techniques, heavy bag work, padwork, before finishing off with strength training exercises. One 2-hour session can burn 1000 calories, making it a great and fun way to lose weight.
Muay Thai consists of both attacking and defense techniques. As a combat art originating in military warfare, Muay Thai was designed to inflict pain to the enemy while protecting the user from physical harm. Its range of weapons like the elbow strike, knee strike and push kick can be used to disarm an attack. It is a great self-defense skill, making it ideal for everyone to learn especially kids and women.
Training Muay Thai helps to build mental fortitude by challenging limits both physically and mentally as it takes perseverance. So Muay Thai strengthens not only the body, but also the mind. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Being mentally tough enables a person to succeed in the face of uncertainty and adversity.
Training Muay Thai makes one leaner and gets one into a better shape. And when a person feels good about the way he/she looks, the more confidence they exude. At the same time if one makes the effort to train Muay Thai regularly, he/she will get better at it and seeing that improvement over time has a direct effect in the growth of self-confidence.
Endorphins are a group of chemicals secreted within the brain and nervous system. The release of endorphins in the body are known to promote a sense of comfort and well-being which can help in stress management. Endorphin rush refers to this state which is experienced after a workout which is almost guaranteed with each Muay Thai training session.
Strengthens The Body
Muay Thai training is tough. Each session lasts from 1 to 2 hours and incorporates multiple rounds of shadow boxing, heavy bagwork, padwork, strength training and conditioning exercises. A traditional training for fighters will even include a 3-5km run as a warm-up. A sore body today is a strong body tomorrow. Clearly, training in Muay Thai regularly will improve overall fitness and strengthen the body .
Widens Social Circle
There is always a strong sense of comradeship at every Muay Thai gym. There is a common interest in learning Muay Thai; everyone is working towards the shared goal of self-betterment; blood and sweat are shed during training; and this is how the deepest friendships are forged. Friends who slay together, stay together.
For all fitness enthusiasts who are sick of running on the treadmill or lifting the same old weights, Muay Thai is the antidote. Besides learning different techniques and combos, modern Muay Thai training incorporate a variety of exercises that makes training fun and effective at the same time. When the activity is interesting, there is more motivation and incentive to train. Whether for recreation or fitness, Muay Thai is an ideal activity that is fun and fulfilling.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular illness is the number 1 cause of death globally. One of the most common heart disease is hypertension, or high blood pressure, which can lead to serious complications like stroke and heart failure. The first step to reducing the risk of developing heart diseases is to make positive changes by engaging in regular cardiovascular exercises. As a cardio-intensive sport, regular training in Muay Thai can reduce blood pressure and strengthen the heart. Being healthy isn’t a fad or a trend, it is a lifestyle and Muay Thai can help to achieve it.
Easy to learn
Unlike many martial arts that focus on katas (or forms), Muay Thai is straightforward and to the point. There is no elaborate or detailed choreography and the moves are not designed to be performed for entertainment purposes. Muay Thai is a stand-up striking style that was developed to hurt the opponent in the most efficient way. They are effective yet instinctive enough to be picked up easily. No need for memorizing fancy, complicated movements. Easy as 1-2-3.
What to Wear for Muay Thai Training?
Like most other sports, Muay Thai competitions require participants to be dressed in the right attire. Most professional events, such as YOKKAO events, provide official fightgear and fightwear as they might be broadcasted on television on streamed live on social media.
One of Muay Thai’s appeal is its emphasis on traditions and culture. Even in international events, Muay Thai fights are often accompanied by classical Thai music known as Sarama, sometimes performed live by musicians. Fighters wear a unique headgear called the Mongkhon and armbands known as Prajiads. Both of these items are looked upon as sacred objects and are handled with care.
The Mongkhon (sometimes Mongkol) is a headwear unique to Muay Thai. It is believed by Thai people to offer protection and good luck to its wearer. Traditionally, Mongkhons are completely made by hand using rope and cloth, with adornments such as talisman. This task is taken upon by the trainers of the camp and the Mongkhons are blessed by monks in a ritual before they are eventually worn by a fighter.
Fighters put on the Mongkhons before entering the ring which they also wear during the length of the Wai Khru Ram Muay performed before the fight. When the Ram Muay is completed, the fighter retreats to his corner and the Mongkhon is removed by -usually by a trainer- while a prayer is whispered for protection and luck. This practice has been transported beyond Thailand onto international events.
Like the Mongkhon, the traditions of wearing Prajiads are traced back to ancient Thailand when the country was always at war. They are believed to grant good luck to the wearers. Prajiads are usually fabric torn off a mother’s dress and tied around the arms throughout the entirety of fights.
The dress code for Muay Thai training is more casual. Muay Thai shorts are worn and men usually go topless due to the heat in Thailand. Outside of Thailand, Muay Thai shorts are often paired with an exercise tank top or t-shirt for both men and women.
Muay Thai Gloves:
Muay Thai gloves are built with some differences from traditional boxing gloves due to the nature of the sport.While traditional boxing gloves tend to be more padded around the knuckle area, Muay Thai gloves are more evenly-padded over the entirety of the gloves. This all-round padding offers protection against elbows and kicks.
Lace-up gloves between 6oz to 10oz are used for professional fighting. For ease of taking them off during breaks, gloves with velcro closures (hook-and-loop) are used for day-to-day training and sparring. Occasionally, lace-up gloves may be used in sparring for better support.
Muay Thai Shorts:
Muay Thai shorts are also a relatively modern apparel brought over from western boxing. You can observe the apparent similarity between the respective styles. Western boxing shorts tend to be longer reaching just above the knees while Muay Thai shorts are much shorter extending to just around mid-thigh section.
Muay Thai shorts are cut this way to allow complete freedom of movement so the wearers feel unhindered with their kicks. Satin, nylon and polyester-blend fabric are usually used due to their comfortable feel and light weight.
Other than gloves and shorts, hand wraps and ankle guards are two important gear in Muay Thai. Hand wraps provide wrist and hand support, helping to minimize hand injuries during boxing. Reusable, washable hand wraps are used for training while bandages are used in competition for wrapping hands.
As for ankle guards, they are not always worn but many fighters train or fight with them for additional support. Ankle guards provide warmth and additional support to the ankles which may help in balance and minimize ankle injuries.
Difference between old and modern Muay Thai dress code:
In the early years of Muay Thai when it just transitioned into a sport around the 18th century, hemp rope was used to wrap around the hands. This practice is known as Kard Chuek. This is a more brutal form of fighting with higher knockout rates.
Kard Chuek fights are still sanctioned today with minor changes. Competitors typically wear 4oz gloves and wrapped with ropes to mimic the legacy of Kard Chuek.
WAI KHRU RAM MUAY
As a sport heavily linked to traditions and culture, one of the most distinctive aspects of Muay Thai is the pre-fight ceremony known as Wai Kru Ram Muay.
The ceremonial ritual takes place in the ring, accompanied by traditional rhythmic Thai music known as Sarama. The Sarama is a unique rhythmic traditional Thai music that also accompanies the fights. The hypnotic otherworldly sounds of the Sarama starkly juxtaposes with swift brutal movements to characterize the sport of Muay Thai, that is like no other.
Although it is always shortened to just “Wai Kru” or “Ram Muay”, the whole ritual involves two distinct segments. Wai Kru means “paying respect to teacher” while Ram Muay can be translated literally to mean “classical dance of boxing”. In the Wai Kru Ram Muay, fighters begin by walking inside the ring in an anti-clockwise direction along the ropes, pausing at each corner with a prayer to seek protection during the fight. They then proceed to the center to perform the “Wai Khru” portion which involves a kneel, bow and the “Wai”, done three times to pay tribute to their parents, teachers and Buddha.
Once the Wai Kru is complete, the fighters perform a dance (Ram Muay) with varying degrees of elaboration among various fighters and camps, often passed down from teachers to fighters. Ram Muay dances are often homage to famous characters in Thai legends or Sanskrit stories such as the Ramayana. The fighters then retreat to their corners where their Mongkhon headdress is removed by their trainer or a respected member of the camp.
The Wai Kru Ram Muay is not only ceremonial in nature, but also helps to prepare the competitors for the fight physically and mentally. It is sometimes said that the dance is an indication of a fighter’s form through the posture, balance and grace. Some renowned performers of the Wai Kru include Saenchai, Buakaw, Superbank and Namsaknoi.
Today, the Wai Khru is taught in Muay Thai gyms all around the world, even to students who do not compete in the ring. Every year, thousands of Muay Thai practitioners from all over the world gather in the ancient Thai city of Ayutthaya for the annual World Wai Kru Ceremony and show their appreciation for the traditions of Muay Thai.
Muay Thai vs Boxing
Muay Thai is a completely different sport from traditional boxing as known in the West. While classic boxing uses only punches, Thai boxing involves a wider range of techniques including elbows, knees, kicks, sweeps, and elaborate use of clinching.
Kicks provide Muay Thai with a longer range of striking which can be an advantage against a boxer with no training in kicking. Boxing tends to focus on punches, defense and footwork. Boxers tend to have more power in their punches compared to most Muay Thai fighters. However, some renowned Thai fighters have competed with much success in both sports. Anuwat Kaewsamrit is a well-known Muay Thai fighter famous for his heavy hands and high KO rate. Somrak Khamsing, a golden age fighter, is an Olympic gold-medalist in boxing.
In terms of effectiveness in self-defense or street fights, both boxing and Muay Thai are ideal skills to possess.
Muay Thai vs MMA
The most distinct difference between Muay Thai and MMA (mixed martial arts) is the latter’s inclusion of ground fighting. Generally speaking, MMA fighters train in several disciplines that include striking as well as a grappling martial art, while Muay Thai in itself is a striking art. Due to its effectiveness, Muay Thai is a popular choice of striking for many MMA fighters.
When pitted against each other, the Muay Thai fighter will do everything to avoid taking the fight to the ground. A MMA fighter proficient in a grappling skill like wrestling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will likely not fare as well in a full stand-up face-off. When the chance presents itself, he will attempt to bring the fight to the ground.
In a study, it was shown that 7 out of 10 street fights ended up on the ground. The person with the ground fighting experience will often prevail in such situations simply due to familiarity and possessing the right skills.
Muay Thai Vs BJJ
Muay Thai is widely recognized as the most effective stand-up striking martial art while Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is acknowledged as the most dominant grappling, ground fighting martial art. Both are fundamentally different as a combat sport with one focusing on striking while the other on submissions. Both martial arts are also widely favored by mixed martial artists.
Like many combat sports, both Muay Thai and BJJ can be effective as self-defense skills in real-life situations. With the right amount of training, these martial arts can deter the aggressor and disarm the situation.
Supporters of Muay Thai believe that well-trained Nak Muay will KO the BJJ guy to sleep easily. Likewise, BJJ fans are confident of strangling the Muay Thai fighter into submission once the fight is taken to the ground.
In a hypothetical faceoff, it boils down to the level of proficiency of the individual martial artist more than the art itself. A highly skilled Muay Thai fighter will be able to knock out his opponent while a high level Jiu Jitsu practitioner is capable of taking down his opponent and finishing with a lock or choke.
Muay Thai vs Kickboxing
Kickboxing is an umbrella term for stand-up striking sports based on punching and kicking. Muay Thai is one of the most well-known kickboxing sports along with Kyokushin Karate and kickboxing fought under K-1 rules.
In the 1990s to early 2000s, K-1 was the pre-eminent international stand-up combat sports promotion. Competitors from a variety of martial arts backgrounds around the world came together to prove themselves on a world stage, necessitating the need for unified rules.
K-1 made modifications to its rules over the years, differing from Muay Thai most notably in the absence of elbows and limiting the use of clinching. Due to its popularity, many kickboxing promotions today continue to apply the same rules.
Other than that, the two sports are similar enough that many Muay Thai and kickboxing fighters often compete and hold titles in both sports. Generally speaking, kickboxers focus more on footwork and punches while Muay Thai fighters focus on all weapons along with clinching with an emphasis on kicks which score more.
Muay Thai Rules and regulations
Like all sports, Muay Thai competitions are governed by a strict set of rules and regulations. They are put in place and appropriated by officials and the referee to ensure the safety of the fighters as well as the fairness of the competition without any bias. Traditional western boxing was a major influence in the development of Muay Thai as a sport from an ancient martial arts in the early 20th century. The rules of the sport then evolved over the years to become what it is today.
The detailed list of rules and regulations covers diverse aspects that are usually ignored by the audience and most casual fans overwhelmed by the excitement of the fights. These vital rules can vary slightly depending on the venue or organizer but is distinctive enough to make Muay Thai separated from American, Dutch or Japanese kickboxing. Muay Thai is most differentiated from other combat sports by the use of elbows, knees, push kicks (teeps) and the clinch.
For fighters, fight gyms and those looking to compete, it is important to have a clear understanding of the rules in order to succeed in the sport. For fans, having knowledge of the rules enhances the appreciation and enjoyment of the game.
Here are some of the key rules and regulations that are common across various Muay Thai promotions and sanctioning organizations:
The minimum age to qualify for professional bouts varies from country to country. The age limit in Thailand is 15, and 16 or 18 in other countries. Many fighters start competing at a younger age in amateur fights which may prohibit elbows and strikes to the head. Protective gear like head guard, elbow pads and padded vest may be mandatory.
Fights always take place in the ring (squared) on an elevated platform measuring between sizes of 4.9 by 4.9 meters (16 ft) to 7.3 by 7.3 meters (24 ft). Safety precautions are taken into consideration with the ring construction usually made up with ropes, 4 corner posts and floor covered with appropriate padding/cushioning material.
For safety and fairness, professional Muay Thai promotions will always provide boxing gloves. Glove sizes between 6oz to 10oz are prescribed based on the weight divisions. There are now several promotions that sanction Muay Thai fights with MMA-style gloves (open-finger) between 4-6oz.
Shirts and shoes are prohibited for male competitors and only Muay Thai shorts are worn during fights. Most Thai boxers also wear the sacred armbands known as Prajiad, including on events outside of Thailand. Ankle guards are commonly worn but they are not mandated.
Like traditional boxing, Muay Thai fighters compete within their weight divisions. Weigh-ins usually take place a day before the fight or on the same day to ensure that the fighters meet the respective weight classes.
Length of Fight
Under professional full Muay Thai rules, fights are sanctioned for 5 rounds of 3 minutes each, with a 2-minute break in between rounds. On a number of made-for-tv shows, fights are shortened to 3 rounds of 3 minutes to cater to the casual audience. For amateur events, fight durations are shorter with 2-minute rounds, and 1-minute rest-time between rounds. Junior fights consist of 1-minute rounds.
Female fights differ little from their male counterparts. The most obvious would be the necessity of a top, usually a sports bra or sleeveless shirt. Women with long hair will also need to have their hair tied up. The length of fights differ between promotions but many female fights are timed the same as the male fights.
In the event that there is no knockout, the winner will be decided based on the scoring system. The system in Muay Thai favors the fighter who can land more shots effectively and inflict more damage. The more aggressive do not necessarily score more points if the strikes do not inflict damage. It is quality over quantity and this is a reason why casual fans often misinterpret the results of a fight.
For scoring, the winner in each round is awarded 10 points while his opponent gets 9, 8 or 7 points depending on the performance of the fighters in the round. For example, the clear winner in a round will get 10 points while the loser will get 9 points but if the latter was given an 8-count once, he will get 8 points instead. In an evenly-matched round, both boxers get 10 points each. A fighter who is dominant in all 5 rounds can get a maximum of 50 points.
The referee can stop the fight in the event of a disqualification, knock-out, or if one fighter visibly outclasses his opponent. The on-duty doctor can also stop a fight on the basis that the fighter is unfit to continue. Corners can also throw in the towel to stop the fight if their fighter is hurt. In these cases, a winner is determined before the end of the bout.
For safety reasons, some techniques and strikes are penalised and can result in warning or disqualification. Headbutts, biting, groin shots, hitting the back of the head, kicking knee joints and poking the eyes are not prohibited. If an opponent has maintained 3-point contact with the ring canvas (e.g. with both feet and one hand on the ground), no striking is allowed to the opponent. Accidents do occasionally happen due to the fast pace of the fight and this will be judged accordingly by the referee or ring officials.
Disrespectful behaviors such as spitting or swearing will also be dealt with penalties including warning, loss of points or disqualification. While takedowns are allowed, Judo or wrestling techniques are prohibited. The throwing of opponents off the ring or back-breaking as seen in pro-wrestling is also not allowed.
Questions & Answers for the Muay Thai Beginner's
How dangerous is Muay Thai?
Answer: Muay Thai is a full-contact sport with significant physical contact. As it is a competitive combat sport, it is not uncommon for athletes to sustain bruises and injuries from competitions. However, health risks are low training Muay Thai for fitness and other non-competitive purposes.
Is Muay Thai good in a street fight?
Answer: Muay Thai originated from military warfare and was designed to inflict pain to the enemy while protecting the user from physical harm. It has a wide range of weapons like elbow strikes, knee strikes and push kicks which can be used to disarm an attack. It is effective for self-defense in physical confrontations although we do not encourage engaging in street fights.
Is kickboxing and Muay Thai the same?
Answer: Kickboxing as a competitive sport is different from Muay Thai in terms of the rules. While both sports involve punches, kicks, knees, elbows are not allowed in kickboxing and clinching is also limited. Generally speaking, kickboxers focus more on footwork and punches while Muay Thai fighters focus on all weapons along with clinching with an emphasis on kicks which score more.
Is Muay Thai the deadliest martial art?
Answer: Muay Thai is an effective system that originated from Muay Boran, an unarmed combat arts created for military use. It focuses on straightforward techniques designed to inflict hurt, backed by many years of intensive training and body conditioning. Like any martial arts, Muay Thai is only as deadly as the person using it.
- How popular is Muay Thai?
Answer: Muay Thai is practised all around the globe by fighters, and non-fighters alike. Muay Thai events are also held in every corner of the world. Many people compete in the sport but a majority train Muay Thai fitness, self-defense or as a recreation.
- Is Muay Thai good for self defense?
Answer: Muay Thai has a wide range of weapons like elbow strikes, knee strikes and push kicks which can be used to disarm an attack. It is effective for self-defense in physical confrontations although only as a last resort. Running away is the best self defense.
- How many types of Muay Thai are there?
Answer: Generally speaking, only one type of Muay Thai is practised.
- Is Muay Thai difficult?
Answer: Muay Thai moves are designed to be simple and effective in combat. As such, the techniques are easy to learn. However, Muay Thai training involves extensive conditioning and can be physically intensive, making it a great way to get fit or lose way.
- Which is better Muay Thai or MMA?
Answer: In MMA, fighters train in a selection of different sports including stand-up striking as well as ground-fighting skills. Muay Thai in itself is a stand-up combat art that is widely practised by many MMA athletes.
When pitted against each other, the Muay Thai fighter will do everything to avoid taking the fight to the ground. A MMA fighter proficient in a grappling skill like wrestling or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will likely not fare as well in a full stand-up face-off. When the chance presents itself, he will attempt to bring the fight to the ground. Many street fights do end up on the ground so the person with the ground fighting experience will often prevail in such situations. However, the Muay Thai fighter stands a chance of winning if he is able to knock out his opponent. This all boils down to the level of skills that the fighter possesses.