Muay Thai is one of the oldest combat sports in the world. The combat sport that originated in Thailand is one of the oldest martial arts and is a common sport in many countries of the world. So, what is Muay Thai? To begin with, Muay Thai is a full-combat sport that is popular for using stand-up striking techniques together with other clinching techniques. However, the “art of 8 limbs” is not only physical but also mental discipline and includes combat directed on shins. It is known as the art of 8 limbs due to the combination of elbows, fists, knees, and shins. It is associated with proper physical preparations intended to make a full-contact combatant very efficient. The martial art is characterized by different rules which are not associated with other combat sports.
Rules of the sport
Some of the most basic Muay Thai rules include the number of rounds that combatants should be involved in during the sport. Normally, the sport involves 5 rounds with each round taking 3 minutes which should be followed by 2-minute rest period before the resumption of the next round. Combatants should not fight for more than 5 rounds. In addition, all the boxers participating in the sport are supposed to wear gloves which should not be squeezed, crushed or kneaded to change the original shape. Muay Thai contestants are also supposed to wear trunks only which should appropriately be fitting for their bodies. Boxers are also supposed to wear sturdy athletic cups or standard supporters for the protection of their gum and groin. No shoes or shirts should be worn during the sport but one can wear ankle cap. Shields are also allowed and can be used.
How to defend against attacks
There are 6 categories of defense when it comes to Muay Thai. Boxers are required to learn these valuable skills as they help during the sport and in real life. These include: –
Blocking – This defense category is always regarded as the defender’s hard block whose aim is to stop the opponent’s strikes before they reach their target. There are different blocks including shin block
Redirecting – Redirection is the soft parries of the defender and its purpose is to change the opponent’s strike direction. This can be in form of downwards tap to a jab and the goal is to ensure that the opponent doesn’t find his or her target.
Evasion – Evasion is meant to help the boxers defend themselves by moving their bodies out of strike range or out of the way thus ensuring that the attack doesn’t hit its target. This creates room for them to move closer for easier counter-attacks.
Avoidance – The difference between evasion and avoidance is that although both involve getting out of range or way of a strike, the latter allows the defender to remain with range for effective counter attack. This might call for the defender to move his front leg backwards when the attacker directs a low kick towards them before counter-attacking using an angle kick.
Anticipation – This defense technique allows the defender to counter or catch a strike before in hits its target. It involves techniques such as catching the attacker’s angle kick next to the body among other things.
Disruption: – This helps pre-empt an attack using disruptive techniques such as low angle kick, teep, or jab while the attacker is trying to close the distance.
Although it is combative martial art, Muay Thai is normally safe when practiced according to the set rules. Participants should be trained by a professional before taking to the ring.
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