Before Muay Thai was a competitive sport, it was purely a form of self-defense. The history of this self-defense discipline goes all the way back to the Thailands earliest history. In a time when the country was repeatedly attacked by other conquering nations, Thailands people had no choice but to use their knowledge, skills, and abilities to defend themselves from their enemies.
In those days, the Thai people did not have much to work with in the way of weaponry. During a battle, all they had to use were spears and clubs items that could only be used at very short range. Because of this, the Thai people were forced to rely on their abilities and instincts to protect their country from invasion by neighboring countries.
Fighting methods developed by the Thais involved using the hands, fists, elbows, feet and head as weapons in close-range fighting. As the fighting methods were systematized, the discipline came to be known as Muay Thai. In western parts of the world, it is referred to as Thai boxing.
The Beginning of Muay Thai Fighting
In the early days of Muay Thai, fighters used their bare fists to fight. Grappling techniques were rarely or never used. Instead, practitioners would move in close to their opponent to attempt a strike and then move quickly back out of range to escape being struck by their opponent. Size and weight classes were unheard of in the early days of competitive Muay Thai. Practitioners would spar and often move on to their next bout without so much as a break or time out to rest.
If there were rules, there were not many. For example, it was okay to use the head to strike an opponent, and it was also okay to strike the groin area when fighting. The area was not considered off-limits at the time. Eventually, as the discipline developed matches were divided up into fighting rounds.
The Elements of Muay Thai
The essential elements of Muay Thai consist of striking techniques using the fists, knees, elbow and feet. Today grappling techniques are sometimes employed as a method of defense during a match.
Blocking is an integral part of the martial arts discipline of Muay Thai. Practitioners must be effective blockers to win a match, and to block actually; opponents must maintain excellent mental and physical conditioning.
Muay Thai Today
Today Muay Thai is famous all over the world, not just in Thailand. It is becoming a widely recognized competitive sport as more and more people learn self-defense through the methods of Muay Thai. Students of Muay Thai can be found everywhere. They are young and old, male and female, and they come from every background and every walk of life. Whether they train using a martial arts DVD or the begin their studies in the classroom, they are learning the methods that were employed years ago by the people of Thailand.
Influence and Evolution of Muay Thai
When it comes to the fashionableness of Muay Thai today, it is certain how it has become one of the keys of Mixed Martial Arts. Mixed Martial Arts has been recognized to link different martial arts and those fighters that can best fold in their Muay Thai have a distinct preference. Nowadays, it is a sport that systematically presents the use of stand up techniques of boxing, kickboxing, and Muay Thai. Muay Thai has been supported by great UFC champions. Of course, a lot of Muay Thai purists don’t agree since it dilutes their art. But others have embraced Muay Thai’s new found popularity and have embraced MMA fighters wanting to learn and represent such a useful art.
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