The History of Muay Thai
Welcome to the world of Muay Thai, a martial art like no other and a proud heritage of Thailand.
You may have heard about Muay Thai, or even seen it on television with its furious punches, crushing elbow strikes, lethal kicks, and artful feints, but nothing compares to seeing it live executed to loud cheers and the heart-racing tunes of an accompanying wind-and-percussion ensemble.
Today a highly popular spectator sport, Muay Thai has a long history that is interwoven with the history of the Thai people. Although gentle and peace loving, the Thais had for centuries to defend themselves and their land from aggressive powers. Accordingly, they developed a form of hand-to-hand combat that was well suited to rough terrain over which battles were fought.
In time, it became a rite of passage for Thai men to take up training in this martial art. King Naresuan the Great (1590-1605), one of Thailands most celebrated heroes, is believed to have been an excellent boxer himself, and it was he who made Muay Thai a required part of military training.
Another milestone in the history of Muay Thai was the triumph of Nai Khanom Tom, a prisoner taken from Ayutthaya by an invading Burmese army. In 1774, he was chosen to fight before the king of Burma and such was his prowess that he defeated ten Burmese boxers in succession. He was then freed and returned home a hero.
From being a form of military combat, Muay Thai developed into a sport, although in the past it was a dangerous sport. There were no safety guards of any kind for the fighters, and instead of gloves, boxers wrapped lengths of cords around their fists. In the modern era however, rules along with gloves were introduced and followed largely the regulations of international boxing.
In recent years, the sport has attracted a wide following outside Thailand, and training facilities have been established in countries as far afield as the U.S. and the former Soviet states.
In 1995, the World Muay Thai Council was set up by a cabinet resolution to promote this heritage sport at national and international levels. At a conference held in the same year, 78 member countries voted for the establishment of a training school where all elements of Muay Thai would be taught. Thus the Muay Thai Institute was founded in 1997 with accreditation by the Ministry of Education.
Along with soccer, Muay Thai remains the most passionately followed sport in Thailand. Television networks broadcast fights five days a week, and the fight results at major stadiums are reported in newspapers. Interestingly, international style boxing is also popular and Thailand has produced several world champions, all of whom started out as Muay Thai fighters. So it's not surprising that a boy as young as seven or eight may start training at one of the country's many boxing stables. Most provincial capitals have a boxing ring but the ultimate dream is to fight at either Lumphini or Ratchadamnoen stadiums in Bangkok, the most famous Muay Thai venues in Thailand.
Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand brochure.
And to end the thread, here's a pic of me firing a high roundhouse kick. :D
From an alternative source I was told Muay Thai came from The old Kyhmer Empire which is now Cambodia. It was the Cambodians that originaly created the art even befor there was a Thailand.
I've heard that as well. Could be true.
Last edited by Jo Vale Tudo; 8/20/2004 3:24pm at .
I heard that too, but it was from a mcDojo artist who claimed to be the hapkido champion of korea, so even if it is true I choose not to believe it until proven otherwise cause that guy's a real jerk.
If that guy is a jerk then he deserves to be bitch slap. I would add I dont beleive most Hapikido guys ever spar. So you probably would be right to believe in most of what he says is full of it.