Commonly known as “the art of eight limbs” is a Southeast Asian martial art form known as Muay Thai. The “striking” combat form is said to have originated from Thailand. Apparently, the Muay Thai comprises of elements belonging to several styles such as Lethwei, Pradal Serey, Muay Laos, and Musti-Yuddha. Furthermore, this martial art form comprises of two components i.e. Physical and Mental preparation. In addition, this combat form has been officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) although it is not yet an Olympic sport.
a. History/origin of the Muay Thai:
According to the cultural history of Thailand, the Muay Thai was developed by a fighter known as Nai Khanomtom during the 16th century. Apparently, Khanomtom was captured by the Burmese Kingdom during a war. It was seven years after the war that the King of Burma organized a martial art festival to judge the quality of the Burmese fighters to that of the Thai. It was at this festival that Nai defeated about ten Burmese fighters and impressed the king, who then decided to set him free from imprisonment. It was this style of combat that he used at the festival that became known as “Siamese Style Boxing” which was later renamed as “Muay Thai”.
b. Weapon used in the Muay Thai:
The “hands and feet” of the fighter is mainly used as a weapon in the Muay Thai.
c. Technique involved in the Muay Thai and training availability:
In terms of technique, a fighter basically uses moves such as punching, elbow strikes, kicking, knee strikes, foot thrusting, and clinching to overcome an opponent. In addition, a fighter also makes use of a few defensive moves such as blocking, redirection, avoidance, evasion, disruption, and anticipation. As for training centers/schools, there are few available especially in Thailand for anyone interested in learning this “striking” martial art form.