Muay Thai: Thailand’s Pride
The Kingdom of Thailand produced its own martial art called Muay Thai more than two thousand years ago. The world recognizes it as Thai boxing but is a far cry from traditional boxing as it uses elbows, the knees and the feet apart from the fists. Just like any other martial art, it requires strict training and the willingness to learn. Rigorous training keeps your body in good form and shape, and is quite beneficial to the nervous system while improving blood circulation and flexibility.
Muay Thai isn’t a martial art technically but a popularized sport since the 1930s. It is an adaptation of Muay Boran that originated from ling lom. It was Thailand’s clash with Burma that evolved the sport. Nai Khanom Dtom, a prisoner of war, used Muay Thai to defeat Burma’s best boxers in 1774. Since then, Thai soldiers have been practicing Muay Thai for as long as Thailand had an army. Modern Muay Thai had since evolved into a lethal combat art that had been charming spectators. It has also been widely recognized as a form of self-defense and became a popular fitness workout as well.
Knees and elbows may be widely used in Muay Thai but there are various techniques that are widely available for the practitioner. Making use of all your available weapons, and by weapons meaning the parts of your body used for Muay Thai, and by understanding how to make better use of the defensive and offensive moves, the practitioner will become a much improved fighter. Here is the list of Muay Thai techniques.
The basic punching techniques include:
jab, hook, cross, straight body punch, uppercut, hook to the body, overhand punch
The basic kicks are:
body kick, low kick, head kick
Advanced kicks include:
straight kick, half shin-half knee kick, axe kick, jump kick
The basic push kicks are:
straight teep (front), rear teep (back leg), side teep
Advanced push kicks are:
slapping teep, jumping teep
Basic knee techniques:
straight knee, side knee, diagonal knee, curving knee
Advanced knee techniques:
flying knee, jumping knee, step up knee
Basic elbow strikes:
uppercut elbow, forward elbow thrust, horizontal elbow, slashing elbow
Advanced elbow strikes:
backwards elbow, spinning back elbow, downward jumping elbow, diagonal elbow, reverse horizontal elbow, double chop elbow
front clinch, side clinch, arm clinch, low clinch, throws
avoiding, blocking, parrying, anticipation, disruption, catching
Modern Muay Thai matches today are held at a ring which has the similar size of a boxing ring with the four corners following compass points. The colors were introduced in the 1920s in western boxing as well. The northwest corresponds to the red corner, which is also typically designated to the champion or fighter with the most advantage. The southeast corresponds to the blue corner. The last two corners are white. As it is gaining much popularity moving on from a survival combat art to competitive sport, it continues to expand throughout the globe, especially in the United States, Japan, Europe, Australia and Africa. Truly, it’s a fighting tradition that shows no signs of stopping of making its way to the hearts of warriors everywhere.