What is Muay Thai? A Brief History

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Muay Thai

There are roughly 3.6 million people every year that participate in a martial art of some kind in the US.

Martial arts have been becoming increasingly popular, with the martial arts industry making something around $5 billion in total revenue during 2019.

While you might be familiar with MMA, karate, kung fu, and judo, you may not know much about Muay Thai.

What is Muay Thai? Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

What Is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is also sometimes known as Thai boxing. Using various clinching techniques and stand up striking, this combat sport originated in Thailand.

With its origins in the battlefield of the Siamese military, Muay Thai is now the national sport of the nation of Thailand. This sport has evolved over time from a weapon-based martial art known as Krabi Krabong that was used in the military.

There are eight points of contact in Muay Thai, namely made up out of punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. This is one of the things that distinguishes it from other combat sports like karate and boxing. For this reason, it is referred to as the “art of eight limbs.”

The History of Muay Thai

The origins of Muay Thai can be traced back to roughly be 13th-century during the Sukhothai Dynasty. During this time, there was a need for soldiers to defend the kingdom and thus the first Thai Army was born. These soldiers were taught to be skilled in combat both armed (Krabi Krabong) and unarmed (Muay Boran).

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The skills and art that these soldiers learned evolved over time into the martial art we know as Muay Thai today.

During its history, the kingdom of Siam (now known as Thailand) experienced constant wars with neighboring tribes and kingdoms over many centuries. This is one of the reasons that Muay Thai boxing became a way of life for the local people.

The first known time period when Muay Thai was practiced as a sport was during the reign of King Naresuan the Great around the turn of the 17th century. The king was known to be a skilled fighter himself and as a part of his rule he mandated the inclusion of the martial art into military training.

The sport was codified in the 1920s and three or social regulations and rules were created.

During the 1980s and 1990s, but martial art was at the height of its popularity. It has maintained some popularity around the world ever since, with nearly 4000 Muay Thai boxing gyms overseas.

If you have found yourself in a workout plateau, mixing things up and trying out something like Muay Thai might be just the right thing for you.

Traditional Muay Thai Wear

Traditionally, Muay Thai fighters will wear armbands known as pra jiad and headbands known as mongkhon into the ring prior to the beginning of the match. This tradition was originated during the state of constant war in Siam. During this time it was common for young men to wear a torn off this of their loved ones closing into battle in order to help ward off harmful spirit and to beckon good luck.

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Nowadays, the headband is still often worn but it is seen now as a tribute to the gym of the Muay Thai fighter.

Benefits of Muay Thai

There are a number of benefits to taking Muay Thai classes. Let’s take a look at a few of the most noticeable benefits of this increasingly popular sport.

It’s a Full Body Workout

The most obvious benefit of practicing Muay Thai is that it such a great workout. If you are looking to tone your body or lose weight while learning a new skill at the same time, Muay Thai kickboxing might be for you.

Training to become a Muay Thai fighter incorporates a wide variety of physical activities and routine. These might include kickboxing, running, jump roping, and shadowboxing. You’ll experience both anaerobic and aerobic workouts during Muay Thai training.

It Will Help You Improve Your Self-Discipline

Boosting your self-discipline can totally change your life. It can help you to follow through with your decisions, increase your self-confidence, and consequently lead to a more satisfying life.

As you learn new techniques and skills at your Muay Thai gym, your self-discipline will naturally grow. You will become increasingly motivated to stick with your practice as you see the progress that you’ve been making towards your fitness and sport goals.

It’s a Practical Self-Defense Method

There is an ongoing debate about which martial arts are the most effective in a real-life self-defense situation. While you will find proponents of just about every combat system in this way, there are many people that believe that Muay Thai is an effective martial art for self-defense.

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It Can Help Decrease Your Stress

Life can be beyond stressful sometimes. There are few better ways to blow off steam than heading your Muay Thai gym after a long day at the office. Martial arts in general can help you to reduce both your anxiety and your stress levels

Exercising is one of the best ways to boost your mood and reduce your stress. Our bodies produce endorphins only exercise which can really help to perk you up after a long, hard day.

Are you sold on the idea of becoming a Muay Thai fighter?

Muay Thai Classes: Are They Right For You?

Did you find this article on Muay Thai interesting? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more fascinating and informative content!

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