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Muay Thai

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Muay Thai

Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon.

Often referred to as ‘The Art of Eight Limbs,’ Muay Thai fighters utilize both legs and arms, with the end goal of taking down their opponent. Each body part serves as its own, individual weapon: fighters’ hands serve as swords, their shins as shields and armor and their elbows and knees as a hammer or axe. Fights usually do not go on for more than five rounds, lasting three minutes each.

One is that all Thai military members were taught this hand-to-hand form of combat as a means of protection against neighboring countries, including Myanmar and Cambodia. Another says that as Thai people moved south from China, the struggle to occupy land forced them to develop their fighting skills to defend both themselves and their land from the threat of possible invasion.

History

The history of muay Thai can be traced to the middle of the 18th century. During battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and the Ayutthaya Kingdom Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767) Muay boran, and therefore muay Thai, was originally called by more generic names such as toi muay or simply muay. As well as being a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, muay became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. These muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay khat chueak Kickboxing was also a component of military training and gained prominence during the reign of King Naresuan the Great in 1560 CE.