The Fight - Muay Thai
Muay Thai is known as “King of the Ring” in kickboxing circles. These fights feature punches, kicks, elbows, knees, standing grappling and head-butts to wear down and knock out their opponent. Thai training methods develop devastating power, speed and superb cardio-vascular endurance as well as fighting spirit.
Muay Thai is a combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. 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.
This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on shins is known as "the art of eight limbs" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins, being associated with a good physical preparation that makes a full-contact fighter very efficient.
Traditional Muay Thai practiced today uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western Boxing. It uses eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing, boxing, and savate.
Formal muay Thai techniques are divided into two groups: mae mai or major techniques and luk mai or minor techniques. Muay Thai is often a fighting art of attrition, where opponents exchange blows with one another. This is certainly the case with traditional stylists in Thailand, but is a less popular form of fighting in the contemporary world fighting circuit where the Thai style of exchanging blow for blow is no longer favorable. Almost all techniques in muay Thai use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block.
Muay Thai has progressed significantly over the past 100 years. Due to the noticable national popularity, it began to garner international recognition and exposure. In World War II, after formally being introduced to Muay Thai, foreigners named it “Siam Boxing”, as Thailand was formerly Siam. The French labeled it as “Le Sport Orient” or the fighting style of the orient.
The first formal rules were introduced to the sport of Muay Thai after WW II ended. Fights were divided into 5 rounds with a time limit on each; a clock was used to determine the length of each round instead of a coconut shell with holes sinking in a barrel of water, and major Muay Thai stadiums were erected in large cities thoughout the country (namely Bangkok, Sukothai and Chiang Mai).
One of the keys to improving in Muay Thai is using the heavy bag in your training.
Benefits of Muay Thai Heavy Bag Training
§ Strengthen your shins and knuckles over time
§ Develop better rhythm and timing when you hit a bag that is swinging
§ Work on improving your combinations
§ Improve your footwork and movement
§ Improve your Cardio with different conditioning drills
§ Work on your reflexes and develop better defense
Muay Thai has proven very effective outside the ring and has been embraced enthusiastically by practitioners of a variety of self-defense, sporting, military and law enforcement activities.