The national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai is often described as the “art of eight limbs” due to its use of punches, kicks and knee strikes (although some also utilize elbows and the clinch). While it’s sometimes compared to kickboxing due to their common use of punches and kicks, there are many differences. It’s a very practical system that requires good footwork and headwork, along with the ability to get out of the way of an opponent’s strikes.
Muay Thai is a very demanding and rewarding sport to learn. It teaches discipline, respect and hard work. It can also help to improve strength, endurance and flexibility. In addition, it’s a great stress reliever and can help to increase self-confidence. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people with no fighting experience to be able to fight at a stadium such as Lumpinee after just a few months of consistent and rigorous training at a top Muay Thai camp.
Traditionally, fighters would train in the natural environment they were in. This is why they were so effective at their craft – they used what was available to them and made the most of it. For example, they climbed coconut trees and sat on banana tree trunks in order to practice their kicks on the branches that were attached. Then they would also kick sand bags and other heavy objects to train their legs and thighs.
Muay Thai was developed into a professional combat sport around the Krungsri Ayuthaya era (1350-1767). It began as an actual war sport for soldiers that had been stripped of their weapons and had to rely on hand-to-hand combat to survive. Over time, it evolved into a spectator sport as it gained traction among the local villages and became a cultural symbol of Thailand.
Throughout the years, Muay Thai has grown in popularity as it is now a global sport. It continues to evolve as it adapts to the demands of modern combat sports, while maintaining its rich history and cultural significance. In recent years, it has seen a steady increase in the number of camps and gyms that are dedicated to teaching this unique and exciting martial art.
One of the most difficult parts of Thai boxing for beginners is to master proper footwork. It’s important to always move forward with the front leg, and not backward with the rear leg. This helps to avoid tangling up your feet and off-setting your balance as you move forward or backward. You can also use advanced footwork to get out of the way of an incoming strike. For example, you can step forward with the front foot and then pivot on that front foot counterclockwise to shift out of the way of a punch or kick. This type of movement is known as a teep (the push kicks from the front or rear legs in a vertical stance). Getting out of the way of a strike is absolutely essential in Thaiboxning