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Muay Thai

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Muay Thai

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Muay Thai is a stand-up combat sport, where fighters are not allowed to take the fight to the ground. It is fast-paced and combines both boxing and kicking in one swirling melee of a bout. In Thailand, it is known as the art of eight limbs, referring to the eight points of contact that are used to strike the opponent. The sport uses the human body to mimic the weapons and combat of centuries gone by. The fist takes the place of the sword and daggers, and the elbow emulates the crushing mace. The feet and knees take the place of the axe and staff. The shins and forearms are specially trained and hardened to play the role of armor and shield and are used to block blows. In practice, the sport uses a combination of punches, elbow strikes, kicks and knee strikes, to create one of the most exhilarating and bloody combat sports today.

Muay Thai history

Muay Thai has its origins in the 16th century, during the period of conflict between Siam and the Konbaung dynasty of Burma. After the capture of the legendary warrior Nai Khanomtom by the Burmese, he was given the opportunity to fight for his freedom in hand to hand combat. He used his expertise in hand to hand combat to win his bout and was freed by his Burmese captors. Upon his return to Siam, he received a hero’s welcome and his fighting style grew in popularity and became Siamese style boxing. This style of combat soon became a national sport in Siam, and is the forerunner of today’s Muay Thai.

As the sport grew in Thailand – from demonstrations of combat techniques in front of villagers to a spectator sport – it soon became an integral part of many of the local festivals held all around Thailand. Soon afterwards, it became a national spectator sport.

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