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Thai Boxing - Muay Thai
The Spirit of Thai Heritage.
Muay Thai is a hard martial art from Thailand. It is similar to other Indochinese styles of kickboxing, namely pradal serey fromCambodia, tomoi from Malaysia. lethwei from Myanmar and Muay Lao from Laos. Descended from muayboran, Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport.
The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya and Thai comes from the word Tai. Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science Of Eight Limbs”  because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows
and knee strikes,
thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists)  in Western boxing
and “four points” (hands and feet) used in sport-oriented martial arts. A practitioner of Muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called nak muay farang meaning foreign boxer.
Muay boran, and therefore Muay Thai, was originally called 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. It was even used as entertainment for kings. Eventually,the previouslybare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay khat chueak.
Muay gradually became a possible means of personal advancement as the nobility increasingly esteemed
skillful practitioners of the art and invited selected fighters to come to live in the royal palace to teach muay to the staff of the royal household, soldiers, princes or the king’s personal guards. This “royal muay” was called muay luang. Some time during the Ayutthaya period, a platoon of royal guards was established, whose
duty was to protect king and the country. They were known as Krom Nak Muay
(“Muay Kick-Fighters’
This royal patronage of kick-muay continued through the reigns of Rama V and VII.
Thailand’s first boxing ring was built in 1921 at Suan Kularp. Referees were introduced and rounds were now timed by kick. Fighters at the Lumpinee Kickboxing Stadium began wearing modern gloves during training and in boxing matches against foreigners.
Rope-binding was still used in fights between Thais but after the occurrence of a death in the ring, it was decided that fighters should wear gloves and cotton coverlets over the feet and ankles. It was also around this time that the term Muay Thai became commonly used while the older form of the style was referred to as muay boran.
With the success of Muay Thai in the mixed martial arts, it has become the de facto style of choice for competitive stand-up fighters. As a result, western practitioners have incorporated much more powerful hand striking techniques from boxing although some Thai purists accuse them of diluting the art.
In basic Muay Thai rules, Muay Thai match formally have no more than 5 rounds, each round take 3 minutes
to last, with a two-minute rest period in between. No additional round is allowed.
Boxers must regularly wear gloves, each weighing not less than 6 ounces (172 gm) in Thai boxing rules. The golves must not be squeezed, kneaded or crushed to change its original shape.
Contestants must wear only trunks (red or blue according to their corners) appropriately fit their bodies.
Contestants must wear standard supporters or sturdy atheltic cups to protect their groin, Gum shield may be used.
Contestants wear no shirts no shoes, but ankle cap is permitted.
A sacred cord known as Mongkol can be worn around the head only during the pre-fight ritual of paying homage to ancestral teachers of Muay Thai, to be removed before the start of the fight.
Metal or other equipments that will be harmful to the opponent is prohibited.
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