The Origins Of Muay Thai

The stadium was steaming. Small though it was, the atmosphere was electric - the crowd, hundreds-strong, yearning to see the first punch thrown. Years of training, months of promotion, weeks of build-up: the big night was now here, the first bell only seconds away. The two fighters, sweaty, nervous almost to the point of collapse, jumped eagerly up and down to ease the tension and warm up the leg muscles. The humidity hung in the air. The crowd cheered, the fighters stepped in the ring... and just like that, it was on. 

Thai Boxing: The Origins Of Muay Thai

Muay Thai - the art of Thai boxing, as it's known today - was developed several hundred years ago, using no weapons in the hands, but rather using the body as the primary offence and defence at the same time.

Whilst primarily credited with development in Thailand (and largely practiced there today), it's believed that Muay Thai developed within tribes over a long period of time in South East Asia - primarily Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Laos.

Today it's the national sport of Thailand, also known as "The art of eight limbs", referring to the main weapons in the sport: the fists (x2), the elbows (x2), the knees (x2) and the shins (x2). This differentiates Muay Thai from other boxing sports, such as standard boxing which only uses two primary points of contact (the fists). 

Whilst much of the specific history of Muay Thai has been lost due to the ransacking of Thai (then "Siam") temples in the 14th century, the sport has a long traditional history dating back hundreds of years.

In the early days, there were no time limits imposed on fights - instead, the fight would go on until there was a definite winner.

Competitors often represented their local town or village, sometimes representing wealthy business people as a way to settle disagreements. Betting and gambling was a large part of the sport back then, and this continues today.

Formal rules were introduced after the conclusion of WW2, where matches were split into timed 5-minute rounds. 

Muay Thai Today: Why Do People Love Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is practiced today in hundreds of countries around the world. It's extremely popular in Thailand (where it's considered the national sport by many), and has also been adopted by hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts world wide.

Muay Thai is practiced far and wide in Australia today.  Many Muay Thai specific clubs exist, as well as Muay Thai personal training and glasses being offered in gyms and by trainers around the country. 

Many practice it for the pure traditional purposes and a love of fighting; others strive to become professional fighters; and many more practice it as a form of exercise, as it's a high calorie burner, can be practiced almost anywhere, requires minimal equipment, and many clubs are available for a community atmosphere and a great way to meet people.

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