Muay Thai is a martial art that has its origin in a richer war system – Krabi Krabong Fight-Staff-Sword. It is worth highlighting that Muay Thai is a modified, weaponless version of this system. Tharshanning is an original martial art from Thailand and its history began in the 13th century, during the period of king Ramkamheng’s reigning.
The Ram Thai ceremony is performed before fights and it has a religious-ritual value. The records from the 16th century provide us with proofs about the existence and feats of courage of the Black Prince – Nai Khanom Tom. In 1719 prince Phra Chao Seua allowed for public fights for bets and rewards. Muay Thai has been visibly influenced by Hindi regions and cultural elements with Chinese origins.
We need to mention the difference between Muay Thai and the sport version of Thai boxing that has been affected by the western world. In 1930 the rules of European boxing were adopted – gloves, sport rounds. The sport rules were systematized at the end of 1972. The level of safety was raised – and competitors were safer. Benny The Jet Urquidez was one of the first historic competitors who fought against the representatives of Muay Thai. The duel was held in the full-contact formula, in 1975. It was Urquidez’s first professional fight for the title of the World Professional Kickboxing Master that was finished with his victory. It made him very famous in Thailand and resulted in an array of shows for the royal family of Thailand.
The traditional version (Muay Thai) is a very brutal martial art. Its very destructive elements are powerful hits with knees, head, elbows, and attacks on eyes, neck and joints. Thai boxing also features low circular kicks on thighs. They often appear in Karate Kyokyshin and in the modern K1 formula. This kick is done with a hardened shank and a (almost) straight leg, but differently than in karate. High kicks with knees, hits and defenses with elbows and clinch fighting techniques are characteristic for this style too.
In the modern times the Muay Thai techniques are used in almost every utilitarian fighting system, in trainings of uniformed services and during self-defense courses that are organized by various martial arts schools. The world has admired technical and training values of the traditional martial art – Muay Thai.
In Thailand 10-year-old boys practice Thai boxing. The very difficult, professional boxing training comes within their program. The weather is usually warm in Thailand, so people train in the open air. They use shields, Thai pillows, sacks and simple kits. After the very difficult endurance training the trainer quickly chooses a group of professional young Thai boxers that will fight in duels in their age category. Victories in these duels are rewarded with money. Muay Thai influenced the development of kickboxing. Kickboxing and Thai boxing have the same lineage but there is a lot of theories and speculations. It is a subject of various discussions.