For the first time in my life I tried Muay Thai at the Bangkok based studio Legend Thai Boxing. That kind of martial arts has a long history. In the 19th century Masters of the art began teaching Muay in training camps where students were provided with food and shelter. Trainees would be treated as one family, and it was customary for students to adopt the camp’s name as their own surname. Scouts would be sent by the royal family to organize matches between different camps.The combat sport of Muay Thai developed over hundreds of years, ancient and brutal, Muay Thai is commonly referred to as the „Art of Eight Limbs“ because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus eight „points of contact“. Traditionally a practical fighting technique used in warfare as early as the 15th century, its popularity grew and it developed into a sport in which opponents fought in front of spectators for money. It soon became an integral part of all Thai celebrations and festivals, especially those held on temple grounds.Originally bare-fisted, fighters later began to wear lengths of hemp rope wrapped around their hands and elbows. But following the death of a fighter in the early 20th century, „Muay boran“, as it was known, developed into Muay Thai whose fighters wear gloves.
As Thailand’s national sport and with over 60.000 domestic fighters, for any martial artist, Thailand is the Lion’s Den for anyone wanting success in the sport. If you can win in Thailand you can win anywhere and as a result every year hundreds of foreign fighters travel to Thailand to prove themeselves as Muay Thai fighters.
In 2014 Muay Thai was included in the International World Games Association (IWGA) and will be represented in the official program of The World Games 2017 in Wroclaw, Poland.
In January 2015, Muay Thai was granted the Patronage of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and on March the 16th to the 23rd, 2015 the first University World Muaythai Cup will be held in Bangkok.
With Muay Thai gaining a global following and widespread popularity, an increasing number of foreigners are trying their luck to see if a career can be made in the birthplace of the sport.
But, not all people who learn Muay Thai want to fight in the ring, many of them study simply for physical training or for self-defence. So do I.
By the way, the clothing which competitors typically wear is bright and flamboyant. Recently such designs have become quite popular globally and some companies have contributed to the popularization of the style throughout the world. It is expected that this style will become more and more mainstream as a cult style much like surfwear did in the late 1990s.More about my personal experience with Thai Boxing. Click here!
Everyone who likes to practice at the studio of Legend Thai Boxing and refers to that article gets a 10 % discount on classes and workshops.
A warm thanks to Legend Thai Boxing for welcoming sl4artglobal as a guest. My opinion is of course my own.
Photos: Legend Thai Boxing