Thai Boxing , Muay Thai

Muay Thai (“Thai Boxing”) is the Thai name for an indigenous form of martial art practiced in several southeast Asian countries including Myanmar and Malaysia .

It is the national sport of Thailand.

Traditional Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand as a martial art used by the military.

The military style of Muay Thai is called Lerdrit, while today’s “Sport Muay Thai” slightly varies from the original art and uses kicks and punches in a ring and with gloves similar to those used in western boxing.

Muay Thai is referred to as “The Science of Eight Limbs”, as the hands, feet, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art.

A master practitioner of Muay Thai thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight points of contact, as opposed to the four points (fists, feet) in many other forms of martial arts.

This effectively gives the practitioner the ability to debilitate opponents with any combination of the eight limbs.

Kickboxing

Muay Thai along with savate and karate heavily influenced the development of kickboxing in Japan, Europe, and North America.

Although the rules of kickboxing are highly diverse, in many competitions elbow strikes, knee strikes, and kicks below the waist are not allowed.

Some Muay Thai practioners therefore consider kickboxing to be a watered down version of Muay Thai.

Mixed Martial Arts

Starting in the 1990s, Muay Thai has enjoyed a boost in popularity worldwide as it has been very effective in mixed martial arts fights, such as those held by the Pride Fighting Championship and Ultimate Fighting Championship.