Muay Thai is a striking martial art that makes use of the fists, elbows, knees and shins. It is considered one of the most complete and effective systems because it combines both close range attacks such as punches and kicks with longer-ranged techniques like the clinch.
It is a very fast-paced and technical style of fighting that requires good balance, footwork and precise technique. This is the reason that many people consider it the most difficult of all the striking martial arts. In addition, the physical demands of training are very high as fighters spend long hours in the gym. Nonetheless, it is rewarding for those who commit to the discipline as it teaches them how to push themselves physically and mentally.
There are a number of different styles and variations of Thai boxing, but most practitioners will agree that the key to success is the proper application of basic fundamentals. Those fundamentals include footwork, stance and positioning, hand placement, and the use of power in every technique. The stance is generally more upright than in other forms of striking and the legs are used to generate speed and power for kicking, while the back leg is often kept light to check incoming kicks.
One of the most important aspects of learning Muay Thai is to understand its origin and history. This will help you to get a more profound understanding of why and how the art came into being and its place in Thai culture.
In the 19th century, Muay Thai began to really grow in prominence and popularity, especially under the reign of King Rama V (Chulalongkorn). It became a popular pastime for both soldiers and those not in the military. Camps would match their best fighters against each other for fun and entertainment. Fights were scored on a round-by-round basis and they would continue until there was a clear winner or until both combatants were completely exhausted.
It was during this time that Muay Thai started to be standardized and formalized with rules and regulations. It was also around this time that a lot of the great Nak Muay (fighters) were born. Some of the more famous of these are Somrak Khamsing who was a two-time Olympic gold medalist in amateur boxing and Kraek Tien, who is regarded as one of the most skilled Muay Thai fighters of all time and has an elusive style that is hard to deal with.
Early practitioners of Muay Thai had to be very resourceful as they did not have the heavy bags, agility balls and other equipment that is widely available today. As such, they used what was around them to train and improve their skills. One such example is kicking banana trees, as the soft nature of the leaves are ideal for developing leg strength and footwork. This is an important part of the legacy of Muay Thai, and is still practiced by modern fighters. It is a very unique and effective training method that is also a lot of fun. Thaiboxning