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Visiting Khao Lak – The History of Muay Thai and What It Is Today

January 10, 2020

If you ask anyone about what sport came about from Thailand, most, if not all, will talk about Muay Thai or Thai boxing. Muay Thai, while already extremely famous within Thailand, grew in popularity everywhere else around the world thanks to different fighting competitions, such as the UFC. Because of that, many people, Thais and foreigners alike, take up to train in this beautiful and deadly form of martial arts.

With that said, if you’re out in Khao Lak and want to watch this fantastic sport, it would help to learn more about it first.

What Is Muay Thai?

If you’re unfamiliar with this martial art, it is a form of stand-up combat, meaning that the fight takes place on the feet—never on the ground. It combines boxing and kicking and is well-known to utilize the knee and elbow.

In Thailand, Muay Thai is also called the art of the eight limbs. The hands act like daggers, the elbow a mace. The feet take the place of an ax, and the knees a staff. Meanwhile, the forearms and shins both act like pieces of armor, blocking blows.

In practice, this sport is quite an exhilarating view. Boxers trade heavy blows, utilizing kicks, knee and elbow strikes, and punches, leaving each other in a bloody state. In all the fighting competitions out there, Muay Thai must be one of the most exciting ever to exist.

The History

Muay Thai is said to come into existence around the 16th century when the Siamese (Thai people then) conflicted with Burma, more specifically with the Konbaung dynasty.

Nai Khanomtom, a legendary Siamese warrior, was captured by the Burmese and was given a chance to fight in hand-to-hand combat for freedom. He won and was freed. When he was welcomed back into Siam (Thailand), he taught the people his fighting style, which grew into a sport called Siamese Boxing. As time went by, the competition grew so much in popularity that it became an integral part of many of the festivals held in the country. Later, it became a national sport.

The Popularity Boom

Under the rule of King Rama V, Muay Thai was at its golden time. The king himself had an interest in the sport and greatly encouraged the people of Thailand to take it up. Soon after, the sport, rather than just becoming a deadly martial art, took various forms. Muay Thai was developed into a form of recreation, exercise, and even personal advancement among the people of Thailand.

During this time, many Muay Thai masters set up training schools and camps where they were to train many of the next-generation fighters. From these camps grew plenty of seasoned fighters that even took up the camp’s name as their own.

The Martial Art Today

Today, Muay Thai’s popularity has risen further, thanks to Hollywood and world-famous competitions. In Thailand, famous fighters are treated like superstars and are to the Thais just as renowned as Hollywood celebrities.

The sport has provided a way for people from lower aspects of Thai society to make a name for themselves and climb the ladder of wealth. Of course, not only are the poorer population of Thailand interested in the sport but even those who are upper class. However, they see it more as a form of exercise and self-defense, not as a way to fight.

The Takeaway

Muay Thai has become a popular sport for many to watch. If you’re a fan of gambling, you’ll be glad to know that despite Thailand’s ban on this type of activity, it is allowed only on Muay Thai competitions. With that said, whether you’re out there putting money on the line on fighters, or just watching for the thrill of it, Muay Thai is a sport you shouldn’t miss when you visit Thailand.

If you want to give Muay Thai a whirl while you’re visiting Thailand’s tropical paradise, you’re in for a treat! There are plenty of places to get in a good workout while learning more about the well-known sport. Manathai Khao Lak is the perfect place to stay if you’re craving a relaxing holiday. Muay Thai gyms such as Combat 360X and Rawai Muay Thai are nearby and will ensure that you still get your adrenaline fix! Book a room with us today for an exciting and culture-filled holiday.