Thaiboxning is an incredibly powerful martial art that has a long history in Thailand. There are many world titles sanctioned by governing bodies for amateur and professional fighters. Muay Thai is a full contact fighting sport that has a heavy focus on body conditioning and can lead to rapid gains in strength, endurance and fitness provided the athlete avoids overtraining.
It is considered one of the most effective striking sports in the world due to its emphasis on utilizing the whole body to deliver devastating punches, kicks and elbow strikes. It is also a highly technical sport that requires great concentration and timing to master.
The sport has a long and rich tradition that dates back as early as 200 years ago. During the reign of King Prachao Sua, the king had such a strong love for the art that he would disguise himself and go from village to village entering prize matches to showcase his skills. He is widely regarded as the father of Muay Thai.
While Muay Thai is very physically demanding it has the advantage of being a very safe sport if the rules and regulations are followed. Some of the main rules are:
Muay Thai training involves many staples that are common in combat sports including running, sparring and hitting a bag. The intensity and duration of these workouts can vary depending on the level of the fighter but will always include some form of cardiovascular training. In addition to this, training in Thai boxing will almost certainly involve kicking and striking a bag using different techniques.
This will often include the use of knee strikes and shin kicks which require conditioning of the shin bone. To achieve this the boxer will usually hit a dense bag or sand filled bag repeatedly which will help to harden the bone and strengthen the leg muscles.
The fights in Muay Thai are held in a ring that is squared and typically measures between 4.9 by 4.9 meters (16 ft x 16 ft) to 7.3 by 7.3 meters (24 ft x 24 ft). A variety of safety precautions are taken into account with padded gloves, head guards, elbow pads and a padded vest being mandatory in most professional fights. In addition, a fighter will often wear arm bands with special magical charms written on them or wrapped inside them to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.
As with all martial arts there are many different techniques and styles of fighting in Muay Thai. The most popular is the clinch which involves holding on to the opponent with both hands and delivering knees and elbows. Some other fighting styles that are popular in Thailand include grappling, submission wrestling and freestyle fighting.