The History of Muay Thai
Muay Thai is the art of self-defence and a sport in Thailand. Muay Thai is the science of eight limbs. The martial art employs several parts of human body as natural weapons; such as the fist, feet, knees and elbows. Muay Thai has long been accepted as the art and science of fighting.
Muay Thai has been in existence for as long as the Thai nation, because thousands of years ago, Thai ancestors trained their younger generations the skill of Muay Thai for self-defence and to protect the nation against enemy invaders.
In 1767 A.D. the city of Ayutthaya was destroyed. Nai (Mister) Khanom Tom, who was a Thai boxer, was captured by the victorious Burmese army as a prisoner of war and he was matched with Burmese boxers in a competition which was to be viewed by the King of Burma on the 17th March 1770. Nai Khanom Tom won his first bout and had to continue to face fresh opponents until he had defeated ten men. The King of Burma complimented Nai Khanom Tom for his ability and gave him many rewards. Nai Khanom Tom was named the Farther of Muay Thai.
Muay Thai is the identity, the art and the culture of Thailand and was developed from the art of self-defence and protection against the enemy to become the sport of Muay Thai. In this way Muay Thai has been preserved as it is always practiced for competitions. There were competitions in the Thai festivals such as The New Year Festival, the Songkran Festival, the Loi Kratong Festival, etc. There are also general competitions and special competitions to be viewed by The King.
In the original style of Muay Thai competition, the boxers wrapped cotton around their fists and wrists instead of wearing boxing gloves. Competitions took place on the ground and a circle of rope was used instead of a boxing ring. Until the present day there are still rules and regulations for Muay Thai competitions regarding the boxing ring, the stage, the boxer’s equipment, the boxer’s dress, weight divisions, decisions, etc.
Muay Thai has now spread to other countries around the world and is practised as a martial art, sport (amateur and professional) and for fitness.