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February 28, 2022 6 min read

The History Of Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a martial art that has been around for centuries. It's thought to have started in India and then spread throughout Southeast Asia. Muay Thai is a martial art that uses punches, kicks, knees, and elbows in combat. Muay Thai fighters are recognised for their incredible endurance.

What Year Did Muay Thai Begin?

The tradition of Muay Thai has been handed down orally, which can result in a lack of accuracy. However, it is known that the martial art began before Sukhothai was founded as an ancient capital town around 1238 AD and most agree on its origin from the Sanskrit word Maya meaning "pulling together" or unity.

In perspective that's 783 years ago! Muay Thai is one of the oldest martial arts in Asia and has a rich history that dates back to 16th century Thailand.

How Did Muay Thai Spread Through Asia?

Unlike most religions, the temples of Buddhism are deeply connected with Muay Thai. The young men were given a chance to be fully educated and learn martial arts from the Monks at this temple. The locals would send their sons there so that they could be contained in both religions, as well as fighting ability by being trained under these monks who had been through much themselves. The young boys of the village were taught by monks how to fight using Muay Thai.

A king's love for the art

The king of Thailand, who is considered to have the status of hero and protector for his people, still maintains a close connection with Muay Thai.

Legend holds that around 1350 AD when there was only one town in Ayutthaya called “The Kingdom Of Law” it became common practice amongst all classes from farmers or soldiers alike would put on their protective gear like arm guards (Muay Britons) gloves & head protectors.

The Sukhothai Era

When the threat of war was constant, training centres slowly began to appear throughout Siam. These were Muay Thai camps where young men could practice for various reasons: self-defence and discipline training as well as exercise routines that would keep them strong in case it became necessary again.

Even though Muay Thai was created as a form of self-defence for the poor and lower-class people, it soon became an important part of royal courts. The first King of Sukhothai sent his two sons to learn how they could be better rulers with this new skill.

The era of king Naresuan

When King Naresuan was just a boy, he had shown great promise in martial arts and fighting competitions. He became so renowned for his skills that other rulers would come to challenge him time after time but the king never backed down from any fight!

The Era of King Narai (Becoming a Sport)

The early history of Muay Thai is characterised by many changes and innovations. It was during this time that the Mong Kong (headband) became popular, as well as pa-pra-jiao armbands which would eventually lead to 400 years worth of standard practice techniques in Thailand today!

The fighters used to wrap their hands in hemp ropes and threads which would sometimes be thick, starchy liquid. Fast forward to the modern-day where it's far more streamlined and Muay Thai fighters use gloves on a daily basis. At Fight Co we pride ourselves on selling quality gloves because we understand the importance of Muay Thai culture.


The start of professional competition

The earliest professional fights were not matched up by weight, height or experience. There was no time limit either!!

The first Muay Thai stadium was built in Suan Kularp district, Gambling at Thai stadiums was just as popular then (and still is) because you could win big money betting on these battles between hometown heroes who represented their communities.

The Ratanakosin Era (Start of Rules and Regulations)

Rama I introduced rules and regulations for Muay Thai. It became an integral part of celebrations across Thailand, with each round measured by a coconut that would sink to the bottom when it was full; this meant there were no limits on how many times you could fight in one night!

When the King of Thailand was just a boy, he enjoyed watching matches and training in Muay Thai. This is said to have started an interest that would lead him down through history as one of its most famous fans.

The Golden Age

King Rama V recognised the importance of Muay Thai and did all possible to raise its popularity in his empire. He sponsored fights, which frequently served as a way to settle diplomatic disputes, and even had the fighters compete in international matches. Muay Thai began to spread throughout Asia as people witnessed its effectiveness as an art form of self-defence or combat.

Invitations to fight for important events are rare these days, but back in the day, it wasn't uncommon at all. The top fighters from Royal Muay Thai Centres would often get personally invited by royalty and heads of state alike!

Muay Thai Going Global

The first time Muay Thai was introduced to Europe and the rest of the world was during World War I. French soldiers stationed in France would organise bouts for their servicemen, which helped boost morale; some boxers even participated against Thai fighters who joined them on these events as part-time jobs!

Leading to modern-day Muay Thai

The Thai soldiers would often practice Muay Thai amongst themselves, and European or American soldiers watched with keen interest. The French labelled it “le sport d’oriental," which means the fighting style used in battles across Asia; however, what these visitors didn't realise was that this form of martial arts has been around since before Bangkok even existed!

The usage of rounds being introduced

Fights were held in five rounds, with each round having a time limit. A clock was used instead of coconut shells and water barrels. Muay Thai gradually became more popular and spectators were no longer just limited to gamblers. Muay Thai was now being enjoyed as a sport with rules, making it fairer for the fighters.

The Golden Era

During this period from roughly the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, many consider it to have been a golden era for Muay Thai. Filled with passionate fans and great fighters who competed in Lumpinee or Rajadamnern arenas that were always packed beyond capacity; one could say these times were revolutionary!

Muay Thai promoters such as Songhaii Ratanasuban and others were able to attract the best Muay Thai fighters from all over Thailand.

Muay Thai Today!

Nowadays Muay Thai is an international sport with TV broadcasts of fights in countries around the world, including Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand. There are Muay Thai gyms everywhere now too, with many foreigners coming over to Thailand just for training purposes.

Muay Boran techniques have been lost in Muay Thai, but the last few years have seen a rise of interest and popularity in traditional Muay Thai styles again from both Thais as well as foreigners alike!

The Future of Muay Thai

Muay Thai is here to stay. It's not about blood or violence anymore though; it's more about technique and skill now than ever before. The future of muay Thai looks bright indeed (even if you don't like boxing).

Muay Thai has a long and illustrious history, which is still being written today. It's an international sport with many followers, ranging from everyday people to some of the most famous fighters in the world. Muay Thai isn't going away anytime soon- so come join us on this amazing journey!

FAQs

Do people from other countries come to Thailand simply to fight at Muay Thai gyms?

Yes! Many foreigners come to Thailand specifically for Muay Thai training.

Is Muay Boran the same as Muay Thai?

No, Muay Boran is an older style of Muay Thai with Muay Thai techniques but was not as popular during its time so Muay Boran became more of a sport than Muay Thai did. Muay Boran is now making a comeback! Muay Thai has more rules and regulations than Muay Boran.

Where can I watch Muay Thai fights?

Muay Thai fights are broadcast on local channels in Thailand as well as internationally. You can also go to the stadiums where they hold these events live every week or so! Muay Thai fighters compete at Lumpinee stadium, Rajadamnern Stadium, Channel seven stadium, etc...

How often do Muay Thai fighters fight?

Muay Thai fights are broadcast on local channels in Thailand as well as internationally. You can also go to the stadiums where they hold these events live every week or so! Muay Thai fighters compete at Lumpinee stadium, Rajadamnern Stadium, Channel seven stadium, etc...

How often do Muay Thai fighters fight?

Muay Thai fighters fight every week or so, and there are many international events that Muay Thai fighters compete in as well. There are also many tournaments throughout the year for Muay Thai fighters to participate in!

Conclusion

Muay Thai has a rich and unique history that is often overlooked in the modern world. Acknowledging this history is important for understanding the art form and its place in society. However, simply recognising Muay Thai’s past is not enough. We believe in preserving this beautiful art form. At Fight Co provides nothing but the best martial arts equipment, from beginners to seasoned pros, we have something for everyone!


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