If asked what comes to their mind when talking about Thailand, some might think of Thai boxing, or Muay Thai in the local language. It’s becoming more famous worldwide since tourism has made Thai boxing rapidly spread all over the world. Many foreigners who visit Thailand love watching the fights and some of them become Thai boxing teachers when they get back to their countries.
The global positive feedback on Tony Ja’s movies entitled Ong-Bak and Tom Yum Goong has made the art even more famous. If you’re interested in Thai boxing and aren’t familiar with this sport yet. You’ve come to the right place. This article discusses the history of Thai boxing, how it developed into an international sport, some fighting poses you should know, and where Thai boxing is usually taught.
The origin of Thai boxing
The origin of Thai boxing is still unclear. We don’t know when exactly this kind of art started to develop. By the time the Kingdom of Ayudhya thrived, Thai boxing developed into a form closer to the modern one.
Generally, the former differs from the latter in that it was practiced more severely. In the 18th century, King Sanpeth VIII used to disguise himself as a commoner to combat with other fighters and defeated three of them. Because the king liked boxing, it was then widely practiced in the court. So, it’s likely that Thai boxing was developed by commoners.
Development of Thai boxing
It developed into the modern form towards the end of the 19th century. During the reign of King Rama VI, Muay Thai adopted some practices of international boxing including wearing gloves instead of wrapping cords around fists, using score counting, and dividing fighters into red and blue. In 1995, the World Muay Thai Council was established by a cabinet resolution to promote Thai boxing at both national and international levels. Thai boxing achieved its international sport status in 2006. In that year, it became one of the sports to be played in the Olympics.
Fighting poses are some of the most important elements of Thai boxing. You might have seen some on television or in some movies already. Below are some that general people in Thailand often recognize.
Thai boxing poses
Salab Fan Pla
Inao Taeng Krit
Yor Kao Pra Sumen
Hak Nguang Aiyara
Jorakhe Fat Hang
Ruesi Bod Ya
There are a lot of Muay Thai schools, including the Muay Thai Institute situated in the district of Pathum Thani, the Fairtex Muay Thai Camp in the district of Bang Phli, the Muay Thai Academy in Yannawa, the Flat Si Muay Thai Training Camp in Khlong Toei, and the Sport and Martial Arts Center on Asok Road. The price starts from around 13,000 THB for 10 hours of a private course.
Boxing Stadium in Thailand
One of the major places where you can watch Thai boxing matches is Lumpini Boxing Stadium situated in the district of Pathumwan. The contests are held there every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. And, they usually start at around 6 pm. The ticket price starts from 200 THB.
The other famous boxing stadium is Rajadamnern Stadium or Ratchadamnoen Stadium, it is one of the oldest boxing stadiums in Thailand. The location is on Ratchadamnoen Road, you can also find many places to walk along before the fight. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday are the schedule for the match to be taken.
Additionally, if you’re not available to watch it on-site, then you can watch the match from free TV which is Channel 3 and Channel 7. Moreover, you can also watch the fight online on YouTube (มวยไทย-ออนไลน์).
Thai Boxing or Muay Thai is a famous martial art for Thai people for many generations. But it is considered a cardio exercise among those who want to lose weight and stay fit and firm. There’s no reason people will forget this ancient Thai martial art. If you’re interested in this kind of sport, you’ll see plenty of gyms in Thailand offer this one too!