Muay Thai

Muay Thai

The Early history of Thai boxing comes from many Burmese accounts of warfare that took place between Myanmar (which was formally known as Burma) and Thailand in the 15th and 16th Centuries.  Early references (1411 AD) mention ferocious styles of unarmed combat that usually decided the fate of the Thai Kings.


Later descriptions tell of Nai Khanom Tom, the first famous boxer of Thailand, and also prisoner of war in Myanmar, who gained his freedom by engaging in fights and defeated many Burmese warriors before the Burmese court. Up to today, martial arts aficionados consider Thai style as the ultimate hand-to-hand fighting.


Many countries such as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Germany, France and USA have sent their best fighters, but none of their best were able to defeat the top-ranked Thai Boxers.


One famous occasion, the top five Kung Fu masters of Hong Kong were dispatched in a cumulative total of less than 6 and a half minutes, all were knockouts. (note: the above statement can today be disputed. Recent history shows many USA fighters to have beaten the Thai fighters in title fights at the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. At a recent annually held, King's Cup 2000, in Thailand, several of the USA fighters from the San Francisco's Fairtex Muay Thai gym, went on to  beat the Thai fighters. It has to be noted that many of the current World champion Muay Thai fighters are not Thai fighters, for instance, Jean Claude Leuyer, Alex Gong, and George Tsutsui.)


King Naresuan the Great ( 1555 – 1605 ) was himself a great Thai boxer, he also made Muay Thai a requirement of military training for every Thai soldier. At a later date, another Thai king, Phra Chao Seua (he was called the 'tiger’ king), went on to further promote as a national sport Thai Boxing, and encourage prize fights, and he also encouraged the development of training camps during the early 18th century. At this time there were many wagers and bets on fighters who often fought to the death.  Phra Chao Seua is reputed to have been a incognito participant at many of these matches in the early part of his reign. The contestants fists were usually wrapped in a piece of thick horsehide this ensured maximum impact and minimum knuckle damage. These fighters also used glue soaked cotton, ground glass and at later stage hemp bindings. Seashells and Tree bark were used to protect the groin area from the lethal kicks.

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