The history of Muay Thai can be traced back to several hundreds of years ago to the middle of the 16th Century. During the battles between the Burmese and Siam (Thai) army, the fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured by the Burmese who gave him the opportunity to fight for his freedom. After winning his match he was freed and allowed to return to Siam (Thailand). He was acknowledged as a hero and his style of boxing became known as Siamese-style boxing, later to be named Muay Thai.
Muay Thai makes the use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus utilising ‘eight points of contact’. The Thai national sport, Muay Thai, has evolved over the years and there are now over one thousand professional gyms across the globe. The brutality is evident but hidden within the perfected techniques is a beauty which encompasses movement, striking efficiency and fitness. If you watch a professional Muay Thai fight you can see the flowing nature of the intense battle between these two warriors.
Punches come from all angles, kicks can be devastatingly painful, and elbows can finish you off for a night easy. Incorporating knees, clinching throws and leg sweeps, to be successful at applying these techniques during combat comes down to timing, strength, conditioning and training. With traditional kickboxing and striking martial arts dominating through the Western world, it took a few distinctive fights to help showcase the effectiveness of Muay Thai as and for it to gain respect. One of them was the match between Rick Roufus (kickboxer) and Changpuek Kiatsongrit (Thai boxer). In Thai boxing leg kicks are an extremely important part of a fighters arsenal and if anyone tells you a leg kick can’t end a fight, just say ‘Google it’.