The art of Thai Boxing has been made popular in recent years by the newspapers, tv, movies and competition world-wide.
Contrary to its name, it is not purely a martial art from Thailand. Like most martial arts, it can trace its origins to China and was adapted over time with influence from other countries and surrounding regions. With the introduction of western boxing, the techniques and some of the rules were adopted into the fighting art. The basis of the art is simple – use of the head, fists, elbows, knees, shin and feet. It is known as the King of Martial Arts due to its effectiveness and brutal effect as a striking art. Some practitioners of other martial arts from all over the world have gone to fight in Thailand to test the effectiveness of Thai Boxing and have lost.
It is promoted by Thailand as its fighting art and aptly named Muay Thai, with the Sanskrit word “Muay” adopted into the Thai language for martial art. Surrounding countries like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma) also practise the fighting art where they have their own variations, and is known under different local names like Bando in Myanmar.
In Bangkok, Thai Boxing matches are usually held at Ratchadamnoen Stadium on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday, and Lumpini Stadium on Tuesday, Friday & Saturday. Today, the art is practised by men and women worldwide for fitness, health and self-defence. Practitioners wanting a feel of its traditions may also train in Thailand as some Thai Boxing schools now cater to foreigners.