Muay Thai Day
By Little Writer
Muay Thai or Thai boxing is Thai martial art that is Thailand’s signature. Today, Muay Thai is famous and popular around the world. On the 6th February of every year is Muay Thai Day in Thailand. On this day, the government holds the events to promote Muay Thai such as exhibition, Muay Thai competition, etc.
Muay Thai is a combat martial art from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on foot is known as "the art of eight weapons" because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet, being associated with a good physical preparation that makes a full-contact fight very efficient. Muay Thai became popular in the sixteenth century, but become widespread internationally only in the twentieth century, when many Thai fighters won several victories over representatives of other martial arts. The sport of Muay Thai is solely governed by the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur and a professional league is governed by the World Muay Thai Council.
Various forms of kickboxing have long been practiced throughout Southeast Asia. Based on Chinese and Indian martial arts, practitioners claim that these systems can be traced back to a thousand years.
In the case of Thailand, muay Thai evolved from the older muay boran (ancient boxing), an unarmed combat method which would have been used by Siamese soldiers after losing their weapons in battle. Some believe that the ancient Siamese military created muay boran from the weapon-based art, krabi krabong but others contend that both systems were developed at the same time. Krabi krabong nevertheless was an important influence on muay Thai as seen in the movements in the wai khru.
Muay Boran, and therefore Muay Thai, was originally called by more generic names such as pahuyuth (from the Sanskrit bahu-yuddha meaning unarmed combat), dhoi muay (boxing or pugilism, a cognate of the Malay word tomoi) or simply Muay. As well as being a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, Muay became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. These Muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called Muay Khat Chueak.
19th century, the ascension of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the throne in 1868 ushered in a golden age not only for muay but for the whole country of Thailand. Muay progressed greatly during the reign of Rama V as a direct result of the king's personal interest in the sport. The country was at peace and Muay functioned as a means of physical exercise, self-defense, recreation, and personal advancement.
Masters of the art began teaching Muay in training camps where students were provided with food and shelter. Trainees would be treated as one family and it was customary for students to adopt the camp's name as their own surname. Scouts would be sent by the royal family to organize matches between different camps.
King Rama VII (1925-1935) pushed for codified rules for Muay, and they were put into place. Thailand's first boxing ring was built in 1921 at Suan Kularp. Referees were introduced and rounds were now timed by kick. Fighters at the Lumpinee Kickboxing Stadium began wearing modern gloves during training and in boxing matches against foreigners. Rope-binding was still used in fights between Thais but after the occurrence of a death in the ring, it was decided that fighters should wear gloves and cotton coverlets over the feet and ankles. It was also around this time that the term Muay Thai became commonly used while the older form of the style came to be known as Muay Boran, which is now performed primarily as an exhibition art form.
With the success of Muay Thai in the mixed martial arts, it has become the de facto style of choice for competitive stand-up fighters. As a result, western practitioners have incorporated much more powerful hand striking techniques from boxing although some Thai purists accuse them of diluting the art.
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