MUAY THAI KICKBOXING
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HOW IS MUAY THAI DIFFERENT?
Muay Thai is different from Karate and Kung Fu in several respects; In Thai Boxing "Forms" OR "Katas" do no exist, nor does the practice of stopping techniques several inches in front of the target. Using specially designed striking equipment and unique training methods, kicks; punches elbows and knees are practiced with full power and without holding back. Muay Thai is an art form which utilizes all of the body's natural weapons to create a devastating fighting style, as competitive in the ring as it is useful on the street.
HISTORY OF THAI KICKBOXING
Muay Thai developed in the Medieval ages when wars were fought with bows and arrows, swords and pikes, and when in hand-to-hand combat practically anything - arms, legs, knees, elbows, heads, throws - were used. This art, which was later included in military training, was made famous by King Naresuan in 1560 A.D. During one of many battles between Burma and Siam, the king was captured. Since the Burmese knew of his prowess as the best unarmed fighter in the Kingdom they gave him the chance to fight with their best for his freedom. He succeeded and upon his return to Siam was celebrated as a national hero. Soon thereafter the Siamese boxing was recognized as a national sport. It reached its zenith about two hundred years ago during the reign of Prachao Sua (King Tiger) when it was practiced by all classes of the population. In the pas,t Thai boxers were often under the patronage of the kings.
Some boxers rose to become the ruling monarchs of the land. Skillful boxers were often recruited to be the king’s "special soldiers". From those days until the early part of this century the fighters - particularly those in provinces - used horsehide strips and later hemp in lieu of gloves. Legends say it was also a practice at one time to grind pieces of glass into the hemp if both contestants agreed. Since these practices were dangerous to the fighters’ health, regular boxing gloves were introduced about 70-80 years ago and have been used ever since. The bouts are held in five 3-minute rounds in a boxing ring. Muay Thai, also called Thai-boxing or Thai-kickboxing in the west, is Thailand’s national sport. It is gaining popularity in many other countries, especially in Japan and Europe where a large number of young people are being trained to fight professionally. Although there are many similarities, Muay Thai is very different from the kickboxing, which originated in the western world approximately 20-30 years ago as a result of the efforts of Karate practitioners to find a way to compete full contact. There are significant differences in the historical evolution, the techniques as well as the rules of the bouts of Kickboxing as practiced in the west and Muay Thai. For example, Muay Thai rules allow the use of all sorts of low kicks, elbows strikes, knees, and also certain types of throws not legal under regular kickboxing rules. These are the same techniques which have made Muay Thai one of the most feared martial arts and which have been incorporated in to many other fighting systems (Vale Tudo, JKD, etc.).
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