Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. Also called Thai Boxing in English, it is affectionately nicknamed “the art of 8 limbs” due to how it utilises 2 hands, 2 elbows, 2 knees and 2 feet as weapons.
They used to use headbutting too, which they still use in Muay Boran – the ancestor art of Muay Thai, and in Lethwei – Burmese boxing, which comes from Muay Boran and is nicknamed the art of 9 limbs. With the head as a weapon there is a lot less clinching, but headbutting was removed from the sport of Muay Thai to make it more appealing to westerners.
Alongside BJJ, Muay Thai is a popular favourite ingredient of training for MMA competitors in the west today. Its typical training routines, involving plenty of competitive contact and often harsh conditioning, so it may be a bit rough for some.
Muay Thai fighters, embodying the gritty yet laid back culture of Thai people, are happy to get down & dirty to win a fight but endeavour to maintain a cool head in the process.
Attacks are often linear and defences are always tight – ideal for competition and for enemies not to be underestimated.
Muay Thai is also famous for its roundhouses kicks, which often target the ribs, sometimes go the head for a quick knockout, and often favour the easy target of the opponent’s front knee – contemptuously battering it until the opponent can’t stand, and when a man can’t stand he can’t fight (at least not well).
Muay Thai Prison Fights – traditional Thai rehabilitation
Muay Thai vs TaeKwonDo in the ring
Notice how impractical this Taekwondo champ’s aerobatic skills are when tested against a champ of the more down-to-earth martial art that is Muay Thai.