What is Muay Thai?

By: DoceParesInternational.com on October 4th, 2013 0 Comments
What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand. It uses stand-up striking techniques with various clinching techniques. Known as “the art of eight limbs,” it is a rigorous sport that requires both physical and mental discipline. Opponents use a combination of fists, elbows, knees, shins, and feet. Fighters must be in excellent physical condition to be successful Muay Thai fighters.

How Did Muay Thai Originate?

Muay Thai originated in the 16th-century but became widespread as a sport in 1978 in Curituba, Brazil. Practitioners saw value in the contact sport when other notable practioners of martial arts were defeated using the Thai techniques. Muay Thai is referred to the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs”. It makes use of punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes.

There are eight “points of contact” instead of two points or four points.

Muay Thai Techniques

Muay Thai techniques are divided into two groups. The first is mae major. The second is luk major. Almost all Muay Thai techniques use the entire body. The hips is rotated with each kick, punch, elbow, and block.

Here is a list of some of the most popular punching moves:

  • Jab
  • Cross
  • Hook
  • Swing
  • Spinning Backfist
  • Uppercut
  • Cobra Punch

Here is a list of some of the most popular elbow moves:

  • Elbow Slash
  • Horizontal Elbow
  • Uppercut Elbow
  • Forward Elbow Thrust
  • Reverse Horizontal Elbow
  • Spinning Elbow
  • Elbow Chop
  • Double Elbow Chop
  • Mid-Air Elbow Chop

Here is a list of some of the most popular kicking moves:

  • Straight Kick
  • Roundhouse Kick
  • Diagonal Kick
  • Half Shin, Half Knee Kick
  • Reverse Roundhouse Kick
  • Down Roundhouse Kick
  • Axe Heel Kick
  • Jump Kick
  • Step Up Kick

Here is a list of some of the most popular knee moves:

  • Straight Knee Strike
  • Diagonal Knee Strike
  • Curving Knee Strike
  • Horizontal Knee Strike
  • Knee Slap
  • Knee Bomb
  • Flying Knee
  • Step-Up Knee Strike

Here is a list of some of the most popular foot-thrust moves:

  • Straight Foot Thrust
  • Sideways Foot-Thrust
  • Reverse Foot-Thrust
  • Slapping Foot-Thrus
  • Jumping Foot-Thrust

Muay Thai offers competitors a large number of moves to choose from as demonstrated by the aforementioned list. Conditioning is a very important part of training for a Muay Thai fight.

Competitors are involved in a rigorous training regimen that consists of running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and some weight training.

Equipment Needed for Training

Thai fighters train with coaches on a routine basis. They use Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bags, and sparring. Daily training includes multiple rounds. This entails 3 to 5 minutes of fighting followed by 1 to 2 minutes of rest.

Thai pads are a very important part of the training process because it allows the fighter to sustain kicks and knees to the body at any time during the round. Focus mitts train a fighter’s hand speed, punch combinations, timing, punching power, defense, and counter-punching. They can also be used for elbow strikes. A heavy bag is for conditioning. Sparring is used to test and measure technique. Skills, range, strategy, and timing are also factored in.

Thai fighters do not have long careers. They typically retire after the next generation of fighters are introduced. For that reason, Muay Thai isn’t as popular as it could be in different parts of the world. It is the type of combat sport that requires mental prowess, strength, and determination.

Learn how you can improve your Muay Thai skills here.

Muay Thai Documentary: 8 Limbs

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