Muay Thai is the fighting art that defeats all challenges from Kung Fu, Karate, Taekwando and other kickboxing variations that sprung up from it. And it’s the reason why it has become increasingly popular not just within Thailand but also outside of the Thai borders. The world has known a number of Muay Thai enthusiasts and practitioners in the United States, Japan, Europe and other parts of the world.
Most Muay Thai fighters compete in different classes and for different titles. Majority of Muay Thai fighters belong to the lighter weight classes while about two thirds are classified in the fly and bantamweight divisions. Most of the heavier categories seldom fight.
In Muay Thai history, the establishment of stadiums replacing makeshift rings and courtyards, began during the reign of King Rama VII before World War II. During the war, the stadiums disappeared but after the war, Muay Thai stadiums resurfaced and Muay Thai fighters from all over the country headed to Bangkok for fame and fortune, as most of the stadiums were located in the capital city.
Two stadiums that have been known to fulfill every Muay Thai fighter’s dream of coveting that wealth and glory are Lumpinee, and Rajadamnern, both located in Bangkok. These two stadiums make way for great Muay Thai boxers fighting for the prestigious championship titles.
Muay Thai Champion of Lumpinee
Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is an indoor sporting arena located in Bangkok. It opened ten years later than Rajadamnern Stadium and is run by the government through the Royal Thai Army. Lumpinee Boxing Stadium has become the symbol of modern Muay Thai. The ranking system and championship titles are held from Flyweight class, which is 115 pound up to the Super Welterweight which is 154 pound. Muay Thai fighters all over the country dream of taking the title from the current champion. But even foreign Muay Thai boxers are qualified to give their shot at the stadium’s championship title, regardless of weight class. This is largely due to the stadium’s policy of encouraging non-Thai fighters to compete as well. Damien Alamos, a French national became the first non-Thai to have won the Lumpinee title in 2012.
Muay Thai Champion of Rajadamnern
This is one of the two main stadiums with its own ranking system just like Lumpinee. It was built ten years before the Lumpinee Stadium and championship titles ran up to the Middleweight class which is 160 pounds. The stadium was built sometime in 1940s but the Second World War had disrupted its construction and only resumed in 1945 with the first fight held in December of the same year.
Muay Thai fighters who have achieved exceptionally high standards of fighting are awarded with thick gold chains and a ceremonial jacket and the most sought after title “Fighter of the Year”, for the particular stadium where the championship is at stake.
If you’re interested to train for Muay Thai, Thailand have a lot of training camp where you could live for months of training. One of the popular island of Thailand where a lot of foreign nationals train for Muay Thai is Phuket. If you’re looking for a Muay Thai boxing gym in Phuket, here’s one of the best.