Muay Thai, a martial art form that originated from Thailand, also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” which is focused on strikes using the eight points of contact: feet, knees, elbows and fists. It uses the power of rotation in the hips to deliver dynamic and strong punches, elbows, blocks, and kicks.
Muay Thai is also an effective health and fitness training. It can improve one’s health and give a physically fit and strong body. Muay Thai workouts and training not only get a trainee in the best fighting form, he can also benefit from them health-wise. This may be the reason why a lot of people are interested and attracted in Muay Thai. Even if they are not training for a Muay Thai fight, they are after the health benefits the training will give them. People who go into Muay Thai training can build stronger and more defined arms, legs and stomach. In many ways, the training also helps to gain a sense of inner strength and emotional balance.
Muay Thai training is known for its rigid training program which includes an innovative variation of sparring, jabs, power punches, and defense techniques and all blends of aerobics exercises. Muay Thai training camps in Phuket, Bangkok and other places in Thailand come up with best training package that would not only entice Muay Thai enthusiasts to enroll but would encourage fighters to better their craft in the sport. These intensive workouts will help the Muay Thai trainee learn the proper execution of the different Muay Thai fighting techniques and help keep them physically fit and stronger.
Other than preparing the body for the physical stress and stand the impact of the opponent’s strikes, there are fitness, social and defense benefits that Muay Thai provides.
Fitness Benefits of Muay Thai
- Well-proportioned body. People who are into Muay Thai training are taught to perform warm-up exercises to improve blood circulation. Muay Thai training speeds up the body’s metabolism and burns off fat. Over time, one will notice a significant decrease in fat and a remarkable increase in muscle toning, and an overall improved sense of well-being.
- Strength and Agility. Regular Muay Thai training helps build up stamina and put one’s body in good shape. Arduous routines which are part of the training will help keep the body stronger. And because the training requires constant training and drilling, one will develop his mind and body for a quick response in effectively reacting to the opponent’s strikes.
Part of Muay Thai training is learning about practicing discipline, respect for rules, and obedience to the instructor. By implementing various methodologies, one will eventually possess good manners, good spirit, honesty, sense of justice and self-confidence.
- Helps develop courage, determination, and self-confidence. People who train in Muay Thai perform regular exercises which are very important in keeping the body toned to be driven to the limit of exhaustion. Without physical stamina and the required will and determination, the kind of rigorous training developed for Muay Thai can easily get a person to give up. Therefore, one has to condition his mind to be tough in order to complete the training program. And that will develop a sense of self-confidence which will grow as one becomes more in tune with the workouts. With proper training, one is equipped with the ability to defend one’s self against opponents or adversaries.
- Intelligence and Wisdom. Muay Thai involves innumerable tactics, tricks, and techniques. If one is serious about his Muay Thai training, he will learn all the tactics to counter the attacks of the opponent and at the same time deliver powerful strikes to the opponent. Muay Thai also requires the fighter to develop wisdom in using the techniques, learning when the punches and the kicks should be thrown to the opponent to achieve maximum impact. A fair degree of intelligence is developed together with learning one art of self-defense.
Phuket, an island province in the Kingdom of Thailand wherein 33 islands lies in an area of 570 square kilometers making it the largest island in the country. Phuket generates huge tourist arrivals every year, and its not surprising at all with its gorgeous beaches, marvelous landscape, world-class resorts, villas and hotels and being on the list of the favored vacation and retirement place world wide. Furthermore, Thailand is also the home of the most famous Muay Thai fighters and trainers.
A Brief History
Muay Thai is a combat martial art from ancient Thailand stretching back to the era of wars with the Burmese in the 15th century. It is characterized by the combined use of the eight weapons namely the fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.
During the 16th century, Muay Thai started to gain popularity in Thailand. As time passed, Muay Thai being a combat martial art used for winning wars has changed considerably – changes that were initiated to make the sport safer, reducing the incidence of serious injury and death. This physical and mental discipline is associated with good physical training and mental preparation – all important in making a very efficient full-contact fight.
During the 20th century, Muay Thai gained international recognition as a combat sport after several Muay Thai fighters won consecutive victories over opponents from other martial arts.
Today, the professional league is governed by the World Muay Thai Council while the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur governs the amateur Muay Thai sport.
Muay Thai Fights in Phuket Gyms and Stadiums
Muay Thai offered in Phuket has an unprecedented presence as evidenced by the numerous Muay Thai Gyms and training camps that are located all over the island / province. Countless visitors in Phuket who only wants a pristine holiday now includes in their itinerary the chance to see a real Muay Thai fight up close and in person via Muay Thai boxing shows. Some foreign tourists even spend months of in-house training in renowned Muay Thai gym in Phuket.
In addition, foreign visitors who are getting enthusiastic over the sport grabs every opportunity to visit Muay Thai training camps in Phuket and see how intense the training is. Plus, the statistics of foreign nationals enrolling and staying at training camps in Phuket is increasing.
Muay Thai gyms and training camps coordinate and organize Muay Thai fights at prominent Phuket locations or commercial stadiums. In Patong, for instance, open pick-up trucks drive around announcing the details of the fights while promoters hand out flyers around crowded places like Patong Beach. What makes these fights interesting is the fact that it sometimes features foreign Muay Thai fighters who trained in Phuket training camps. The audience becomes a mixture of local and foreign Muay Thai lovers. To see other Muay Thai stadiums outside Phuket, you can click here.
At the very least, watching a local Muay Thai fight will provide an interesting experience for anybody visiting Phuket. It gives you the chance to appreciate the artful and creative sport.
For foreign tourists in the Patong Beach area, nightly displays of Muay Thai Boxing are witnessed by cheering crowds in specially built stadiums on Soi Sai Namyen.
Muay Thai Traditions and Ceremonies
Foreign tourists watching a Muay Thai fight in Phuket may be amazed at the traditions and ceremonies that envelop the fight. A special pre-fight dance known as the “ram muay” is performed as the fighters enter the ring, wearing a headband given by their trainer – said to be a talisman earned after several years of dedication to the craft. “Wai Khru” is how the dance is started – each boxer on his knees and bowing three times – symbolizing respect to his teacher. Only after the dance is completed will the fight begin.
Muay Thai is a combat sport that originated in Thailand. It has its own unique techniques, which make use of the body as the weapons, more specifically the fists, elbow, knee and feet. Collectively, these weapons are called Na-wa-arud. Learning the basics of Muay Thai will get the fighter know about the many techniques using all the body parts to fight off the opponent.
For the advanced fighters, the different defensive techniques are used against the attack, which are classified into six types namely, blocking, redirection, avoidance, evasion, disruption and anticipation.
An effective blocking technique in Muay Thai is called the 45 degree block which is used in stopping elbows, hay maker punches and even high kicks. When you step in with 45 degree block, you end up in knee or elbow striking range. This is a great entry technique to counter off a strike.
This is done using the defender’s soft parries to change the direction of a strike such as a downwards tap to a jab so that the strike misses the target.
This is done by moving a body part out of the way or range of a strike so the defender remains in range and position for a counter-strike. For example, the defender moves their front leg backwards to avoid the attacker’s low kick, then immediately counters with a roundhouse kick. Another example is the defender can lay their head back from the attacker’s high roundhouse kick and then counter-attack with a side kick.
This is done by moving the body out of the way or range of a strike so the defender has to move close again to position a counter-attack. An example would be a defender jumping laterally or back from attacker’s kicks.
This technique is used to pre-empt an attack. An example with a defender using disruptive techniques like foot-thrust, jab or low roundhouse kick, generally called a “leg kick as the attacker attempts to close distance.
This technique is used by the defender catching a strike. An example would be catching a roundhouse kick to the body or counter-attacking it before it lands – meaning that the defender’s low kick to the supporting leg below as the attacker initiates a high roundhouse kick.
The concept of wall of defense is used defensively in Muay Thai in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to hinder the attacker from successfully executing techniques. A critical element in Muay Thai is blocking and it compounds the level of conditioning a successful practitioner must possess. The upper portion of a raised shin is used to block low and mid body roundhouse kicks while high body strikes are blocked with the forearm/glove, elbow/shin. Mid section roundhouse kicks can also be caught or trapped, allowing for a sweep or counter attack to the remaining leg of the opponent. An ordinary boxing guard and techniques similar to basic boxing technique are used to block punches. Blocking a punch is done by using the hand on the same side as the oncoming punch. A motion described as “combing your hair”, raising the elbow forward and effectively shielding the head with the forearm, bicep and shoulder are used to block thrusting hooks.
Muay Thai being a combative sport asks a fighter to learn good defense system. Learning how to make good defense is part of being a successful and best fighter. Making tactical attacks is not just the ingredient to win a fight; good defense is part of it. Muay Thai training camps in Thailand molds a fighter in developing instinct, defensive blocks, aggressive attacks and killer counter attacks.
To hone a good fighter, Muay Thai gyms in Phuket, Thailand make sure that every single lesson that a Muay Thai fighter wannabe needs to know to become a real Muay Thai fighter is taught in every training session. The intensive workout Muay Thai camp Phuket provides entices any sport enthusiast to try the sport and train from where the sport originated.