MAKE A RESERVATION

X
CHECK IN
CHECK OUT
NIGHTS
ADULTS
CHILDREN (3-11)
INFANTS (<3)

USE PROMO CITIZEN FOR LOWEST RATES

SPECIAL OFFER

BEACH REPUBLIC - OFFICIAL BLOG

30 FACTS ABOUT MUAY THAI, THAILAND'S FIGHTING ART FORM.


  1. 3- Muay Thai is called the “Art of Eight Limbs” because combatants always have eight different methods of striking available to them, including punches, elbows, kicks, and knees.
  2.  
  1. - Those eight strikes were meant to simulate the weapons of war – the punches, swords, elbows, hammers, kicks, spears, and the knees, sharp daggers. Likewise, the blocks using forearms and shins were meant to act as armor.
  2.  
  1. - Many people don’t realize that there is also a significant grappling component to Muay Thai, as fighters “clinch” grasping and controlling the other fighter’s head tightly. This allows them to throw more strikes unimpeded and try to spin their opponent off balance, throwing them to the ground.
  2.  
  1. - Even though they win honor, respect, and title belts, Muay Thai fighters don’t make much money. Often, professional fighters earn only $100 per bout, or much less in the lower professional or semi-pro ranks. So it’s no wonder they want to fight every 3-4 weeks.
  2.  
  1. - That means that many Muay Thai fighters have about 120-150 fights on their resume by the time they are in their mid twenties!
  2.  
  1. - Muay Thai isn’t a sport that someone just picks up as a teenager or adult. Usually, children in Thailand start seriously training at only 6-8 years old, and take their first fight at 8-10 years old. Many of the children or teens live right in the gym where they train, sleeping on the mats or in the ring. Training centers often take on poor children, teaching them to fight and feeding them. If the kids grow up to be accomplished fighters and start winning matches, their school and also their family gets a share of the winning purse.
  2.  
  1. - Muay Thai fighters and practitioners are known as “nak muay” in Thailand, while Western fighters are often called “nak muay farang” or “foreign boxer”.
  2.  
  1. - The first modern Muay Thai boxing ring, called Suan Kulap, was built at the Suan Khoolab School in 1921 in Thailand, right after World War I.
  2.  
  1. - The two most famous and frequented spectator stadiums are Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok and Rajadamnern Stadium, opened a decade earlier. Lumpinee Stadium is run by the Royal Thai Army and considered the mecca of the sport. Fighters who step into the ring – and battle honorably, win, lose, or draw, gain the attention and respect of the whole country.
  2.  
  1. - Although there is some debate as to the birth of Muay Thai, the origins probably can be traced back to 1238, when the first Thai army (then called ‘Siam’) was formed in the northern city of Sukhothai. The fighting men were enlisted in order to defend the city from so many warring tribes and kingdoms in the area, protecting the city’s inhabitants and those in surrounding villages and lands. Referred to as “The Sukhothai Era,” these men fought not for sport but to turn back and kill their enemies in hand to hand combat, including the use of weapons. Their training became the first evolution of Muay Thai. Since the threat of invasion was constant, the Siamese people continued to develop the military art of combat, or Muay Thai, with training centers throughout the kingdom.
  2.  
  1. - Another version of the start of Muay Thai recounts how by the middle of the 16th century, wars and fighting between the Kingdom of Siam and the Burmese was rampant. In 1767, one of the most famous Siamese fighters, Nai Khanomtom, was captured by the Burmese army. They knew of his fighting prowess so instead of killing him, they gave him the opportunity to fight for his freedom in a single test of hand-to-hand combat. Nai Khanomtom did win handily, and his Burmese captors honored their agreement and set him free. He became a legend in Siam and his method of Siamese-Style Boxing – later developing into Muay Thai – became recognized and emulated in the nation.
  2.  
  1. - The national sport grew and soon became beloved by all people from all walks of life, including King Prachao Sua during the “Tiger Era” of Muay Thai. This King was a great combatant, but couldn’t openly fight because no opponent would ever dare to disrespect the king by fighting back. So King Prachao Sua started dressing up as a common person and entering matches in distant cities and villages under disguise. He did so well that he went on to be called “The Tiger King” once the people found out he’d defeated three legendary fighters, Nai Klan Madthai (Killing Fists), Nai Yai Madklek (Fists of Iron), and Nai Lek Madnok (Strong Fists).
  2.  
  1. - While Muay Thai fighters now wear padded gloves similar to small boxing gloves, in the past, they only wore hemp ropes and threads or cotton wrapped around the hands and forearms as protection.
  1. As Muay Thai evolved so did the rules of the contests. There were no timed rounds in the first fights, as the winner was whichever fighter was standing over his thoroughly beaten opponent. But soon the fights were broken into timed rounds. With no clocks available, the match officiates would put a small hole in a coconut and float it in a barrel of water. The coconut would tart taking on water and eventually sink to the bottom – signaling the end of one round.
  2.  
  1. - Muay Thai is still the national sport and pride of Thailand, and can be witnessed and experienced by tourists and visitors. For those who want to watch a bout, there are plenty of small matches all over the country – including several places on Koh Samui, as well as at the bigger stadiums in Bangkok and other cities.
  2.  

***

For those who want to train at Muay Thai, there are plenty of camps and gyms that offer classes for all levels. Many brave foreigners even train enough to step in the ring for their first official Muay Thai fight!

Look for part 2 of this blog coming soon, and email us if you’d like more information about Muay Thai training centers and matches on Koh Samui.