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Muay Thai

What is Muay Thai

Muay Thai (also known as Thai boxing / kickboxing) is a traditional Thai martial art form. However, Muay Thai is technically not a martial art. Instead, it is more a sport.

The first great upsurge of interest in Muay Thai as a sport, as well as a battlefield skill, was under King Naresuan in 1584, a time known as the Ayuddhaya period. Thai Boxing became the favourite sport and pastime of the people, the army and the King. Historical sources show that people from all walks of life flocked to training camps. Rich, poor, young and old all wanted some of the action. Every village staged its prize fights and had its champions. Every bout became a betting contest as well as a contest of local pride.

It was a part of the school curriculum right up to the 1920’s when it was withdrawn because it was felt that the injury rate was too high. The people however, continued to study it in gyms and clubs just as they do today.

The 1930’s saw the most radical change in the sport. It was then that it was codified and today’s rules and regulations were introduced. Rope bindings of the arms and hands were abandoned and gloves took their place. This innovation was also in response to the growing success of Thai Boxers in international boxing.

Muay Thai techniques are taken from the more lethal boxing technique, Muay Boran, which originated from the older fighting style of ling lom (air monkey) via the ancient mother art of krabi krabong (stick and sword fighting). It is known as the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’ as fighters are able to use fists, elbows, knees and shins against eight points of contact, six more than regular boxing.

Muay Thai class in MK Boxing Gym

MK Boxing Muay Thai class has a heavy focus on body conditioning. It is also a perfect for self defense.

Muay Thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition.

Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight management, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases weight training. Thai boxers rely heavily on kicks utilizing the shin bone. As such, practitioners of Muay Thai will repeatedly hit the heavy bag, and pads with their shins, conditioning it.

Training that is specific to a Thai fighter includes training with coaches on Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bag, and sparring.

The daily training includes many rounds (3-5 minute periods broken up by a short rest, often 1-2 minutes) of these various methods of practice. Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning which involves practicing punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer wearing thick pads which cover the forearms and hands. These special pads (often referred to as thai pads) are used to absorb the impact of the strikes and allow the client to react to the attacks of the pad holder in a live situation. The trainer will often also wear a belly pad around the abdominal area so that the fighter can attack with straight kicks or knees to the body at anytime during the round.

Focus mitts are specific to training a fighter's hand speed, punch conditioning combinations, punching power, defense, and counter-punching and may also be used to practice elbow strikes. Heavy bag training is a conditioning and power exercise that reinforces the techniques practiced on the pads. Sparring is a means to test technique, skills, range, strategy, and timing against a partner. Sparring is often a light to medium contact exercise because competitive fighters on a full schedule are not advised to risk injury by sparring hard. Specific tactics and strategies can be trained with sparring including in close fighting, clinching and kneeing only, cutting off the ring, or using reach and distance to keep an aggressive fighter away.

Learn more about Muay Thai history and techniques here>>>
Tuesday
  • 6:30pm-7:30pm

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