» Country? Thailand.
» In a few words, what is the idea? Explanations with photos and a very entertaining video about what happens in a Muay Thai combat, so that you can understand it as a modern sport and as a Thai cultural tradition, and enjoy the evening.
» Duration? 3 hours.
» For whom? Travellers who are going to attend an evening of Muay Thai just out of curiosity about the local culture.
» Where? Many places in Thailand. Bangkok, Chiang Mai, etc.
» When? All year long.
It is likely that you want to go to a Muay Thai or Thai boxing evening during your visit to Thailand and it’s also true that if you’re not particularly attracted to this sport, it might be the first and last combat you see.
So, this post is intended for those travellers who know nothing about Muay Thai and would just like to attend a fight to see this Thai tradition first hand.
Muay Thai or Thai boxing is an ancient sport whose origins can be traced back to the tribes that emigrated to Thailand from the south of China thousands of years ago.
One theory is that these people developed a series of combat techniques to help them survive when the conventional arms of the age – such as spears or lances – were not available.
The use of gloves was introduced around 1929 during the reign of King Rama VII. This measure reduced the dangers involved in the practice of Muay Thai, encouraging its development as a sport. In 1945, the rules and regulations of combat were established, giving rise to the modern form of this sport.
The main difference between Muay Thai and other oriental martial arts lies in the use of blows executed with the elbows and knees.
The video gives some clues to help you identify some of the strategies used by fighters in the ring so that you know what is happening as the rounds progress.
For instance, look at these images:
In this first image, the fighter who wears red throws a kick, but it is ineffective because his opponent’s defence rejects the leg.
On this occasion, it is the boxer wearing blue who attacks with his elbow and now he does reach his opponent, probably because the latter has neglected the defence in a previous failed attack.
Without seeing his face, we can intuit the expression of pain.