Muay Thai is the ancient martial art of Thailand. This most effective of fighting techniques has evolved from the cultural artform of the Siamese warriors of the past. It has also become an International sport with a proud heritage. It is known as ‘the science of EIGHT LIMBS’ with practitioners making use of fists, elbows, knees & feet. Many people today learn Muay Thai for fitness and self defence.
From time immemorial though it has been practiced in contests. In early times this would occur in any location; jungle clearings; courtyards; a village square or any area of flat ground. There were no time keepers or rounds, and no forbidden moves, the winner being the boxer who remained standing. Boxers would fight with their forearms strapped in rope and their fists bound with strips of raw cotton.
In 1929 the switch was made to the type of gloves worn in International boxing, the contests became standardized and contained in a ring. Today Muay Thai contests are fought over five, three minute rounds with two minute breaks between rounds, a referee & three judges awarding points for effective strikes.
All bouts are accompanied by a unique type of music, referred to as Pi Muay. It helps to focus the mind in the meditative pre-fight stage and drive the fighters on to the conclusion.
In a Muay Thai contest, before each bout, both boxers perform the pre-fight ritual dance known as the RAM MUAY. This graceful display is a vital part of the original spirit of Muay Thai showing gratitude and respect for the skills learnt by the boxer. This is emphasized in the oath given to the Master by students before they begin training
‘I will look after myself so that I am clean, strong and behave with honesty. I will not bully the weaker. We will love one another, be united, and help one another wherever possible. I will do good deeds beneficial to others, and be loyal to the nation. I will avoid any case of disorder.’