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Thai Culture Guide >> Muay Thai

Muay Thai Martial Arts

Known as The Art of the Eight Limbs, Muay Thai is a martial art which is practiced in Southeast Asian countries under several different names. Using Muay Thai kicking drills the Thai military trains under a modified form of Muay Thai.

Muay Thai as we now know it originated in Thailand and has been practiced for hundreds of years and it origins, although sketchy can be traced back to Muay Boran which is a form of ancient boxing. Seeing that Thai culture is based on a combination of Chinese, Cambodian and Indian all their forms of martial arts would have had some influence of Muay Thai. This form of martial art became very popular with the general population and actually became a sport and fights in front of the public were incorporated into celebrations and festivals as entertainment. It was also used to entertain royalty and those who became more skillful became live in residents at the palace not only to entertain but to teach soldiers staff and indeed princes. It is still the number one sport in Thailand and Muay Thai has also become popular world wide. There are Mauy Thai schools and classes in most countries around the world and tournaments start at a local level and continue through to international levels.

Muay Thai is a science that uses the eight limbs of the body as weapons, two feet, two knees, two elbows and two hands. There is also a stand up neck wrestling hold that is important when using the knees and elbows properly.Using four principal techniques, Mauy Thai can be a devastating weapon.

The kicking technique is a distance combat weapon, kicks can be front and side, a round kick, a defense and block technique used against a kick and a sweeping inside and outside motion. Elbows are used in close, as defense against an elbow, self-defense with an elbow, a combination or a PAo which is a powerful technique. Knees are also used in close, a straight knee, side knee, round and a PAo and bag practice and for sparring. Punching incorporates balance, footwork and punching, bobbing and weaving, blocking and pivoting, counter punching and boxing combinations. Of course there are also strategies to use in the ring and many tactics to use against your opponent.

Naturally, like all martial arts there is a strong focus on conditioning both mentally and physically and there are a series of Muay Thai kicking drills, along with punch combinations, knee and elbow strike drills that are continually practiced be it using a punching bag, shadow kicking or with a sparring partner. These increase strength, speed, power and accuracy and are ideal for the beginner and the master alike.

About the Author:

Yoshi G Kundagawa is a freelance journalist. He covers the mixed martial arts industry. For a free report on muay thai kicking drills visit his blog.