Muay Thai, also known as “the art of eight limbs,” is the traditional combat sport of Thailand. Its origins can be traced to the 16th century in Burma and Siam being developed from Muay Boran or more simply Muay. Muay Thai combines the use of punches, kicks, knees and elbows to form a devastating complete art of striking and is widely respected as one of the most effective forms of stand up defense in the world.
The history of Muay Thai can also be traced to the middle of the 16th century. During the battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured in the year 1767. The Burmese knew of his expertise in hand-to-hand combat and gave him an opportunity to fight for his freedom. Soon after winning the match, he was freed by his captors and allowed to return to Siam. He was acknowledged as a hero, and his fighting style became known as Siamese-Style boxing, later to be known as Muay Thai. This fighting style was soon to be recognized as a national sport.
Muay boran, and therefore Muay Thai, was originally called by more generic names such as Toi muay or simply muay. As well as being a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, muay became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. These muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay khat chueak. Kickboxing was also a component of military training and gained prominence during the reign of King Naresuan in 1560 CE.
Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs”, because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact”, as opposed to “two points” (fists) in boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called Nak Muay Farang, meaning “foreign boxer”.
Our head Muay Thai instructor has over 30 years experience in the striking arts having earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do and equivalent in Kung Fu with significant experience in Muay Thai both locally and in Thailand. Reach your potential at Evolution.