About Muay Thai ( Thai Boxing )
Known as “the science of eight limbs” due to utilising the striking points of fists, shins, elbows and knees, the origin of modern Muay Thai is in Siam of the 16th Century, where it was developed as a form of hand-to-hand combat for use on the battlefield. The style emerged from a variety of martial arts prevalent in the geographic region comprising present-day Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Tribal rivalries and warfare gave rise to the precursor of modern Muay Thai, which emerged over centuries as the most dominant style. Legends surrounding the sport are many and there is a rich history of associated mythology. King Chulalongkorn who reigned from 1868 to 1910 is often recognised as the father of the modern sport, as it was his passion for the fighting form which reignited Thailand’s delight in it over the past century.
Current rules came into practice during the 1920s, at which point fighters in Bangkok’s legendary Lumpinee Stadium began to adopt the usage of modern boxing gloves. The west began paying attention to the sport following the rise of fighters such as Ramon Dekkers in the 1980s, and today there are many thousands of Muay Thai gyms worldwide.
Due to its exacting toll on the body, Muay Thai fights take place over a maximum of five rounds. In addition to the punching techniques of boxing, Muay Thai allows the use of more flamboyant techniques such as the spinning backfist or superman punch. In addition, various elbow, knee and kicking strikes are deployed in addition to clinching techniques.
A Muay Thai fighters journey at Prestige Gym
At Prestige Gym, a Melbourne Thai Boxing gym, Muay Thai is practised in a contemporary way focusing on the competition side of it as a combat discipline. At the most basic stage trainees will begin to learn how to strike with punches and kicks, before adding on the weapons of knees, elbows and clinching techniques. As with boxing, beginners will start to experience fighting as controlled sparring in the gym, followed by inter-club or amateur competition which will take place under modified Thai rules, which generally prohibits knees to the head and protracted clinching. Once novice fighters have demonstrated proficiency and control at the amateur level, they will potentially progress to professional bouts.