Muay Thai Boxing

by Tookta on April 4, 2011

Muay Thai or Thai boxing is a traditional martial art. In the past, Thais fought with other neighboring states to maintain the independence of the state or to lay claim over a territory. Apart from using war weapons, Thai worriors were trained to use parts of their bodies: fists, elbows, knees, legs, etc. to defend themselves or seriously hurt their opponents. It was recorded that during the Ayutthaya period, an audacious Thai boxer was able to defeat his Burmese opponent and saved Ayutthaya from being colonized by Burma. Thai boxing has thus been highly recognized and considered a noble form of martial art. Boxers were trained not only to deliver and receive kicks, punches or blows but also to have self-discipline, sportsmanship and respect.
Thai boxing has become a national sport and rules and regulations were established. A boxing match begins with both boxers performing a homage-paying ceremony to their teachers. Each boxer wears an auspicious fillet on his head. In this ceremony, boxers dance to the tune of live Thai classical music played by a Thai orchestra which is located in the arena. The dance imitates the fighting movements and aims to intimidate the accelerate the excitement when the fight becomes frantic. After the homage-paying ceremony, the auspicious fillets are removed from the boxer’s head and the bell signals the beginning of the fight.
A boxing match consists of no more than 5 rounds. Each round is 3 minutes long with a 2-minute rest period. Contestants must wear trunks but no shirt or shoes. Ankle caps are allowed. They must wear supporters to protect their groin. Mouth guards must be used. Contestants’ hands can be bound with a soft bandage not longer than 12 years and not wider than 2 inches. In a contest contestants score when they deliver a strike with a fist, foot, knee or elbow. The effectiveness and strength of the strike together with its target and the outcome are also taken into consideration when points are given. The defensive ability, and the attacking and fighting skills of the constants also count.

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