Thai boxing is an ancient martial art that originated in modern Thailand. Originally this martial art was called Mai Si Ork, then "pahuyut" which can be translated as "all-round fight" and only at the beginning of the XX century the name "Muay Thai" stuck to it. - Thai boxing. Although the name can be translated as "free boxing" or "duel of the free" because "tai" means "free". Today Thai boxing is developing both in Thailand itself, where it is the most revered and beloved sport, as well as worldwide as a traditional martial art on the one hand and as a modern sport on the other.





Most of the techniques in traditional Thai boxing have been known since the times when it was called "ploughshare" and are the legacy of many generations of Thai warriors. Already in ancient times, the art of Muay Thai was divided into styles and schools with certain differences, both in the technical arsenal of techniques, and in the tactics of combat. But for all schools in common was the division of all techniques on the attack (Cheng Muay) and counterattack (Kon Muay), and in each of these two categories of techniques were divided into the main (Mai Mai) and additional (Bow Mai). In ancient times all styles were divided into 12 Mai Mai and 12 Luk Mai, but by the end of the XIX century it became common to distinguish 15 Mai Mai and 15 Luk Mai, and in this form they are taught even today. Traditional Muay Thai is a powerful system of hand-to-hand combat in which, in addition to physical and fighting qualities, great importance is given to the development of spiritual qualities, the formation of a calm mind and a clear consciousness.




The modern version of Thai boxing began to be practiced in Thailand in 1921, when General Praya Nonthisseg Sureida Pakdi, president of the Thai Boy Scouts, set up a special Muay Thai training ground at the Suan Kulab Stadium in Bangkok. Every Saturday there were bouts where anyone could participate by paying an entry fee. The duels were held in 11 rounds of 3 minutes each. But finally Thailand boxing took its modern look in 1929, when the traditional binding hands were replaced by boxing gloves. By the same time the introduction of weight categories, new rules for counting rounds, the appearance of side referees and a number of other changes. The finalized competition rules were approved by the Ministry of Sports of Thailand in 1939. In 1955 there were adopted unified international competition rules for professionals. Since 1971 in Thailand began to conduct amateur Muay Thai competitions. To prevent injuries, protective protectors for the torso and a helmet for the head were introduced. Since 1994 they began to hold world championships among amateurs.




Thai boxing has a long history, although the exact date of the origin of this martial art is difficult to establish. Many historical documents were irreversibly lost during the Burma-Siamese wars, and the few pieces of information which survived are preserved in the annals of Siam's neighboring countries: Burma, Cambodia, and Laos. These sources allow us to attribute the emergence of the first systems of martial arts among the Thai tribes to the 15th century B.C.


In the 10th century A.D. a martial art style known as "ploughshares" took shape, where all hard body parts were used as weapons, and before a fight fighters performed a ritual of worship to the gods and asked for help from the spirits of patrons.

It was "pahuyut" that became the prototype of Thai boxing. Pahuyut was also used for competitions. The duels were entertaining, with certain rules, according to which the killing of an opponent was not allowed.

This type of competition was called "Muay". Muay competitions were held on a plot of densely tilled ground, which was fenced with four wooden poles in the corners. Before the fight the fighters performed a ritual dance in honor of their teachers, ancestor spirits and gods. The ritual has survived to this day. The fighters' fights were accompanied by music played on folk instruments.





By the beginning of the XVII century Muay Thai finally acquired its characteristic appearance, which has not changed fundamentally in our days. The fighters began to use hand wraps made of hemp ropes, which were impregnated with rice glue and dipped in the sand. Because of this, techniques began to be used in fights that allowed for strong knockout blows with the fists. A special bandage made of cloth-wrapped coconut halves or bivalve shells to protect the groin also came into use. For the first time began to count down the time of each round. For this purpose, half of a coconut shell with small holes made in it was dipped into a bowl of water at the beginning of each round. The round lasted until the shell was filled to the top with water and sunk to the bottom. The total time of the fight was not limited. The fight was stopped only when one of the fighters fell unconscious or surrendered to his opponent. At the beginning of the XX century there were new rules of the competitions. Hands were now bandaged with cotton bandages from hand to elbow and impregnated with rice flour glue for strength. A groin bandage became compulsory and the time of duels was limited to five rounds. In 1912 the Thais were introduced to European boxing, which led to some changes in the rules. In Muay Thai were introduced boxing gloves, weight categories, fights were judged by referees and side judges, the rules of counting rounds changed.


Siam - the ancient name of Thailand