Thailand, formally known as Siam, has an estimated population of 64 million. It is predominantly Buddhist with around 95% of the population following the faith. Even though the country thrives on generosity and religious devotion, much of the population falling below the poverty line despite the 3 million plus tourists that visit each year.
Origin of Muay Thai
The word ‘Muay’ originally meant ‘pull together to form unity’ but has commonly become known to mean ‘boxing’.
In Muay, the body and mind are united to give total power and create wholeness. There is an understanding that everything is interconnected. Nothing works in isolation in Muay. The more your body and mind are united the easier it is to perform (for example you can’t kick down a banana tree using just your shins alone).
The Martial Arts of Thailand were known as Muay and included styles such as:
- Muay Boran (Ancient Muay)
- Muay Chaiya (regional)
- Muay Lopburi (regional)
- Muay Korat (regional)
- Muay Pra Nakorn (regional)
- Muay Chaiyuth (Winning Strategy)
- Muay Luang (Royal Muay)
- Muay Lerdrit (Military Muay Thai)
- Muay Khotchasan (Elephant style)
- Muay Kaad Chuek (Bound Fist)
- Krabi Krabong (short and long weapon fighting)
Muay Thai was formed when Muay became internationally recognised and modernised. Thought to have derived primarily from Muay Boran which unarmed combat method that was used by the Siamese soldiers after losing their weapons in battle. In 19th Century when the country was finally at peace, the “Art of Eight Limbs”, as the Thais called it, had become a familiar tradition to the Thai people whether participating in it or being a spectator. Now it is considered Thailand’s national Sport.