On National Muay Thai Day, let’s learn about this incredible martial art from Thailand.
The name Muay Thai means “Thai boxing.” Also known as the “Art of the Eight Limbs”, this deadly martial art employs fists, elbows, knees, and feet to deliver powerful strikes and grapples while defending oneself or subduing an opponent.
Boxing has been an integral part of Thai culture for centuries and has been used to keep soldiers fit and agile. It is now a high-intensity, full-contact sport based on kicking and punching. You must knock your opponent to the ground to score points in the game.
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National Muay Thai Day: Nai Khanom Tom Day
March 17th marks the celebration of National Muay Thai Day. It is a day that commemorates the legendary fighter Nai Khanom Tom, also regarded as the Father of Muay Thao. He was a prisoner of war during the Burmese-Siamese War in the 18th century.
According to the legend, Nai Khanom Tom was selected to fight against a Burmese champion in a boxing match, and he won the fight using his Muay Thai skills. He went on to defeat nine more Burmese fighters in a row, demonstrating the effectiveness of Muay Thai in combat.
To honour his legacy, March 17th was designated “Nai Khanom Tom Day” in Thailand. It is a day to celebrate Nai Khanom Tom’s contributions to Muay Thai’s development and promote and preserve the art of Muay Thai as an important part of Thai culture. It is celebrated with various events and activities such as Muay Thai demonstrations, competitions, and cultural performances.
Benefits of Muay Thai
This martial art is a physically and mentally taxing discipline that improves one’s fitness and strength. Some people believe that Muay Thai can help improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Additionally, it can enhance overall stamina and endurance.
The benefits of practising Muay Thai are not only physical but mental as well. The workouts are challenging, but they also energise and motivate you. The combination of cardio exercise with muscle-building and balance training gives you an intense workout that benefits your entire body. It also widens your social circle while giving you an adrenaline rush. It’s also an excellent way to cope with anxiety and depression.
Basic Techniques of Muay Thai
Anyone can learn basic Muay Thai techniques by practising with a coach. However, there are many different techniques to learn, and the best way to find the ones that work for you is to test them out.
Experiment with combinations, strikes, and footwork until you find what works best. Here are some basic Muay Thai techniques to get you started:
1. The jab is a versatile strike that you can use to set up other attacks. Start by positioning your body close to your opponent, then reach out with your jab and touch your chin or nose. Keep your hands low to avoid getting hit in the face.
2. The cross is a powerful strike that can knock your opponent down. Extend your arm straight from your shoulder to execute the cross and swing it towards your opponent’s face. Again, keep your hand close to their head for maximum impact.
3. The elbow is the hardest point in the human body, and a devastating strike can break bones. To use the elbow, bend it and hit your opponent in the face or neck. However, be careful not to strike too hard, as it can cause serious injury.
Despite being such a deadly martial art, which has centuries of tradition, Thai boxing was unknown to most of the world till the late 20th century. Thai boxers then competed in kickboxing tournaments worldwide and crushed opponents using other martial arts styles like Karate, Kung fu, and Savat.
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Muay Thai was not developed to entertain a crowd; the moves are rarely choreographed. Instead, this boxing style was specifically designed to beat the opponent. It is a difficult art to master yet simple enough to be picked up by a novice. Thanks to this simplicity, anyone can pick up the basics of Muay Thai. It strengthens the mind, body, and spirit and is fun.
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