Muay Thai is an ancient martial art that comes from Thailand it is a type of kickboxing but it is not kickboxing the art of Muay Thai is an art that is often practiced as a profession which includes the use of gloves groin protectors and ankle protectors. The punches are very similar to the punches that a kickboxer may throw and the punches are closer to the way that boxers throw punches in the west. The boxer type punches give a massive clue that at some point western boxing had a huge influence on Muay Thai. The art of Muay Thai was heavily influenced by the martial arts of China. In Karate for example the punches that distinguish the art is the way that the punches of Karate tend to be mostly thrown from the hip, an example of this can be seen here in this video
The punches from most of the Chinese arts also have a typical way that they are thrown this video gives an example the video shows the way that punches are thrown in the art of Wing Chun Kung Fu
Wing Chun Punching
Muay Thai punches are influenced more by the way that western punches are thrown. Muay Thai also uses a range of kicking but the main two kicks that are used are the front kick and the roundhouse kick, shown in the videos below
Muay Thai front Kick
Muay Thai Roundhouse Kick
As you can see these kicks are not really unique to Muay Thai but because Muay Thai is used as a professional sport for many it has found the kicks and punches that work best fro the rules of their sport.The art has got a reputation for being very hard and the kicks and punches are not pulled when the fighters are in competition which makes this art very realistic in nature and the force that is used is genuine and very explosive. Because of the powerful kicks and punches that are used the artists have to make sure that they can both deliver and take the blows that are handed out during the Muay Thai matches.
They don’t do kata so the art would be classed as a fighting art rather than a “DO” or “Way” art which is what most Kung Fu and Karate arts are now. In the video below is a Muay Thai competition, the competitions are not for the faint at heart.
Muay Thai Competition
Muay Thai Fight
As you can see from these fights clinching elbows and very powerful head leg and body kicks are used to end a fight in as quick a time as possible, this is the true reality of a fight in which no one is aloud to wait politely for their opponents to finish their move whilst you safely and beautifully block what they are doing.
Muay Thai is nicknamed the art of the eight limbs because they use eight points of contact, the body becomes a weapon of war. The hands are supposed to be daggers, the shins and the forearms are made very strong though constantly hitting them in training which makes them become less and less affected by pain, the elbows are used when in close range to try to chop their opponents down like a tree the lgs are said to be the axe and the staff, the whole body works together as one powerful unit, the grip that is used to hold on to the back of their opponent is like a vice and whilst they have their opponent gripped they kick and strike with the knees, the grip behind the neck is useful for trying to get your opponent to the ground where if the fight were in life or death combat more strikes could be delivered and this would be bad news for the attacker.
Elbow Slash, Horizontal Elbow, Uppercut Elbow, Forward Thrust, Reverse Horizontal Elbow, Spinning Elbow, Double Elbow Chop, Mid Air Elbow Strike. From the descriptions of these forms of attack it is clear to see the intention behind these strikes, they are definitely not meant to be taken lightly, they are meant to do great harm to a would be attacker.
Muay Thai Elbow Strikes
Muay Thai Clinches