Muay Thai (also
known as Thai boxing) is the cultural martial art of Thailand. The origin
of Muay Thai dates back several hundred years. Muay Thai was
developed as a form of close-combat that uses the entire body as a weapon. Much of the history
of Muay Thai was lost when the Burmese sacked Ayudhaya, the capital city
of Siam (now known as Thailand) in the 14th century. The Burmese looted the temples and
depositories of knowledge held in the capital, and most written history
was lost in that period.
Muay Thai teaches the student how to use elbow
strikes, knee strikes, punches, kicks, and sweeps for offensive techniques
to control and overcome an attacker. Defensively, the concept of
"wall of defense" is used, in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to
hinder the attacker from successfully executing his techniques. Blocking
is a critical element in Muay Thai and compounds the level of conditioning
a successful practitioner must possess.
Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning and
pad work. Muay Thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and
toughness required for ring competition. Training regimens include
running, shadowboxing, heavy bag work, rope jumping, medicine ball
exercises, abdominal exercises and in some cases weight training.