What Is Muay Thai and What Are its Health Benefits?
Muay Thai is another name for Thai boxing. This specialised sport is also the cultural and national sport of Thailand. Developed several centuries ago, this close-combat activity employs the whole body as a weapon. Today, the origins of the sport are often debated as most of the sport’s history was lost when the Burmese pillaged Ayudhaya, which was the capital city of Siam during the fourteenth century.
“The Art of Eight Limbs”
Also known as kickboxing in the West, Muay Thai is often called “The Art of Eight Limbs”. That is because it uses eight body points, each mimicking weapons of war. For example, the body parts are used as follows:
- The hands become a sword and dagger.
- Shins and forearms are hardened during Muay Thai training to act as armour against blows.
- The elbow is considered symbolic of a hammer or mace, used to fell opponents.
- The legs and knees are represented as an axe and staff.
- The body operates as one unit.
- The knees and elbows search and test openings whilst grappling or trying to spin an opponent to the ground for a kill.
Currently, the King of Thailand is an avid fan of the sport. Since he was crowned, Muay Thai has become a highly popular sporting activity.
Improved Agility and Coordination
Whilst Muay Thai is considered a martial art by Westerners, it technically is referenced as boxing. The sport’s techniques are derived from a more lethal art called MuayBoran. Today, you can join Muay Thai training in Indonesia. Free guest passes are offered at facilities so you can try this freestyle fitness form. Participants who practice the sport are rewarded with improved agility, power, and coordination.
According to fitness experts, hip rotation is the key for all kicks, blocks, and punches. This means that you obtain an intense core workout when taking part in this activity. Therefore, the exercise makes it possible for you to focus better and enhance your overall level of fitness.
Muay Thai itself has progressed a great deal over the past century. Because of its national popularity, this form of boxing has gained international acclaim and exposure. After their introduction to the sport during the First World War, foreigners called it Siam Boxing as Thailand was known as Siam at the time.
During the War Years
During the war years, American and European soldiers watched with interest as Thai soldiers practiced Muay Thai amongst each other. In fact, they were so impressed with the sport that they asked the Thai soldiers to teach them the basics. During the 1920s, Muay Thai boxing rings were introduced and gloves replaced hemp rope, horsehide, or leather bindings on the hands. A hard-cover groin protector was also included to provide additional protection from knees or kicks.
Today, Muay Thai is often featured in group fitness classes. Participants learn kicks, ducks, punches, and other moves that tone the body whilst improving explosive strength, balance, and flexibility. If you want your workout to be as unique as it is challenging, then Muay Thai was designed for you.