Muay thai is an ancient form of boxing that was cultivated in Thailand to be used as close-combat self defense. Its origins date back several hundred years but the exact time period is questionable. A lot of muay thai’s history was lost during the attack on Ayudhaya, the capital city of Siam, by the Burmese during the 14th century.
Ayudhaya held the temples and depositories where the written history was kept to teach younger generations. When the Burmese looted these places, most of the texts were destroyed. Today, some of the surviving volumes are protected as national treasures by the Thai government. What scholars have learned from studying these documents is that muay thai was developed to transform the human body to operate as one unit to become a weapon of war. A person’s hands act as the sword, shins and forearms are conditioned to be used as defense shields against attacks, elbows are used to smash like a hammer, and the knees and legs become the axe and long staff.
When all body parts are fighting in unison, the muay thai practitioner becomes deadly.
As a fighting style, muay thai originated over the centuries as Chinese tribes migrated south through Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. One of the larger tribes of the time was the Siamese, or Tai (Thai). As they migrated south towards Malaysia, they encountered many smaller tribes along the way and had to fiercely fight to survive. Throughout these battles, the roots of a fighting style started to form.
Over the generations, elder tribesmen began to teach their sons and students the tactics and techniques used to either defend or attack an adversary. These skills included proper form and posture, body positioning, and how to stay aware during combat. Since the battles the tribes faced were made up of intense face-to-face combat, each strike needed to be debilitating and crushing without leaving the fighter exposed for an attack. Utilizing the proper form and techniques allowed the Siamese to deliver powerful blows to their targets during these battles. The battles were many, as the Siamese were under constant attack from Cambodia and Burma.
The Burmese and Thai people were enemies for centuries and fought many wars. During these time periods, muay thai was primarily part of the Thai culture and military training as well. Even today, soldiers are trained in the art of the eight limbs for close combat situations. Soon after young Thai soldiers returned from fighting, they began to engage each other in matches for fun and sport. Each village would come out to support their local fighters and celebrate victories. The older warriors and survivors went on to become muay thai instructors and teachers, and for the next 500 years this type of martial art grew into a national sport and part of the Thai culture.
Gracie Muay Thai Lessons are Similar to Taekwondo Classes in Raleigh
If you’re looking for a more challenging version of taekwondo classes in Raleigh, then give muay thai at Gracie a try. We even offer free martial classes to non-members with no obligation for a commitment. Gracie Raleigh excels at teaching all aspects of self defense for women, children, and people of all ages. If you’re ready to take your personal training to new levels, please give us a call today!