Wednesday, January 17, 2007

History


Muay Thai is considered by some to be a 2000-year old derivation of a general indigenous martial art style native to Southeast Asia. Muay Thai was the first of these styles to be popularized outside of Southeast Asia.

Muay Thai is thought to have been originally based on techniques brought from India and China. Indian boxing arts, such as adithada are remarkably similar to South-East Asian forms of kickboxing and almost every move found in Muay Thai has a similar equivalent in Chinese styles like Shaolin kung fu. Developing through time and natural evolution of the art, this gave birth to Muay Boran, ancient style Muay Thai. Muay Boran, coupled with the weapon-based style of Krabi Krabong , became part of the Siamese military training. As the basis of battlefield warfare evolved technologically, hand-to-hand combat was no longer required within the military. Muay Boran was divided to Muay Thasao (North), Muay Korat (Esarn or Northeast),
Muay Lopburee (Center region) and Muay Chaiya (South).

There is a phrase about Muay Boran that states, "Punch Korat, Wit Lopburee, Posture Chaiya, Faster Thasao.

Muay Korat emphasizes strength. There is one technique called "Throwing Buffalo Punch", called this because it can supposedly defeat a buffalo in one blow. Muay Lopburee emphasizes clever movements. Its strong points are the straight and turned punches. Muay Chaiya emphasizes posture and defense, as well as elbows and knees. Muay Thasao emphasizes in speed, particularly in kicking. Because of their faster speed, this Muay Boran was called "Ling Lom" (windy monkey or Loris).

Muay Boran became a popular pastime and way of life for peasants and commoners as well which is how it developed into the form of Muay Thai which we know today.

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