If you are a fan of mixed martial arts or MMA, you would have noticed that muay thai kickboxing fighters are very prolific in their kicks and punches to the state of devastating their opponents often in just a single round. The martial arts world has taken notice of this martial art form from South East Asia especially in Thailand where it is a national sport and thousands of people are taking up the sport every day all over the world.
This martial art form started out as a self defense drill in ancient villages of Thailand, Burma and Laos where villagers trained to protect themselves against marauding bandits and robbers. It was later adopted by the Thai military of various dynasties in training its soldiers for unarmed combat. Today, it has evolved into a very popular sport that has spread throughout the world.
In the old days, practitioners of Muay Thai faced detrimental injuries and even death as the fighters practiced without protection gear and proper gloves. They only have a piece of cloth wrapped tightly around their fists to protect them from lacerations. As humanity progresses through the years, safety gears were made compulsory in Muay Thai fights to provide more protection to the fighters and competitors.
In the modern world, the sport is being practiced in the far flung regions of Russia to the United States and even in the Arabian peninsular. It is now considered as an international sport which Thailand is very proud of being its heritage.
There are a large number of television networks that broadcast Thai Muay and MMA fights with Muay Thai exponents on a pay per view basis. Live matches are also being organized on a regular basis in many countries. Muay Thai fighters are also constantly pitted against other martial arts exponents in mma bouts such as exponents of Karate, Kapap, Jiu-Jitsu, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do amongst others.
Subject to the occasional variations, bouts are usually fought in 5 three minute rounds with a two minute interval time in between. All fights are preceded by a traditional dance by the fighters as a form of respect to their teachers and as a form of warm up as well. This dance adds color and excitement to the matches.
All exponents wear armbands and headbands when competing. The headbands are all blessed by Buddhist monks or by the fighter’s teachers which is supposed to bestow good luck on the ones wearing them. The bands are also a source of inspiration and spiritual pride.
During the match itself, a traditional band will play music according to the pace of the fight. The music will be fast and furious if that part of the bout is also fast and furious and vice versa. This is like watching a movie when the background music also matches the scenes of the movie.
However, if you do intend to take up Muay Thai, do be warned that the training is very intensive and should you want to fight at a competitive level, the matches can be very grueling and brutal. Perhaps is could be the reason and the allure why the sport is so popular these days.
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