Muay Thai – boxing
Muay Thai – The traditional Thai boxing
Muay Thai is a traditional form of boxing in Thailand. It is a skillful game where the participants are required to use their feet and elbows to hit the opponents. Compared to the Western style of boxing, Muay Thai definitely needs more skills, but many people find this boxing variety quite brutal. However, it is not the fact that the players play with a vengeance, rather they have a great respect for each other. Due to this reason, this sport is highly honored in Thailand, in comparison to the Western versions. In the American boxing matches, you will most probably hear heavy metal or rap in the background, which is distinctly different in Muay Thai. In a boxing match in Thailand, you will mostly hear the sounds of the customary wood winds and chimes. The sport represents ancient culture of the nation and therefore, many visitors look out for a Muay Thai encounter during their visit to Thailand.
Contemporary take on the sport
Earlier, Muay Thai was very dangerous and brutal. There was no usage of gloves, instead of that, the participants used to wear cords and ropes around their arms. As time progressed, the rawness of the game gradually started to melt down and now the players enjoy more protections during the game. The brutality of the game is replaced by the skillful display of techniques with feet and elbows. The rules have got changed a little so that it can meet the terms of international regulations of boxing. That is the reason why, the popularity of this Thai boxing has crossed the boundaries and now people from different parts of the globe are aware about this boxing form. In fact, there are training centers where Thai boxing is taught in many Western countries that include Russia and US.
Popularity of the sport
Muay Thai is getting popularity all over the world and in Thailand, it enjoys a lot of popularity with football (soccer). The sport is telecasted almost every day on television and the shows get steady TRPs. Kids as young as four or five years are encouraged to take up the boxing classes and many of them becomes professional boxers when they grow up. These players can easily adopt the other styles of the boxing and many of them become internationally famous. Muay Thai competition that takes place in the Ratchadamnoen or Lumpini (in Bangkok) enjoys global exposure as the auditoriums remain filled with the audience from different parts of the world. These stadiums remain filled especially on the weekdays. If you want to avoid the rush to witness the exciting game, it is better to a choose Sunday evening when the rate of attendance in those stadiums is lowest. Before the commencement of the main event, you can witness several lower ranked take-offs, but the real showdown begins around nine in the evening.
The basic rules of the game include five rounds of play where each round has three-minute length and there is a break of two minutes after every round. Wearing gloves is a must and the dress code includes blue or red trunks only. Before the commencement of the fight, every participant performs a wai khru dance that is a gesture to show respect towards the trainers and the teachers.