Muay Thai origins
If anyone asked what the origins of muay thai are , how they evolved and who created this art, the correct answer should go back to prehistoric times, when the human race was in its primitive state and necessities forced humans to fight each other. the other. The fight was essential to survive, to be part of a clan. Ancient combat with rods and clubs as weapons, the use of the mouth, legs and hands to strike are part of the intrinsic human and animal nature to attack and defend against any enemy. The need to protect oneself has led to the evolution of natural weapons as instruments of offense and defense.
The origins of muay thai date back to the time of primitive men who began to use their legs, knees, elbows and fists to defend themselves and fight against enemies. It is well known that human beings are inclined to community life instead of an isolated life as a hermit, because the mere fact of being human implies the need and support of one's family to protect themselves from external dangers. Life in a group implies the presence of a person who assumes leadership, a leader with qualities superior to the rest of the people, a person with superior strength to the norm capable of defeating any enemy.
A leader with these qualities is generally able to bring values such as loyalty and respect within their group, without being a burden to other members.
He is able to be above others and at the same time be among them. Only a true leader can do this.
It is in the nature of man, since he was a child, to follow a person older than him.
Generally weaker people tend to believe and follow people who are stronger than themselves.
In ancient times, physical strength was considered to be far superior to mental strength.
In ancient Thailand, over the centuries, the new skills in the art of fighting grew in importance and the whole tribe became more and more adept at muay thai or as it is called nowadays thai boxing . As the number of members increased, the small initial tribe became a large community and past leaders over the centuries were able to bring prosperity and improve their battle techniques by building arrows, bows and spears. With the further evolution of this society, the metals were discovered with which new weapons were created such as knives, swords, shields, etc. .. used during clashes. Continuous evolution transformed the leader into today's "king".
The person chosen as king had to possess qualities such as physical strength, willpower, knowledge of martial arts and defense techniques in greater quantity than ordinary people. A fundamental feature that he had to possess was the ability to unite the population he ruled and train men with the fighting methods known to him, with the use of both weapons and Thai boxing .
In those early days of the monarchy Thailand was in a process of formation and acquisition of integrity and strength and wars were perpetually fought with the countries on the border. It could be said that the Thai national profession of that time was to prepare for conflicts and therefore to train in muay thai as attacks and invasions were the order of the day.
The fighting methods at that time differed from those used today because the weapons used were of the short-range type: spears, javelins and wooden clubs, all weapons that could be used for frontal clashes.
In addition to these artificial weapons, natural weapons such as boxing techniques , elbows and knees are used . The use of the parts of one's body as weapons to defend oneself took the name of classic Thai Boxing .
The Thai boxing is a weapon always ready to attack especially when you hit the vital points of the human body . It is the ancestor of any type of weapon and is superior to all others. All fighters who are unable to master these natural hooks, even if they know how to use weapons considered traditional, will find themselves at a distinct disadvantage against their opponent. Pharayaa Phichai, also known as Thongdij Fankhao, is an example of a warrior: since he was a child he loved to practice muay thai, running away from his parents to train and improve his art.
Over time he grew up and became a strong and valiant warrior at the time of King Taksin's reign.
His passion and skill led him to become the commander of the army.
It is said that for the love of his country he fought in battle until his sword broke and, after throwing it to the ground, he continued to fight with boxing techniques , knees , kicks and elbows . As he was a muay thai master he came out of the battle alive and victorious. The Thai boxing has been the subject of studies by Thai soldiers since ancient times.
In times of war, when it was necessary to face opponents, or in times of peace, defense techniques were as important to the chief of the army as to the monarch.
This is because, in ancient times, wars were the order of the day.
The Thai boxing is an art much loved by the Thai people of all social classes, including the nobility and the royal family, which is not satisfied to attend the meetings, they themselves practiced the muay thai .
Nai kanom thom: the famous muay thai warrior
During the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, the ancient capital of Thailand, the city was besieged and destroyed and Burmese invaders imprisoned many Thais.
Among them numerous Thai boxers , captured by the powerful Suki Phtra Nai Kong and taken to the city of Ungwa.
In 1774 in the Burmese city of Rangoon, Prince Mangra, king of the Burmese, decided to organize a week of celebrations in honor of the temple where the relics of the Buddha were kept.
He ordered, for this event, a royal presentation of a Thai boxing match between the Thais and the Burmese with a boxing ring being raised in front of the throne. All Thai boxers wore the famous Thai boxing shorts for the first time . For the celebration, plays of theatrical comedies and encounters with swords were also organized. During the first day of celebration, a Burmese nobleman and a Thai boxer were chosen who would clash in the ancient art of muay thai
After paying homage to the Burmese king, the clash between the Thai and the opponent began .. The Thai boxer , who entered the ring as a muay thai, and introduced himself as Nai Khanom Tom, a famous fighter from Ayutthaya, was greeted by the spectators so totally indifferent as in their eyes he was only a robust but fragile prisoner. However, from the group of Burmese spectators there was also a group of Thai prisoners cheering for him.
At the beginning of the match Nai Kanom Tom began to dance around his opponent leaving the Burmese audience perplexed. Muay Thai dance was and still is a Thai tradition, the wai khruu, with which the Thai boxer pays homage to his teacher.
When the bell rang the start of the match Nai Khanom Tom immediately threw himself at him with kicks, elbows and boxing techniques on the chest until his opponent collapsed. The judge, however, did not consider the KO a victory for the Thai boxer because the Burmese opponent had, according to him, been distracted from the muay thai dance (wai khruu) and therefore Nai Khanom Tom had to face nine other opponents.
Nai Khanom Tom agreed to fight against other Burmese to uphold the reputation of the art he loved and practiced with passion: Thai boxing . His latest opponent was a muay thai master from the city of Ya Kaiche who was visiting for the festivities. He volunteered as a fighter but was quickly knocked down by two powerful round kicks from Nai Khanom.
Prince Mangra was so pleased with Thai boxing that he offered Nai Kanom Tom a reward of his pleasure in money or beautiful wives. Without delay, the winner chose his wives, justifying himself with the fact that money was more easily found. Therefore Prince Mangra gave him two beautiful girls from the Mon tribe that Nai Khanom Tom brought to Thailand and with whom he lived until the end of his days.
Nai Khanom is considered the first Thai boxer to have brought the art of Thai boxing with dignity even to the borders of Thailand, so much so that this episode has remained in Burmese history to this day.
When Nai Khanom Tom defeated more than nine Burmese champions of their villages one after another, Prince Mangra felt his admiration for muay thai grow , stating with extreme conviction that the Thais possess a lethal weapon within the their blood: thai boxing . A single capable Thai boxer is able to face multiple opponents even when armed. The talent of a muay thai fighter is almost supernatural. It was in this way that Thai boxing's reputation as the ultimate fighting art form was born .
There is no other boxing
Like that of the Thais:
Fists, knees, feet and elbows
All are used.
And the thai boxer, no matter how small he
cannot be beaten.
All nine Burmese of Mon
were beaten by the incredible strength of muay thai . Nai Kanom's Name Tom Resonates with fame. Even after his death, his name survives. We, who were born many centuries after him Keep knowing his name He brought honor to our nation And we all admire him
During Thailand's minor period, the Chulasakaraj which began in 1778 AD during the seventh year of the reign of King Rama I, two French brothers who practiced boxing were traveling across the rivers of Thailand to discover different provinces where they could fight in money exchange. Neither of them ever lost a match.
When they arrived in Rattanakosin (now called Bangkok), they asked an interpreter to act as an intermediary for them to fight in the capital.
The noble made a regular request to King Rama I, who decided to discuss the problem with his younger brother.
The brother's statement read:
"Foreigners have proposed a challenge. If none of our Thai boxers accept it, it will be a priori defeat for us, a real insult to the country. It would mean that no Thai in the capital is able to beat them. our reputation would suffer. Dishonor would travel beyond our borders. I will find a Thai boxer capable of giving him a resounding defeat. "
King Rama I accepted his brother's advice and asked the nobleman to communicate to the French that he would prepare a match with a victory of 4000 baht, a huge sum for that time.
The prince found a Thai boxer named Muen Phlaan, a defense ministry soldier who practices muay thai . In addition to being a practitioner, this man was a Thai boxing teacher . He was an amazingly performing athlete whose skills were virtually insurmountable. The prince ordered the construction of a boxing ring and unique muay thai shorts named after the fighters near the meeting area of the Emerald Buddha temple. In the day set for the clash, the Thai boxer won very easily by defeating the two French brothers.
The Thai boxing is a sport very dear to the Thai people of any social class, including the monarchy, that favored thanks to King Rama V, a true lover of meetings of muay thai .
The king was so fond of muay thai and martial arts that during his reign the best Thai boxers were directly nominated by him. These include Phrachai Chokechokchana, a Thai boxing master from Bangkok; Muen Sangad Chueng Chok, a muay thai teacher from Korat province; Muen Muay Mii Chue from the province of Chaya; Muen Muay Maen Mad from Lopburi province and many others. The Thai boxers of that period were gratified by the career and honor that brought the art they practiced.
Muay Thai fighters were so agile during defensive movements and so good at jumping high that they could hit the opponent's head with kicks and knees ; others were very good at staying on guard enough to get close enough to clinch the opponent.
In 1921, during the reign of King Rama VI, the king organized a great Thai boxing tournament , the Sanaam Suan Kulaab. This great event was to be a kind of re-enactment of art in its heyday, the largest muay thai tournament organized in Thailand up to that point with the best fighters from all Thai provinces. Among the Thais there would also have been Chinese, Indian and Burmese wrestlers who would have had to clash with Thai boxing skills and techniques .
Europeans have been interested in Thai boxing for more than 60 years. During the First World War, Thailand sent troops to fight with its allies, and Thai boxing became known all over the world thanks to an article in a trade magazine called Le sport orient which wrote: " Thai boxing is a knowledge difficult to possess. Fighters are agile, fast and resilient. This sport is not only an exciting, strange and extraordinary form of entertainment. For the umpteenth time we French realize that Siam is one of the most powerful Asian nations in the world. world." The study of Thai boxing
it was an obligation among Thai soldiers in the past because weapons, at that time, were not distributed to everyone as they are today and many had to rely only on their own bodies.
In many face-to-face fights with enemies, Thai soldiers were much more advantaged due to their knowledge of muay thai . The Thai boxing was studied for two reasons: to respond with an effective offense in melee combat, and to be used in self-defense. In the period of the wars, Thai boxing was studied as a complement to the weapons already known and used.
The Thai boxing became one of regulating sport when it was built the first boxing ring in the football field Suan Kulaab. The floor of the ring was made from wooden beams with a tatami on it. In the fights the use of Thai boxing gloves , protective shell and muay thai shorts was exclusively provided . The time of the matches was measured in minutes and a referee regulated the match.
To date, muay thai is known all over the world. The Thai boxing has lost however characters that countersigned when the rest of the world were prohibited the use of knee and elbow techniques during the meetings.
A true Thai boxer has the task of keeping alive the true muay thai , the one that is practiced with elbows and knees, not the one adapted to foreigners who are not able to compete with the glass spirit of Thai boxing .