Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. Almost all Muay Thai techniques use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block. Developed over a thousand years ago, its roots are still largely unknown. This ancient yet practical system is one of the most effective, basic and brutal of all stand-up fighting styles known today.

The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya which means “to bind together”. Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight points of contact, as opposed to two points (fists) in boxing and four points (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and boxing.

Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. Muay Thai is designed to promote the level of fitness required for ring competition. Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, jumping rope, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases weight training, thus giving a great workout.

Training that is specific to a Muay Thai fighter includes training with a partner on Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bags, and sparring. Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning which involves practicing punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer or partner wearing thick pads which cover the forearms and hands. These special pads are used to absorb the impact of the fighter’s strikes and allow the fighter to react to the attacks of the pad holder in a live situation.