The problem with most forms of martial arts is that finding out exactly what their history is about is difficult. The most important reason for this happens to be the fact that most of them are very ancient and during that time, efforts were not in place to make sure that there was enough record-keeping. Muay Thai is the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’. The national sport of Thailand is known for its exertion levels and self-defense benefits. Knowing as much about its history and how it originated is a good way of being acquainted with it and if one is serious about pursuing it.
Muay Thai Phuket history
According to some theories, this martial arts form originated in China, when the Thai people came into the southeast part of Asia to settle down. Some theories suggest that it may have originated from a kind of Khmer martial arts form like the ‘Pradal Serey’. The many similarities between the two forms of fighting have given birth to this theory. The most popular theory about its origin is that it developed as an amalgamation of different prevalent fighting forms including Khmer, Cambodian and Chinese styles. Thailand’s violent history during the early stages of its civilization which called for the necessity of people learning hand-to-hand combat is something that propagated this martial arts form.
Change from self-defense to a sport
The history of Muay Thai Phuket suggests that gradually the fighting style started changing from being just a form of self-defense to a sport. It was during the Sukothai era that fighters started getting payment for their prowess in the arena as people paid to watch. Gloves were not used during this period, there were no weight classes and there were no formal arenas and one fought wherever one happened to be at during that point of time. It was later that rounds came to be implemented and this sport came to gain a lot of interest as it was a way to impress the Thai nobility, which led to favors and a better way of life for fighters.
The Ayutthaya Period: A period of formalization of the sport
Current fighters of the sport use tape to guard and protect their fingers and this originated during the Ayutthaya Period when fighters used hemp wrappings. Some even used to dip their fingers in glue and put on glass pieces to make sure that they punched a lethal blow to their opponents. During the rule of Rama V, the sport gained lots of popularity because of the king’s interest in it.
The past of Muay Thai Phuket points to its popularity today. Now the sport is played in rings with fighters wearing boxing gloves and a strict code of conduct to be maintained at all times. Competitions are not only popular in Thailand, but in many other places in the world. They are usually widely cheered by the people who love the sport. This sport, where all the eight limbs are used to maximum effect, is played with only one goal in mind: beating the opponent.