History of Muay Thai
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is one of the most effective martial arts in the world. This physical and mental discipline includes combat on foot and is known as “the art of eight limbs” because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.
The history of Muay Thai goes back to 1238 when the first Thai Army was created in the Thai capital Siam. The army was created to protect the government and its inhabitants within the city and surrounding areas. The soldiers were taught hand to hand combat and the use of weapons, one being their own body. Many years later, Muay Thai started to gain international recognition and exposure. Muay Thai fighters are known for their hard skin, conditioned body and ability to ignore the pain and injuries.
Before being replaced by more modern equipment like heavy bags and agility balls popular conditioning methods included:
- kicking banana trees (ideal for practising leg kicks and knee strikes),
- using coconut trees to contract thigh muscles, harden feet and toughen elbows,
- digging a pit from knee to waist deep and jumping in and out of it for legs conditioning
- throwing water in the face whilst keeping eyes open ( ideal for training the eyes to stay open even when being hit in the face)
- Muay Thai Circle – group of fighters in the circle with one fighter in the middle training with each person in the circle for a selected period of time.
Rules and scoring
In basic Muay Thai rules, Muay Thai match formally have no more than 5 rounds, each round take 3 minutes to last, with a two-minute rest period in between. The number and length of rounds depends on the Promoter and bouts can vary between 3 and 5 rounds in length.
Contestants must wear thai boxing shorts, groin guard, gum shield, boxing gloves, anklets and Mongkol especially when performing Wai Kru (paying respect to one’s teacher), prior to the match start. No metallized material, decoration or jewellery are allowed to be worn. The use of vaseline, fat or any similar substance by the boxer to gain unfair advantage is not allowed.
Boxers must regularly wear gloves, each weighing not less than 6 ounces (172 gram) in Thai boxing rules. The gloves must not be squeezed, kneaded or crushed to change its original shape.
Gloves usage should correspond to the following weight divisions:
Thai Boxing Weight Divisions
The standard scoring practice is as follows:
A. A strike either by a punch, kick, knee or elbow.
- Scoring from a strike:
- Points will be awarded for a correct Thai Boxing style, combined with hard and accurate strikes.
- Points will be awarded for aggressive and dominating Muay Thai skill.
- Points will be awarded for a fighter actively dominating his opponent.
- Points will be awarded for the use of a traditional Thai style of defence and counter-attack.
- Points will be deducted from a boxer who fouls or breaks the rules.
- Non scoring strikes:
- A strike which is against the rules.
- A strike in defence against the leg or irm of an opponent.
- A weak strike.
- The judges will deduct points for any foul as directed by the referee. Fouls include biting, eye gouging, spitting, or head butting, wrestling, deliberately falling on his opponent, holding the ropes for any reason, swearing, knocking out or injuring the opponent deliberately after the referee has ordered the match to stop for any reason., deliberately striking the groin area.
- Any foul observed by the judges but not by the referee, will be penalised accordingly.
C. Method Of Scoring.
- The maximum score for each round is 10 points, the loser scoring either 9, 8 or 7.
- A drawn round will be scored as 10 points for both boxers.
- The winner and loser in an indecisive round, will score 10:9 respectively.
- The winner and loser in a decisive round will score 10:8 respectively.
- The winner and loser in an indecisive round with a single count, will score 10:8 respectively.
- The winner and loser in a decisive round with a single count, will score 10:7 respectively.
- The boxer scoring 2 counts against his opponent will score 10:7.
- Any boxer who commits a foul will have points deducted from his score.
Reasons to train Muay Thai
There are many benefits of Muay Thai training including:
- increased cardiovascular conditioning,
- leg strength,
- core strength,
- increased hip mobility,
- boosted confidence levels,
- better posture
- improved coordination
Muay Thai works to build up stamina and endurance and makes a person courageous and fearless but at the same time honest and compassionate.
You’ll need shorts and a t-shirt, wraps, gloves, shin pads and a mouth guard. We do have some spare gloves and shin pads you can borrow for your first few classes.
At Ippon Gym we believe that hard work and strict policy bring the best results. Our classes are taught in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere so that your time training is both enjoyable and productive. Our trainers, Bernie Mendieta and Harry Baker are one of the best and the most experienced Muay Thai Fighters in the area and passionate about teaching the most effective techniques and building an army of fighters.
Monday and Wednesday classes focus on drilling thai boxing technique and sparring (optional). Drilling with another person simulates real combat and gives you the ability to improve all the skills incorporated in Muay Thai by practicing timing, distance, proper cadence, and accuracy, to name a few. Saturday’s high intensity Muay Thai circuit training incorporates fast working exercises using weights, medicine balls, dumbbells and punch bags. The whole workout is a full mix of using all the regular punch bags, speed balls, run/sprints and pad drills to work those important techniques.
To find out more about the membership and classes timetable click here.
Potential students are welcome to try out one of our classes for free. Just complete the ‘Free Class’ form online with your contact details and let us know when you’d like to come down. You cannot attend a trial lesson without completing an online form.