Muay Thai History: Origins, Badass Kings, and Muay Thai on Elephants
Of course, not everyone can absolutely master Thai boxing, but Thai kings could fight while riding an elephant. What is it? Secret knowledge or genuine character?
Muay Thai in Sanskrit translation means “free fight” or “fight of free”, although today this type of martial art is familiar to everyone as Thai boxing. In its homeland, this type of martial arts is listed as a national treasure. Popularity reaches such a level that local boys are obliged to start mastering it from the age of five. Where did this kind of martial art come from and how did it transform?
The Incipience of Thai Boxing
Most people think that Muay Thai is a very ancient martial art, but there is a misconception. Muay Thai origins come from the ancient art of Muay Boran. A feature of the latter is fighting without weapons, and its history began several thousand years ago.
What is more, the technique is partially intertwined with another martial art called Krabi Krabong. This kind of fight is based on working with weapons based on Japanese, Chinese and Indian methods of warfare. Modern Thai boxing is a mix of the above martial arts in which there are not many traumatic exercises. It is possible to say that Muay Thai absorbed all the best that could be taken from millennia-long martial arts practices in Southeast Asia.
Thai Boxing History
Most of the historical records of this martial art were lost and destroyed during the Burmese attack on the capital Ayutthaya. Then the capital was burnt to the ground, and all the temples were plundered. Many believe that this style of struggle developed and was formed over the centuries by tribes that migrated from China to the north of Thailand.
The Siamese fought fiercely to advance south, where they clashed with other tribes. Combat training and military tactics were constantly transformed and passed from hand to hand, so to speak. During this time, unnecessary and inefficient techniques were discarded. The older warriors taught the younger and knowledge was transmitted as a family heirloom.
Officially it is believed that this kind of fight came from the “pahuyut”, which existed about 200 years ago. There is even a legend according to which a “pahuyut” was created by 5 ancient Thai warriors in a cave. This direction of martial arts was a means of the close combat of the Thai army. The first competition in this martial art took place in the 10th century.
The Role of Kings in the Development of Muay Thai
- With the rise to power of King Rama Thibody I (1350), a new force arose that united the entire Thai nation. All the great fighters came together to encrypt all their knowledge regarding Muay Thai. But over time, the government rejected the concealment of knowledge, making it general and suitable for any teacher. It was s start for a new wave of honing and improving martial arts. Fortunately, today there are no secrets and you can find out almost everything, of course, except for the old knowledge about this martial art. By the way, feel free to seek help with your academic assignments on this topic from the Online Writers Rating writing service review website.
- King Naresuan (reign in the mid-16th century) became the legend of this type of martial art. Being a hostage in Burma for several years, he studied such a kind of fight like Chupasart. When he returned to Siam, he began to teach his soldiers new skills, which had a special impact on the formation of Muay Thai.
- The Phra Buddha Chao Sua was famous for his ferocity and worship of Muay Thai martial arts. He secretly traveled around the country and fought on the first occasion. During his reign, there was peace and to keep the army in shape, he ordered everyone to study Muay Thai. This has become a new wave of increasing interest in Muay Thai.
Thai Boxing Progress Towards Modern Look
There is a legend that during the war with Burma, Nai Khan Tom was captured. The King of Burma decided to arrange a duel in which Nai Kham Tom had to fight with Burmese warriors. Alone and without a break, he fought with Burmese fighters out of turn. For his victory, he received freedom, this happened in 1774 on March 17. Since then, festive fights have been taking place nowadays.
Europe became acquainted with this martial art during the First World War. As you remember, Thailand was on the side of the Entente. Despite the fact that the Thai wars did not have a good supply of weapons, their physical training and hand-to-hand combat compensated for this.
Since 1921, Muay Thai has become a sports direction. In 1930, martial arts equipment underwent modernization in order to reduce the level of injuries. And in 1984 they created the IFMA Federation.
Attention-Grabbing Facts from Muay Thai History
- Around 200 BC, the instability amid the kingdoms of Southeast Asia caused a bitterness that affected the change in tactics of warfare. The system of hand-to-hand combat switched to using the head, fists, legs, knees, and even elbows as weapons.
- Since the 14th century, there have been cases of fights between kings and princes in fistfights mounted on elephants.
- At the end of the 18th century, experienced army fighters were invited to live in the king’s palace so that they would teach the royal guard the Muay Thai technique.
- When the first fights with the time frame began, logically a need to control the time appeared. Then, for measuring time, they created a special device from coconut with a hole. Water was poured there, and until it completely flowed out of the nut, the duel was to continue.
The Final Thoughts
Muay Thai history has changed significantly, and many of the traditions of this fight direction were transmitted and lost forever. Despite the changes over the centuries, Muay Thai has not lost its Exotic advantages, mysticism, and effectiveness. This is the art of battle in the past on the battlefield, and today in the ring. This martial art competes with many ancient species, so why not try it?
Frank Hamilton is a blogger and translator from Manchester. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing, and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German, and English.
Sitting Ringside Ep. #47