Muay Thai History and Techniques

Muay Thai Gear and its Interesting History


Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. It is a combat sport that is often referred to by experts as the ďArt of Eight Limbs,Ē as its movements make use of kicks, punches, and knee and elbow strikes, thereby using all eight points of contact. This makes it a sport that is both challenging and unique, and the best practitioners use the best gear and equipment, such as a high-quality Muay Thai Punching Bag. The gear and equipment for the sport boasts a history as interesting as the activity itself. The following are some intriguing facts about early Muay Thai gear and equipment.


The Tiger King


A Thailand ruler known as the Tiger King had considerable influence on MMA fighting styles, as well as the protective gear worn by fighters in the 1700s. His influence in many facets of the sport is still seen today.

Throughout the Tiger King's reign, those who participated in the sport bound their forearms and hands with strips of horsehair for the purpose of protecting the fighter and inflicting more damage on his adversary. Later, hemp ropes replaced the horse hair, but were eventually discontinued and replaced by the traditional boxing gloves seen today.

Until the 1930s, fighters were also required to wear groin guards, as groin kicks were a legal move within the sport until 1932. During the reign of the Tiger King, such guards were made from tree bark that was held in place with cloth. In some areas of the country, groin guards were also made from certain types of seashells.


Modern Gear


Specially designed kicking pads are usually worn during practice sessions. In past centuries such padding was made from virtually anything that was available, but in today's modern world MMA pads are specially manufactured for this challenging combat sport.

Headgear is also used, which protects fighters from head injuries and bruises to the face. Interestingly enough, this type of protection was virtually overlooked throughout the earlier centuries, as fighters were not keen on wearing any type of equipment that could potentially interfere with their vision. Modern technology solved this problem by making protective gear that in no way detracts from the participant's awareness and coordination.

Not surprisingly, gloves are a basic part of the sport's gear in which virtually every participant must invest. There are several types of gloves, including those that are made with injection foam or C3 foam technology. High-quality gloves should always be used in order to lessen the impact on fists and to protect fighters from wrist sprain.

Many MMA participants also use additional protective gear, such as shin guards or body armor shields. Although each fighter's objective when searching for such gear will vary, one's focus should always be on quality when making a selection.


Muay Thai and MMA Workout Equipment


Kicking or Punching Bags are an essential item for participants, and help to keep fighters in optimum physical condition. Throughout history, such bags were filled with dirt, sand, rubber-like plant matter or even wet cloth in order to simulate the resistance one would experience when encountering another fighter.

However, today's modern MMA enthusiasts seek bags that donít contain sand, as sand can result in hollow spots or inconsistent texture that is not conducive to a quality workout routine. Certain companies even offer to create a customized Muay Thai Punching Bag based on the participant's specifications.

Medicine balls, weighted jump ropes and wrist weights are also used by those who are serious about the sport, as these items help to keep fighters in top condition for competitions. As advancements in modern technology are made, the perfecting of MMA gear will continue, adding to the already long and interesting history of the sport and the equipment with which it is associated.


Essential Facts About Training


Muay Thai is a mixed martial arts (MMA) sport in which both traditional boxing moves and stand-up striking techniques are used. The sport's popularity has increased over the past several decades and has become a favorite of many MMA enthusiasts. Training techniques, including the proper use of equipment such as a Muay Thai Punching Bag, are essential to the success of those who are serious about the sport.


What Professionals Expect of Participants


Although most people would probably agree that every sport, whether MMA or other types, requires a certain level of commitment and discipline, this is especially true when it comes to Muay Thai. Prior to practicing or studying the sport, most schools and personal trainers require that participants have a thorough understanding of traditional Muay Thai morals and principles. Experts state that those who participate in the sport should only do so as a competitive activity or to protect oneself from harm. Using such skills to inflict harm on another person or to draw attention to one's talent in a self-centered manner is considered by Muay Thai experts and trainers to be exploitations of the sport. Muay Thai principles require that participants be polite, honest, patient, respectful of the law, and helpful to others at all times. Additionally, taking unfair advantage of an opponent is strictly forbidden if one wishes to be respected in the world of competitive Muay Thai.


Kicking and Punching Techniques


Appropriate kicking and punching techniques are essential to anyone who wishes to advance in the sport. After donning the proper Muay Thai gear, a quality workout should be completed between three and five times per week. This usually begins with practice punches, which can be completed with a partner or practiced on a heavy bag. Punch techniques are typically divided into the following categories: uppercut, jab, hook, straight punch and elbow punch. One should devote equal time to the practice of each punch, as Muay Thai is an eight point combat sport.

Kicks are categorized as the following: clinching kicks, push kicks, low kicks or roundhouse kicks. All kicking techniques can be practiced with a partner or with a Muay Thai Punching Bag. However, clinching kicks are much easier to perfect when they are practiced with another individual as opposed to with a stationary bag.


Guarding


Fighters must also learn guarding techniques in order to effectively protect themselves from strikes. Such techniques focus on protecting one's torso and head. For this reason, fighters almost always keep the side of their body facing the opponent because it offers a smaller target, compared to the fighter who stands in a traditional face-to-face position. In addition, a side stance better protects one's vital organs from strikes. The fighter's non-dominant hand is usually placed at eyebrow level, with his or her other hand in a ready position and prepared to strike. Movement techniques also include balancing one's weight on the balls of oneís feet, as this allows the fighter to complete movements faster and easier than if one's weight is distributed equally between the ball and heel.

Perfecting the techniques listed above is the first step in preparing oneself for competition, and provides a basis for pursuing more advanced techniques. It is wise to invest in a high-quality Muay Thai Punching Bag and other essential equipment when training, as substandard equipment will reduce the quality of a participant's workout and the effectiveness of his or her technique. Those who invest in high-quality Muay Thai gear and who have high levels of enthusiasm and self-discipline will enjoy learning the sport's techniques, whether as a hobby or a professional goal.


Trademark Moves in Muay Thai Boxing


Muay Thai has a long and interesting history as a military fighting skill, and as a competitive sport. For thousands of years Thailand natives have trained in and practiced the sport, regardless of their social or economic status. Until the beginning of the 1900s, it was an integral part of the public school curriculum in Thailand. However, due to a high injury rate among students, it was abandoned as a mandatory class. However, most youngsters continued to learn Muay Thai moves and its popularity never decreased. As a MMA sport, its popularity in the western world has increased greatly over the past several years.

Prior to becoming an effective Muay Thai competitor, one must learn several basic techniques. The following movements are seen in most Muay Thai combinations and should be practiced in different orders with a goal of making one's movements unpredictable throughout a competition.


Round Kick


The round kick is a movement seen in a wide variety of martial arts, including judo and karate. It is performed by straightening one's knee in a sudden movement while snapping his or her foot into the target, whether an opponent or a Punching Bag. However, to execute a proper round kick, a fighter should allow a slight bend in his or her knee and the intended target should be struck with the fighter's shin. The fighter should pivot his or her body so that when the kick lands, the fighter's shoulder and hip are facing the target.


Jab Strikes


A jab is a set-up technique that is frequently used to make other moves more effective. It is a simple straight punch that is thrown with one's dominant hand. Less pivoting is necessary with a jab than with other types of punches, such as the cross punch. It is essential for fighters to avoid lifting their elbows before a jab is thrown, as this will notify one's opponent of the intended move.


Knee Strikes


Knee strikes, especially the clinch, are another renowned movement in the sport of Muay Thai. Clinch knee strikes are a knockout move, and while they are challenging to learn, they are an invaluable technique for those whose goal is to win competitions. An aggressive move, fighters must pull the head of their opponent to the center of their chest and turn it sharply from one side to another for the purpose of knocking the opponent off balance. Once this has occurred, the fighter drives a hard knee into his opponent's head, face or torso.


Elbow Strikes


An elbow strike is a movement in which one's opponent is struck with the boney part of the fighter's elbow. It is typically performed when one is close to his or her opponent. Elbow strikes can be thrown upwards, downwards diagonally or sideways. Most Muay Thai participants favor one over the others, although it is wise to become proficient in all four. Itís a popular technique best practiced on a Muay Thai Punching Bag.

The aforementioned moves are the most basic of the Muay Thai techniques, but participants will find that there are myriad movements with which one must be familiar before entering a competition. As with any sport, practice is essential to a participant's success. If the appropriate Muay Thai Gear is used and the individual practices on a regular basis, the techniques can be mastered and he or she can enjoy the challenges and rewards of competition.


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