Muay Thai, also
known as Thai-Boxing, is self-defence, competitive
sport and fitness sport combined in one. Muay Thai originated
as a martial-art for the people of Siam (former
name of Thailand) and was used in defence against invaders
from neighbouring countries, who were aiming for expansion.
The population of Siam fought with swords, lances
and Muay Thai techniques. At the time, Muay Thai
already proved its efficiency, which is why the techniques
can still be applied for self-defence to date.
For more background on the history of Muay Thai,
Along with the further development of weapons and their
decisive influence on armed conflicts, the athletic aspect
of Muay Thai gained in importance. Indeed, sports events had
already been organised in Siam centuries ago, however, the
further development of the techniques for use in times of
war had always enjoyed priority over the entertainment of
spectators. On account of these developments the
rules and procedures of events were standardised and stadiums
were built in the 20th century.
The sports events continue to expand more and more and are
organised for larger audiences. Events in Thailand by the
leading promoter Songchai Ratanasuban turned out to be a particular
success, attracting sometimes in excess of 100,000
spectators to watch the fights. Japan features the
K-1 events for the world's best heavy-weight fighters, which
are regularly won by Muay Thai contenders like Peter
Aerts and Ernesto Hoost. The concept
of a super league is currently a focal point in Europe. Many
good fighters in the lower-weight categories compete and fascinate
the audience with their performance.
Since the end of the 20th century, an ever increasing
number of fitness athletes are getting interested in Muay
Thai. Meanwhile, a large part of society is aware
that Muay Thai is not only a means of self-defence, but also
an excellent means of training for the fitness components
power, stamina, co-ordination, agility and speed.
Individuals conscious of their bodies and others, who have
to stay fit in order to practise their profession, e.g. models
and actors, are looking for ways to train Muay Thai. No wonder
that by now sports studios and clubs are offering a large
number of courses with and without partner contact to meet
the increase in demand and to satisfy their members.