Muaythai is an ancient martial art that originates from Thailand. The art has existed for more than 1.000 years and is filled with many rituals and traditions. Muaythai is a martial art for all, regardless of age or gender. It is more than a martial art, it is an important part of Thai cultural heritage and at the heart you will find the five pillar of Muaythai:
- Respect – for the art, your teachers and parents.
- Honour – yourself, your family and country.
- Tradition – so that the long standing values and teachings lives on and can be passed on to the next generation.
- Fair-play – to lose in honour rather than winning in dishonour.
- Excellence – while striving for greatness know that other may not possess the same opportunity and stretch out a helping hand so that you may educate them and yourself.
Parts of the traditions that fills Muaythai can be found during professional competitions. Fighters will wear a “Mongkul” during the “Wai Kru” and music called “Sarama” will play during the Wai Kru and the match. The Mongkul is a sacred headband that is normally blessed by a Buddhist monk. While wearing this headband the fighters will perform the Wai Kru. This is a performance in which the fighter pays respects to his teachers and gym. This is followed by a display of techniques that resemble some sort of boxing dance. After the Wai Kru the Mongkul headband will be removed and placed in each fighter’s corner for good luck.
Muaythai is also known as the martial art of the 8 weapons. These weapons being the feet, hands, knees and elbows. Using these 8 weapons properly takes skill and mastery more so than raw strength. That being said Muaythai is also a physically demanding sport that requires endurance as well as technique.
Today people from all corners of the world practice Muaythai. Some practice it as a competitive fighting sport spending many years to perfect techniques to attain mastery of the art. But others have also adopted it as a way to stay healthy.