What is Thai Boxing?
Thai Boxing is sometimes known as the art, or science, of the eight limbs. The "limbs" are the arms, the elbows, the legs and the knees. All eight are used to strike the opponent.
The blows are powerful, not because of the strength of the fighter, but because of their technique. Most blows rely on transfer of weight for their effectiveness, either from back to front or in a circular movement.
Unlike international style boxing or kickboxing, when two fighters are in a clinch, the referee will not break them apart. It is here that knees and elbows come into their own. Two other principals also come into play - balance and leverage, as the fighters try to manoeuvre and control their adversary’s position.
Using kicks, punches, knees and elbows the winner of the fight is the fighter who manages to connect the most strikes and who shows the greater mastery of techniques.
In Thailand, Thai boxing, or Muay Thai, is part of the national culture. Every village has its own school or camp. It receives regal and government encouragement.
In the UK the sport is growing in popularity.
Why do they do it?
Only relatively few students go on to fight in the ring, although many people start without intending to fight but get caught up in the atmosphere. Others do it to get fit, or to learn something street useful