Muay Thai – Thai Boxing is Thailand’s national sport. Developed hundreds of years ago, it is really popular today and even as a tourist who is only visiting the country for a couple of days, you can see it everywhere!
‘The Art of Eight Limbs’ – that’s Muay Thai. Eight points of the body mimic weapons of war: hands are the sword and dagger. Shins and forearms are the armor. The elbow is the hammer or a heavy mace. The legs and knees are the axe and staff.
Since the sport gained in popularity, it also reached international recognition. In the 1920s rings replaced the formerly open courtyards. The fighters use gloves which are similar to those used in boxing matches. There’s also hard-cover groin protection to protect these areas against kicks.
There are big stadiums in large cities all over the country, such as the Lumpini Stadium in Bangkok.
I did not watch an actual match during my time in Thailand, but I saw the car in Chaweng driving around, showing fighters posing and announcing matches. There were also thai boxers in Fisherman’s village, showing off some of their skills and promoting the next matches as well. In Bangkok I saw lots of ads and heard people talking about it.
Muay Thai is still gaining popularity and there are training camps opening around the world, clearly showing that right now there is no stop to it!