What is Muay Thai?

the-history-of-muay-thai-naikhanomtomMuay Thai is the national sport of Thailand known as the science if eight limbs.

Fists, elbows, knees and kicks combined with stand up grappling are all used in Muay Thai to create a very distinguished and deadly fighting art. It is as graceful as it is brutal.

Considered by most to be the most ferocious ring sport in the world.

Most MMA fighters learn Muay Thai for the ‘Stand-up’ part.

It is often confused with kick-boxing. Muay Thai is more gruelling as the use of knees, elbows and grappling and kicks to the legs are forbidden in kick-boxing. [Kicks to the legs are allowed in freestyle kickboxing].

Muay Thai

  • Elbows allowed
  • Knees allowed
  • Punches allowed
  • Stand up Grappling allowed
  • Kicks allowed
  • Kicks to the leg allowed
  • In professional Muay Thai no shin guards or leg padding is worn or allowed


  • Elbows not allowed
  • Knees not allowed
  • Punches allowed
  • Stand up Grappling not allowed
  • Kicks allowed
  • Kicks to the leg (unless freestyle rules)
  • Use of shin/foot pads are a must (unless stated freestyle kick boxing).

Rounds are longer and more gruelling in Muay Thai and is more dangerous as a ring sport.

The general attitude in the Muay Thai is to ‘Hurt/Knock out’ your opponent, same as kick-boxing and to score points also. Muay Thai has more of a realistic fight approach that is also for the battlefield.

Muay Thai is very old and distinguished. It has a certain style and look when performed properly. It comes with traditions and history.

During a Muay Thai bout the fighter’s battle almost rhythmically to music called ‘Sarama’.

Before the fight begins, both fighters perform the ‘Wai Khru’, this is to pay respect to parents and teachers/instructors and also to the training camps they belong to. After performing the ‘Wai Khru’ they perform the ‘Ram Muay’ this is a personal ritual dance that can be very simple to very complex. It is to demonstrate to the audience the fighter’s prowess.

There are deep superstitions and rituals attached to Muay Thai; from the ‘Monkon’ the fighters wear on their heads to the ‘Pra Jiad’ worn on the upper arms to offer protection.

So Muay Thai can be taken to many different levels depending on how deep you wish to study it. There are a million arts out there, all of them are good in their own rights but only some prepare you for ‘Real Assault’ for self defense. Some arts don’t even teach you the importance of protecting the head!

Pound for pound Muay Thai is a proven art at the top end of the food chain in fighting arts. Saying all that any martial art/fighting art is only as good as the practitioner.

Muay Thai is a life long journey! A way of life and once it’s in your blood; it will offer you health and happiness. And will help you in so many ways.... if you let it in! Khru Glenn Lewis.