Muay Thai, a complete martial art.

Strong moral values

An ancient tradition

Muay Thai, an ancient martial art, with well combining technical skills, moral values and tradition.

Prestige-Fight présente le combat Fabio PINCA vs Abdo CHAHIDI
Prestige Fight, rituel avant combat de boxe Muay Thaï

A whole tradition

The muay-thai boxer’s traditional outfit is made of cotton bermuda, le gung gaeng kaa guay, a prajeet sort of lucky braided band, worn around the arm and intended to guarantee invulnerability (each colour representing a level) and amongkon, a magic crown made of a first band of cloth, with letters and sacred symbols. This strip of fabric, is rolled to create a rope, itself rolled-up by a second strip of fabric, impregnated with the power of the master of ceremonies. The mongkon protects the most sensitive part of the fighter: his head. It is worn only at Ram Muay, to protect and symbolizes the transmission of strength and knowledge from the teacher to the student.

The Waï Khru, pfor example, is an ancestral custom, to pay homage to those who hold the knowledge, – the Khru. . It should be known that, in Thailand in the social hierarchy, parents are the original masters of all individuals; the king is the supreme master, the Khru Yai.
So the Waï Khru pays homage to all the Masters, especially to the master of muay-thai, parents, coaches or mentors. A strong relationship links the teacher and the disciple called Nak Muay.

In the same way, the disciples of the same master are considered as brothers and sisters (Pee Nong).
The Wai Khru begins when the boxer goes around the ring, bowing respectfully and touching three times each of the four corners, paying tribute to his master and his parents (a punch for each person, or if the parents count for an entity and the last move symbolizes the public who come to see the fight).

Originally, the fighter went around the ring before the fight, to permeate his aura on the whole of this place considered dangerous, in order to better appropriate it. So, the boxer inspected the places of the future fight.
By this ritual, no place in the ring would become a refuge for his opponent.

Previously, the winner performed a Wai Khru once again and at the end of the fight, to demonstrate his joy. Nowadays, this is no longer the case.
Kneeling in the center of the ring, the second part of the Wai Khru consisted of paying homage to the “elders” by bowing three times to the ground and paying tribute to the king while looking up to the sky.
Nowadays, the historical significance of these gestures has disappeared, even though the ritual persists.
It should be noted, that there is no religious connotation to Wai Khru.
It ends when the fighter gets up from the center of the ring.

That is when, he starts his Ram Muay.

The boxers perform a ritual dance around the ring accompanied by an orchestra; a dance making calls to legendary figures, also serving as a warm-up. It should be noted that originally, each dance, was specific to a region. The fight begins initially with the sound of a traditional music, adapting to the intensity of the phases of the fight.

Muay Thai is the most popular sport in Thailand, practiced by all ages and all social classes. In addition, this practice is growing rapidly around the world.

Boxing Muay Thai or Thai boxing (not to be confused with kick boxing) is a fighting sport from Thailand.

CThis ancient martial art discovers its origins, over more than two thousand years ago; The exact origins remain uncertain, because few ancient writings have survived the various Burmese invasions; only an oral tradition has been transmitted over the centuries through myths and legends.

Muay Thai or “boxing of the Thai people” advocates strong moral values that are: self-control, courage, respect, loyalty, honor, humility, fair play, morality. This martial art is classified in the category of boxing punches-kicks.

Its origin is based on ancestral practices, such as muay boran (traditional boxing, literally “old boxing”, “muay” for boxing and “boran” for old) and krabi krabong (practiced with weapons).

Muay Thai is a very complete sport. The fighter uses his whole body to fight: feet, fists and elbows (in some competitions) and uses ancient techniques such as the circular kick for example.

It is not only an impressive martial art, but it is also a set of rituals and traditions, evoking a whole philosophy of life.

Tradition thaïlandaise
Enfant en tenue traditionnelle thaïlandaise
Icône ancienne thaï
Pratique de la boxe Muay Thaï par des enfants
Le Muay Thaï mêle tradition et histoire, gardiens de temple

A little history

Muay Thai was originally founded for military purposes.
If historical records are scarce, it is commonly believed that Thais inherited martial arts kmers (following Ayutthaya’s victory over the Khmer Kingdom of Angkor in 1431).
According to tradition, in 1411, upon the death of King Sen Muang Ma, his two sons, Ki and Fang fought to seize power.
As their respective armies could not decide separately, so they decided to settle their conflict by a duel. Each camp designated its best boxer. Fang’s fighter was defeated and Ki ascended the throne. The technical combat of his warrior (“boxer”) did school.

In the 16th century, muay-thai was part of military training. King Naresuan the Great or the Black Prince, who ruled from 1590 to 1605, would have encouraged his integration into martial exercises.

Muay Thai achieved its greatest popularity in the early 18th century, under the reign of Pra Chao Sua, “The Tiger King”. It was the favorite distraction of the population.
Each village organized regular fights. The king, boxer emeritus, loved to challenge local champions.
At that time, fighters were protecting their fists with bandages made of horsehair. Then the horsehair was replaced by cotton bands held with glue.
Shells or bark of trees, were used as protection (shell). Sometimes, with the agreement of the two boxers, pieces of glass could be added in the glue of the bandages. At that time, the fighting was taking place without weight categories or time limits; this is called “the finish” combat.

According to one of the many legends that surround Muay Thai, Naï Khanom Tom, soldier and boxer, captured and imprisoned by enemy Burmese armies during the looting from the ancient Thai capital Ayutthaya, in 1767, was opposed to ten Burmese champions whom he dismounted.

King Mangra of Burma was one of the first to cheer the winner of the tournament and surrendered his freedom.

Following this feat, Naï Khanom Tom became a national hero, he celebrated every year, on a feast day, “the night of the boxers” which usually takes place on March 17, this day giving place to the organization of many other fights.

Thai boxing and its final fights were banned in 1921, on the grounds that it was dangerous.
Around 1930, it reappeared by adopting the rules of competition and the fist techniques of English boxing (boxing gloves, ring, rounds, prohibition of head shots, etc…).

Le Muay Thaï mêle tradition et histoire, gardien de temple à l'épée
Icône ancienne thaï

Abroad

The growing tourism in Thailand has allowed other nations to discover this sport.

It first developed in the Netherlands, but soon spread to France, thus competing with the practice of full contact (boxing feet and fists also called American boxing) and the American kick-boxing (or low- kick in its original version and in its Japanese version, the Japanese kick-boxing (or K-1).

In 1980, Pud Pad Noy Worawut, one of the ten best Thai boxers of all time, moved to France to teach authentic Muay Thai.

A little bit of technique

As we said before, muay-thai is a complete sport requiring mastery of many techniques, here are some of them :

  • Fist Techniques (Mat)
  • Foot Techniques (Tei)
  • Penetrating kicks (Teep)
  • Knee techniques (Khao)
  • Elbow techniques (Sok)
  • Melee Techniques (Pam)
  • Projection and mowing techniques :
    • projection : consists in moving away from oneself by projecting the body of one’s opponent, in order to leave a body-to-body fight – without hip passage,
    • mowing: involves unbalancing or dropping the opponent by a low circular kick.
  • Blocking and seizure techniques
    • Blocking is to prevent a hit reaching the target point (blocking with the arm or shin).
    • Seizure: involves taking a blow with the hand or hands, with a quick movement to hold it and counter-attacking it.
  • Dodge techniques
  • Thai terms (Muay bang – parry and dodge techniques).
Entrainement à la boxe Muay Thaï en Thaïlande
Prestige Fight présente deux boxeurs se'affrontant durant le gala de la Salle Wagram

The official professional categories of Rajadamnoen (boxing stadium located in Bangkok entirely dedicated to muay-thai) :

  • Straw (-47,5 kg)
  • Mid-fly (-49 kg)
  • Fly (-51 kg)
  • Super fly (-52,5 kg)
  • Roosters (-53,5 kg)
  • Super-roosters (-55,5 kg)
  • Feathers (-57,5 kg)
  • Super-feathers (-59 kg)
  • Light (-61,5 kg)
  • Super-light (-63,5 kg)
  • Welters (-67 kg)
  • Super-welterweight (-70 kg)
  • Average (-72,5 kg)

In Europe, the categories are different according to the federations and very often correspond to the international bodies of puches-kicks (including the WKA, ISKA, WKF and WAKO). So, it is necessary to add the categories less than 75 kg, less than 81 kg, less than 90 kg, then the more than 90 kg (heavy weight).

Some precisions :

In France, two federations ensure the application of the rules in the practice of Muay Thai in competition :

  • The FFKMDA: French Federation of Kick-boxing Muay-thai and Associated Disciplines (federations recognized by the state),
  • AFMT: French Academy of Muay Thai.

Boxers (nak-muays) must be dressed in appropriate-combat clothing, consisting of Bermuda shorts and shell suspenders.
They must fight bare-chested and barefoot, but are allowed to wear anklets. They can tie a ribbon called “prajeet” around one or both arms.
The sacred hairstyle called “mongkon” is allowed during the preliminary and ritual phases but must be removed before the beginning of the fight.

Judges and Referees.

The final decision is a collegial decision given by three judges and a referee, who complete their respective reports at the end of each recovery. The final decision is given after the last round.

Score – points awarded.

Points are awarded according to the following evaluation criteria :

  • Technique, accuracy, power, damage caused by each stroke (fist, foot, elbow and knee),
  • Defensive Skill,
  • Combativeness and Ability to Attack,
  • In case of a tie: 10 points are awarded per round to each of the two fighters,
  • Light advantage: 10 points to 9,
  • Net benefit: 10 points to 8,
  • Crushing advantage: 10 points to 7.

When fighters get the same number of points, the victory goes back to the one deemed the most combative. – Penalty: The referee is allowed to withdraw a point each time the protagonist commits a serious or minor foul but a repeated fault.

The irregularities

Boxers committing the following irregularities will be penalized :

  • Hitting an opponent when he is on the ground or getting up or after the end of the round,
  • Pulling the hair,
  • Biting or spitting,
  • Poking a finger in the eye of the opponent,
  • Taking support on the ropes,
  • Fighting while holding on a rope.
  • Demonstrate duplicity, for example by pretending to fall, slip under the ropes or hide behind the referee.
  • Intentionally strikes the genital parts.
  • Commit any improper action that may hurt the opponent.

Some precisions :

A fighter who commits a foul without causing a handicap or inflicting an injury on the opponent will receive a warning and will be penalized by one point.

A combatant who voluntarily commits an irregularity penalizing or injuring the opponent may lose the match for fault or be disqualified by the referee, without notice, if he reiterates his attitude during the match.

In the event of an involuntary fault preventing the continuation of the fight, the referee stops the match; he will therefore award K.O. technical victory to the boxer with the highest score, or declare the draw in case of a tie.

A boxer may complain that he or she has had an irregularity with the referee, who will immediately make a decision.

Victory is proclaimed :

  • in points,
  • by K-O if the fallen opponent does not get up within 10 seconds,
  • by K-O technique, the referee interrupts the fight if a boxer :
    • is not in a position to continue,
    • does not show up after the gong’s call,
    • has an injury that prevents him from continuing the fight.
  • by decision of the doctor,
  • by dropping one of the fighters,
  • by disqualification of the opponent for serious misconduct,
  • by decision of the judges: At the end of the fight, the judges attribute the victory to the boxer who obtained the highest score.
Prestige Fight orchestre le combat MAGNUM Jakkrit vs Mohamed BOUAZZA
Combattants Muay Thaï
Prestige Fight et ses round girls
Rituel Muay Thaï avant le combat
Prestige Fight, promoteur de galas mettant à l'honneur la boxe Muay Thaï