Muay Thai, the traditional martial art of Thailand, is a popular sport in Pattaya. Learn here about this art of Thai boxing including its history.

Muay Thai in Pattaya

Muay Thai, a kind of martial art, evolved in Thailand more than 2000 years ago. People of Thailand and of course Pattaya are very fond of Muay Thai. Whenever a bout is held, thousands of people congregate to enjoy it. Muay Thai is known for several traditions. When the fighters hit each other or artfully feign, the onlookers shout with enthusiasm.

Powerful puches, bumpy kicks, big elbow strikes, and artful feints are some features of Muay Thai. Muay Thai bouts are held in five three-minute rounds with two-minute breaks in between. The fighters, brandishing a headband and armbands, perform wai khru dance before the dual. The dance serves as a good warm-up exercise. Onlookers fill the seats of the stadium and many seats are occupied by the foreigners too.

The sport has huge following among the Thais. The bouts are broadcasted by television networks five days a week, and the results of the fights held at major stadiums are reported by the newspapers and magazines. All Thai boxers, who later got international status, started their career as Muay Thai fighters.

History of Muay Thai is inextricably associated with the history of Thailand. The Thais had to defend their country from the attacking armies. They needed a type of close, hand-to-hand combat which was suitable for the kind of battle they were engaged in. The result was Muay Thai. Muay Thai was later made mandary part of military training. The credit goes to King Naresuan the Great (1555-1605), who was himself an excellent boxer and was regarded as one of the country's most able warrior-heroes.

Legend of the Game
The game witnessed another landmark Nai Khanom Tom triumphed over 10 Burmese boxers in 1774. Taken as a prisoner after the fall of the Thai capital in 1767, Nai Khanom Tom was picked to fight in the presence the Burmese ruler. He defeated ten Burmese fighters in a row. The Burmese king was so impressed by his valour that he set him free.

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