Renowned as the national sport of Thailand, Muay Thai Boxing is a fascinating spectacle and must-see attraction on your next Thailand adventure. Muay Thai Boxing is a combat sport that uses a combination of stand up striking and a range of clinching techniques to take down an opponent. Originating as part of the training regime for the Thai military, the ancient discipline dates back to the 18th century. Muay Thai Boxing is known as the "art of eight limbs" categorized by striking with the fists, elbows, knees and shins. Muay Thai is a fascinating and unique display of determination and strength that can be found all over Thailand including Phuket, Chiang Mai, Bangkok and Koh Samui.
Training to become a Muay Thai boxer is a gruelling process that takes years of practice to master. There is a heavy focus on body conditioning and reaching peak fitness levels through activities like running, rope jumping, shadowboxing, weight training and abdominal conditioning. As Muay Thai fighters rely heavily on kicks using the shin bone, fighters must train by repeatedly hitting a dense sand bag with the shin to harden the bone through a practice called cortical remodelling. Fighters train for many hours a day and will fight almost every other week.
The scoring in Muay Thai matches is based on a points system across ten rounds where fighters are judged on three factors. These include effective aggression, ring generalship and pure aggression. The judge will score opponent's strikes on the basis of how strong, powerful, clean and technical they are.
Depending on where you stay in Thailand, you may encounter professional fights in large arenas or amateur matches in local training facilities. Regardless of the skill level, Muay Thai Boxing is very a entertaining and interactive experience where the audience can place bets on the winner. For professional matches, you will be charged an entry fee anywhere from 1,000 - 2,000 baht (approximately $45-$90 AUD). In return, you will get to enjoy 10 fights.