The origin of Muay Thai Kickboxing, as a fighting style, is thought to have developed for centuries as tribes migrated south from the steppes of China through Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and Cambodia. The majority of that period, one of which was the (Tai) Siamese, fought fiercely to survive as they moved south and encountered other smaller tribes in what is now northern and central Thailand, and as far south as Malaysia.
Through training, loss of life, military tactics, and hand-to-hand combat, techniques and tactics were honed to a razor’s edge, and the rudimentary elements of a “fighting-style” began to take root. Older soldiers and fathers taught their students and sons the offensive and defensive tactics and techniques, proper posture and position, and skills to enhance awareness. Those students and sons went on to teach their children, and the roots and permanent structure of an effective fighting-style” began to strengthen
Proper technique and power strikes were a vital element in war that requires hand-to-hand skills. Each strike and movement is meant to deliver a debilitating and crushing blow, and enable the fighter to move on to the next opponent quickly without leaving himself exposed to an attack. It would seem that the evolution of the most-effective hand-to-hand form of combat evolved in a rather Darwin-like manner demanding survival of the fittest: those who fought well lived and taught others before falling themselves.
The Thai were on constant guard against attack from neighboring countries, including Burma and Cambodia. Enemies for centuries, the Burmese and Thai fought several wars wreaking destruction on both countries. Muay Thai was primarily a part of Thai culture during this period and was a mandatory training as part of the Thai military of that time.
The military continued to train soldiers for centuries in the art of Muay Thai: defining and refining the skills, tactics, and techniques with the wars against the Burmese, Cambodians, and other invaders. Young Thai men returning from a tour of duty with the military soon engaged in matches for sport and fun in villages and towns. Each province, town, and village would support a local fighter who showed some promise and skill. Older survivors of many battles and engagements of the enemy, became Muay Thai instructors and teachers (Kroo Muay).
The love of the sport and a need for the defense of the kingdom made Muay Thai a part of Thai culture for the next 500 years as generation after generation passed the skills on to the next.
Americk Martial Arts has adopted a modern version of Muay Thai Kickboxing as the official striking curriculum in the belt ranking system. You will find great Muay Thai being taught to children and adults at Amerikick Martial Arts Studio.
Image via Canva.