To truly appreciate someone's culture, you must focus on three areas. First, you must exercise compassion. Secondly, you should attempted to learn their language. Lastly, you must eat their food. Thailand's history is rooted in Buddhism, with over 90% of the population practicing Buddhist principles and teachings. For centuries, the Thai have defend their boarders from neighboring countries such as Burma, Laos and Vietnam. Out of those conflicts, Muay Thai was born. Muay Thai is not only a sport in Thailand, but is consider a “National Treasure”.
Absent the physicality of Muay Thai lies the spirit. Thailand is rich in Buddhist tradition and local superstitions. The people of Thailand believe that good spirits will protect and bring you luck; while bad spirits should be avoided. In Muay Thai, the line between spirit and sport can sometimes be lost in the ceremonial rites performed before, during and after a match. The blessing of the Mongkol and Prajeeds, the prayers before entering the ring, and performing the Wai Kru are all spiritual rites that the Thai feel bring good luck to a fighter.
To many, style is everything. A new pair of gloves or shorts can lift a fighter's spirit and drive them to win a match. For others, a song or movie can ignite the desire to train harder or become more disciplined. Fighting is a culture that attracts a motley crew of disciplined soldiers. The style of fight is just as important as the dress. Muay Thai techniques are simple, yet devastating, which give it a universal appeal. Much like Hip Hop music, Muay Thai has grown bigger than any one country, and has breached the borders of Thailand spilling over into the world community. Muay Thai is unique in dress, food and rhythm.
Muay Thai originated on the battle fields of Thailand. Sometimes referred to as “The Science of 8 Limbs”, Muay Thai is one of the most devastating fighting styles in the world. The sport of Muay Thai developed out of a necessity to determine who was the best fighter in a local region, and ultimately in the country. Today Lumpinee stadium is the Mecca of Thai boxing, hosting the very best fighters from around the world. Most MMA fighters utilize Mauy Thai techniques during their matches. Roundhouse kicks, knees, elbows and the clinch are the building blocks of basic Muay Thai.