Thai Boxing Started in 1650 when King Naresuen of Siam was captured by the burmese,
he was offered freedom if he could defeat Burmese champions.
He successfully defeated 12 of the finest Burmese boxers and became a national hero.
This made Thai Boxing a national pastime. The actual origins may date back
further but this is unknown due to the Burmese book burnings in 1776.
Thai Boxing is an adaptation of the Thai military arts. In
peacetime the weapons of the battlefield were laid down and
the soldiers would fight empty hand to keep their edge. At that
time there were few rules, no rounds, and no weight classes.
In this time period boxers fought barefooted, their fists and
forearms wrapped in hemp rope and combat was extremely
brutal. Training methods were vast and varied. Banana trees
were kicked, kneed, and elbowed, softening the tree until it
could be wrapped on the trainers arms for kicking. This is
where the unique creation of the Thai pad got it's start.
Thai Boxing also find much of it's root's in Buddhism.
People who see Thai Boxing for the first time often wonder about the
pre-fight ritual that takes place before every authentic Thai
fight. This ceremony called the "Ram Muay" is a spiritual
ceremony which seals off the ring from outside influences,
pays homage to gods, parents, teachers, loved ones, king and country.
A great deal of significance is placed on the Ram Muaysince it displays
the spirit and heart of the fighter. Both the Ram Muay and the fight
itself are accompanied by music from a four piece ensemble. The pace
of the fight is often dictated by the music played on the side of the ring.
Because the Thais quickly adapt to anything which may give
them an edge, Thai Boxing has evolved towards greater efficiency for
centuries. Most recently they have adapted
various Western Boxing techniques, training methods, and
strategies to their already formidable tools. In the past 50
years Thai Boxing has enjoyed even greater popularity. Modern
western style gloves, weight classes, and 3-minute rounds
have been adopted. Because of the rigorous nature of it's
testing ground and the directness of it's techniques, Thai
Boxing and Thai Boxers are some of the most highly respected
martial artists throughout the world.