Like most martial arts, Muay Thai started with a small but dedicated following. In the twentieth century it became an internationally respected martial art after practitioners defeated some of the most recognised practitioners of other martial art styles. Proving its superior combat effectiveness cemented it as a world sport.
Muay Thai, The Art of Eight Limbs
Muay Thai is known by many names across the world, including Thai boxing, Siamese boxing, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Tharshanning. Most significantly, it is sometimes called The Art of Eight Limbs. Muay Thai utilises the whole body for a holistic fighting style that combines hands, shins, elbows, and knees. This complete martial art approach characterises the art.
The Two Components of a Fight
There are two parts to combat: striking and grappling. Most martial arts focus on only one. This makes fine sport, where both opponents obey the same rules. Unfortunately, in real life combat situation you may be forced to engage in either regardless of your competence.
Muay Thai’s focus on both aspects of a fight make it the highest form of martial arts in terms of real life self-defence effectiveness. Self-defence is always a last resort, but sometimes there is no choice.
Striking is usually the first stage of combat. Two or more standing opponents fight in a style similar to kickboxing. In this stage, Muay Thai considers the limbs as proxy weapons. The hands are swords and daggers, the shins and forearms armor, the elbows heavy warhammers and maces, and the legs and knees are treated as axe and staff. This is a phase for the arts complex tactical strategies.
Clinching is the end game. The striking phase is spent trying to create an opening to engage your opponent in a grapple to your advantage, usually using the elbows as heavy weapons. Clinching is the result of how the striking phase played out. It is about forcing or avoiding submission.
If you want to build self assurance and a deep feeling of personal security, Muay Thai is the martial art for you. It is a respected sport, but was originally designed for hand to hand combat in war. It’s complete beginning to end system makes it the most useful self-defence art. Try our a Melbourne Muay Thai class near you.