There are a large number of sports that are not part of the Olympic Games program. One of them is Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai. Despite this, he has a large number of fans all over the world. And this is not surprising, because Muay Thai is very entertaining.
Muay Thai history
Its second name, Muay Thai, is derived from the words "Mavya" and "Thai", which in translation means "fight" and "freedom", that is, the name of the martial art itself is translated as "free fight".
Back in the 13th century, the art of fighting with bare hands and feet existed in Thailand. But it entered Europe only at the beginning of the 20th century, during the First World War, in which Thailand participated on the side of the Entente.
It was only in 1921 that Muay Thai began to develop precisely as a sport. And in 1929 "modernized" rules were adopted. The earthen pads, on which fights between Muay Thai warriors used to take place, were replaced with a ring measuring 6 and 6 meters and fenced off with ropes. And the fights themselves were limited to five rounds of 3 minutes each. Also, along with the traditional leather belts, which the fighters used to bandage their hands, boxing gloves were approved. In addition, 7 weight categories were introduced, which simply did not exist before.
Muay Thai's popularity peaked in the 1960s. It was then that this sport absolutely conquered Europe and the United States.
And in 1984, the International Amateur Thai Boxing Federation, IAMTF, was created. Today it includes regional organizations in more than 70 countries and is the largest amateur Muay Thai association.
Today, Thai boxing fans are taking steps to recognize it as an Olympic sport.
Thai boxing traditions
Muay Thai is a very tough martial arts. Fights are held in full contact, and blows are applied at all levels: to the head and body, arms and legs, elbows and knees. That is why it is called "the fight of eight limbs." In addition to fighting with bare hands, they practice working with various types of daggers, sticks and throwing knives.
Muay Thai has an interesting tradition. For example, live music played on four musical instruments plays an important role in the passage of the battle. The melody sets the rhythm of the battle and introduces the fighters into a state close to trance, which allows them to better concentrate.
Also, each fight is preceded by the traditional Wai Crui prayer and the ceremonial Ram Muay dance. Prayer is an expression of gratitude to parents for their care and to the coach who has put energy into his student. And the dance, also demonstrating respect for the elders, is, in addition, also a good warm-up of the limbs.
Much importance is attached to amulets in Thai boxing. For example, pratyata. This is a bandage with two free ends, which is attached to the fighter's shoulder and protects him.
In Europe and America, these amulets have found another application - they denote the rank of an athlete. And the International Amateur Muay Thai Federation has introduced a color classification of pratyats.