Thai boxing is an art of self-defense originated from   Thailand. "Muaythai" literally means "free fighting". It is an ancient art which, according to certain sources, dates back more than 2,000 years.


Muaythai, which is considered to be Thailand’s traditional martial art, is also known as the "battle of the eight limbs": fists, feet and shins, elbows and knees are all used.

Muaythai in the Game program


  • The first contact between the Thai and European systems of fighting took place in 1788, during the reign of King Rama I. Muan Prlana easily defeated two French boxers.
  • Since 1971, Muaythai has become increasingly popular as an amateur sport. The first competition, held in Bangkok, included boxers from five universities: Srinakarin University and Chiang Mai, Mahasarakam, Yala and Udorntani Colleges of Physical Education.
  • Muaythai is extremely popular in Thailand whrere they have a holiday, the Day of National Muaythai Boxing.


The origins of Thai boxing are rather unclear. It is believed that a similar fighting system existed even before foundation of the Kingdom of Siam. This combat technique was practised by the Ao Lai tribes who migrated to South-East Asia from the southern regions of China.

The golden age of Muaythai was during the reign of King Rama V who awarded state honours to the best fighters. The most promising novice fighters were recruited and sent to three boxing training centers: Korat, Lobpuri and Tchaiya. 

In 1912, during the reign of his successor, King Rama VI, European boxing became popular in Thailand, and a number of changes and developments were incorporated into Muaythai, including the use of boxing gloves, three-minute rounds, and, in 1921, the square boxing ring. The right to surrender was also added. 

The modern history of Muaythai began in 1934 when Thailand was officially formed. In 1962, official Muaythai rules modelled on the rules of boxing were issued. In 1977, after two masters of Thai boxing easily defeated European kickboxers in Bangkok, this art gained popularity in the West. In 1984, the first International Federation of Muaythai was founded.  

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