This physical and mental discipline which includes combat on the shins is known as “the art of eight limbs” as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the twentieth century when practitioners were defeating notable practitioners of other martial-art disciplines.
You will learn the essential skills of Muay Thai from punching, kicking, blocking, aswell as the use of your elbows and knees. Muay thai also emphasizes sticking in and out of something known as the Muay Thai ‘clinch’.
Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning where it is designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition.
Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, shadow boxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercise, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases, weight training.
Muay Thai kick-boxers rely heavily on kicks utilizing the shin bone. As such, practitioners of muay Thai will repeatedly hit a dense heavy bag with their shins, conditioning it, and hardening the bone through a process called ‘cortical remodelling’.
Striking a sand filled bag will also have the same effect.
Muay Thai began in the old kingdom of Siam (as Thailand was once known) and had from ancient times always seen trouble from its neighbours.
Occupying the Southeast Asia peninsula, it has Burma on the west, Laos on the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and the Gulf of Siam and Malaysia on the south, yet amazingly this “Land of the Free” had resisted all attempts to conquer it.
One can only put this down to the fierce fighting spirit of the people; Muay Thai techniques were part of the military training system which had been greatly influenced by Chinese fighting methods in even earlier times.
It later underwent a marked change and developed independently, losing many of the Chinese boxing methods along the way. It is somewhat of a mystery how and why this happened, and for that matter why many of Muay Thai’s special fighting techniques are not seen anywhere else outside Thailand.