Common Myths about Traditional Muay Thai Fighting
Muay Thai is a sport that is respected and played by many people around the world, even though its origin is in Asia. However, there are several common misconceptions about the sport that we would like to clear up.
The history of Muay Thai
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, and translates to “Thai Boxing.” Its origins are rooted in military martial art, and date back to the 13th century during the Sukhothai Kingdom. Muay Thai has since grown tremendously popular in the western world over the years, and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
However, one of the major difficulties raised is, that despite its popularity in the West, various misconceptions regarding the sport have circulated. This has happened mainly because Muay Thai was brought to these countries by martial artists who were not originally Muay Thai fighters, hence the disparities.
Common Myths about Muay Thai
- Muay Thai is for flat-footed fighters - MMA fighters and kickboxers often have the misconception that Muay Thai boxers are flat-footed fighters who do little to no footwork or much movement in the ring. While the footwork that is used by Muay Thai fighters varies from karate and MMA, this is actually deliberate and necessary. In order for Muay Thai fighters to be able to move and kick freely, they must be highly aware of their movements. This makes the footwork used in karate and MMA unsuitable for Muay Thai fighting.
- Muay Thai lacks head movement - Again, just because something is different or more subtle does not mean it’s nonexistent. The head movement used by trained Muay Thai fighters is far more subtle than those used in traditional western boxing. You won’t see trained Muay Thai fighters ducking and weaving, as this will actually make it far easier for your opponent to knock you out using a knee. Instead, Muay Thai boxers will simply lean back to avoid kicks from their opponent.
- Muay Thai fighters are weak boxers - This myth arose as a result of the fact that punches are the lowest scoring techniques in Muay Thai. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not an important technique. Untrained people may think that boxing is all about the punches, but it’s more about the setups, movement, and strategic maneuvers that really make it boxing. That said, Muay Thai fighters are trained in strategic overall body movement, not just punching.
What exactly is Muay Thai?
Now that we’ve discussed what Muay Thai is not, let’s talk about what it is. Muay Thai is a combat sport that involves a variety of strategic movements from various parts of the body in an effort to overpower your opponent.
Muay Thai uses techniques and variations, including punches, elbows, kicks, knees, clinching, and Teeping, in a combination of moves. There is no shortcut to becoming an excellent Muay Thai fighter. It takes lots of training, dedication, discipline, and the right gear and equipment to excel.