The precise origins of Muaythai are disputed, though the martial art form is said to have developed between one to two thousand years ago in Southeast Asia. It became an effective technique practised by the soldiery of the ancient kingdoms of Siam, for the protection of their lands and borders. A weapons bearing form of the martial art existed, as well as the unarmed form for defensive close combat. A warfare manual named “Chupasart” was written, which emphasized the martial uses of each part of the body, in harmony with the commitment of mind, body and soul.
Muaythai will participate at The World Games 2017!
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DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
In the olden days, teachers would instruct their students in the form of Wai Khru of their school. When two opponents met one another in the ring, if they performed the same Wai Khru, they would know they had been taught by the same instructor, and so choose not to fight each other out of respect.
More women practice Muaythai as a form of fitness exercise than men.
An amateur Muaythai bout consists of three rounds of three minutes each, with one minute breaks in between. In the Senior category (Age 18-35), there are 13 Male weight divisions and 11 Female divisions. Athletes wear shorts and singlets when competing. Protective equipment is required, including: gum shield, head guard, elbow guards, gloves, and shin guards.
Competitors enter the ring by stepping over the ropes. They then complete a ritual dance known as the “Wai Khru” in which they demonstrate respect for their teachers, family, country and opponents. Traditional music is played throughout. The complexity of the Wai Khru depends on the individual training each athlete has received. It is a personal aspect of the sport where the personality of the athlete can come through. Some will perform an entire dance, while others may simply choose to circle the ring, touching the ropes and the four corners.
During the Wai Khru, athletes wear a traditional headband known as a mongkon. When they have completed the Wai Khru, they will go to their respective corners and put on their head guards.
Once the referee has checked the attire of both athletes, he will signal that the bout shall commence. Five judges stationed around the ring score the technique, efficacy and skill of the competitors, awarding points when an athlete is able to land a blow (punch, kick, knee or elbow) without being blocked or guarded against. A three person jury will oversee the judging and overall competition. Any part of the body may be targeted, except the groin.
The maximum number of points to be awarded per round is 10. When one athlete outperforms the other throughout a round, judges will award 10 points, and the other will receive proportionately less. If they demonstrate equal skill, both will receive 10 points. If an athlete commits a foul and receives a warning from the referee, 1 point per warning will be deducted from the score of that round.
If the athletes are found to be equal in points when the final tally of all three rounds is made, each judge will award in favour of the athlete who has shown more initiative in attack or better technique; that being equal, a judge will then award in favour of the athlete who has shown better defensive skills. A winner must usually be nominated.
At the end of the third round, the athletes will return to their corners and remove their gloves, while the referee collects the score sheets of the respective judges. The scores will be given to the jury who tally the results, and inform the announcer. The referee will take both athletes by the hand, and raise the winner’s hand when it is announced. As a sign of respect and sportsmanship, the two athletes are then expected to shake hands. As an additional courtesy, both athletes may visit one another’s corners, to pay respect to the opponent’s coach and to be given a drink of water.