What is Muay Thai?

 

Simply put, at its core, Muay Thai is a highly-effective self defense martial art form originating in Thailand. Contrary to the popular belief, Muay Thai is not the same as kickboxing. The two are often mistaken for one another, which is a common misconception. Although there are significant similarities between them, the key difference is that Muay Thai allows the use of elbows. Almost all Muay Thai movements involve rotating your hip with each kick, kicks below the waist are allowed, as well as grabbing your opponent’s leg mid-kick. Compared to regular boxing, which uses two contact points (two fists) or kickboxing (four points of contact), Muay Thai fighting style uses eight points of contact, utilizing every part of the body in both attack and defense mode.
People say that Muay Thai is a sport of contradictions. On one hand, it is simplistic and beautiful; on the other, brutal and effective. Muay Thai is said to have a certain grace to it – the exchange of blows resembling almost a dance with one’s opponent.

 

 

 

History of Muay Thai

 

The discipline of Muay Thai dates back hundreds of years. We can only speculate on the origins of this ancient martial art, since most of the written documents were lost during the battles between the Burmese and Siam. One version of the story tells us that Muay Thai was first employed by Thai warriors on the battlefield. It was around that time that “Chupasart”, the warfare manual that details the varying forms of Muay Thai maneuvers, was written. “Chupasart” focused on not only physical prowess, but also the oneness of body, mind and soul. It is believed that modern-day Muay Thai evolved from this very book.

Muay Thai’s first emergence as a “sport”, away from the battlefield, was during the reign of King Prachao Sua. The king had a particular fondness for the combat art. He was known to travel all over the country to watch and take part in Muay Thai matches. By ordering his soldiers to practice Muay Thai, he made a name for “the Art of Eight Limbs” and popularized it throughout the country. Muay Thai slowly started to become an entertainment for many people from all walks of life. The Thai martial art was first introduced to the West during the World War II, when Thai soldiers were stationed in France. This is when soldiers from overseas took a great interest in this oriental sport, and soon, they started practicing Muay Thai themselves. In the 1930’s, King Prajadhipok ordered for codification of Muay Thai. At that time, new rules were introduced, and Muay Thai was no longer an extremely dangerous practice. Muay Thai is divided into two groups. The mae mai, which focuses on the major technique and luk mai which is the minor technique. Traditionally, Muay Thai fights call for exchanging blow for blow. However, this is no longer favorable. Since the introduction of “the Art of the Eight Limbs” to the rest of the world, the rules began to change. Western boxing had its influence on Muay Thai, and the new range of boxing punches are now being used.

Nowadays, Muay Thai is one of the most popular ring sports and has fans from all over the world. Men and women of all ages practice Muay Thai as a form of exercise and train for competitions. Muay Thai gyms and training camps can be found all around the globe, but the most popular ones are in the land of its origin. The Muay Thai community is known to be especially welcoming to outsiders and beginners. In Thailand, the Muay Thai culture is present everywhere. Watching or partaking in it is a part of every person’s life, from a very young age. Countless advertisements for training camps and matches can be found all throughout the country.

Iain Rowe
Iain Rowe
13. September, 2020.
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Emily Macrae
Emily Macrae
26. August, 2020.
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T S
T S
26. August, 2020.
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Top class gym with a family like atmosphere embedded throughout. All abilities catered for and welcomed with open arms. If your goal is to become a better fitter you or to reach competition level than I can guarentee that those targets will be smashed at Jai Suu 🙏
Danielle Hawman
Danielle Hawman
23. August, 2020.
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My 8 year old son has been going to Jai Suu for 2 years now, it’s his safe space and like his second home! He was welcomed in from day one and Apart from the coaches and everyone from juniors to adults who attends the gym being so welcoming and supportive my son now has positive role models around him also and is building some amazing bonds whilst having fun, keeping active and learning skills not just in fighting but about respect, boundaries and helping to support others. He is gaining more confidence and is constantly learning something new with every session he attends and is shaping up to be his better self thanks to the help of everyone in the gym
Brandon Barry
Brandon Barry
23. August, 2020.
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Dean Rutter
Dean Rutter
23. August, 2020.
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Excellent club! Calvin and the team at Jai Suu have created a friendly and welcoming environment for people of all abilities. 100% recommend this place to anyone interested in starting Muay Thai 👍🏻
Neil Hanson
Neil Hanson
23. August, 2020.
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Nice freindly gym, great coaches for the kids and adults. Good atmosphere. Whether you want to fight or just for fitness and self confidence this is the place to be. 🙏
Neil Turnbull
Neil Turnbull
23. August, 2020.
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Smashing club. Calvin and his team are serious people that know their craft. I've only been here as a visiting coach, but the priorities shine through - their people's welfare, happiness and well being. Their work with young people is exemplary. People work hard but do so with a smile, laugh and mutual respect. The whole club feels like an extended family. Our communities need more clubs like this.
Lisa Owens
Lisa Owens
5. January, 2020.
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Classes are fun and suitable for all levels and with female only fitness 7:30pm on mondays. You will not find a nicer, more supportive training environment. Great gym 🙏
The Gaming Girls
The Gaming Girls
20. June, 2019.
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