Maybe you’ve practiced “the science of eight limbs” in class, but how much do you really know about Muay Thai? Seeing as Warrior Martial Arts Academy is hosting a free Muay Thai seminar with EFC Champion Jason House on November 18th, we put together this list of fun facts about one of the most popular martial art styles used today. Train your brain with these informational tidbits ranging from funny to far-out.
From Nine Weapons to Eight Limbs
Before there was Muay Thai, there was Muay Boran. This ancestor of Muay Thai doesn’t describe single style. Muay Boran is an umbrella term describing all the unarmed martial arts of Thailand before modern rules and equipment were introduced in the 1930s.
While Muay Thai is famous for utilizing the “eight limbs” of a fighter’s hands, legs, elbows and knees, Muay Boran uses “nine weapons.” If you want to know what that means, just use your head… literally. Muay Boran also added headbutts as a ninth strike for its martial artists to incorporate.
What’s In a Name?
Muay Thai training in Thailand took commitment during the 1800’s. We’re not just talking about how aspiring martial artists had to leave their families and move into special Muay Thai camps with intense training regimens. Trainees at these camps were considered part of one big family. They were so much like family that students replaced their last name with the name of the camp they trained at! Be glad that tradition fell out of practice. Imagine the weird looks you would get today if your name were something like “Alex Warrior-Martial-Arts-Academy.”
Muay Thai Saved a Prisoner of War’s Life…
…well, at least according to Thai folklore. In 1767, invading Burmese armies took thousands of Thais as prisoners. This included a bunch of Thailand’s best kickboxers. These poor souls were rounded up and taken back to Burma
Flash forward to 1774. The Burmese king Hsinbyushin was throwing a wild seven-day, seven-night festival that would make Mardi Gras look like a prim and proper tea party. His majesty decided to see how Thailand’s kickboxing compares to Burmese boxing. To test this, the king selected a man named Nai Khanomtom to fight against the Burmese champion.
Prior to the fight, Nai did a traditional pre-match dance honoring his teachers, the audience and other important figures. Once Nai finished getting his groove on, he soundly trounces Burma’s champion. Referees at the match declare Nai’s victory was invalid, because his smooth moves distracted his opponent too much before their bout!
So what did Nai do to prove his skills? He beat nine more opponents in a row, with no breaks in between matches. The Burmese king was so impressed he granted Nai his freedom.
One Muay Thai Champion Retired for an Awesome Reason
This martial arts story may sound fictional, but it’s actually 100% true. One of the most famous Muay Thai arenas is Lumpinee Stadium; it’s kind of like Thailand’s version of Madison Square Garden. From 1981 – 1985 a man named Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn was the Lumpinee Stadium Lightweight champion. Famous for his devastating knee strikes, Dieselnoi had a career record of 50 wins and only four losses before retiring.
What forced Dieselnoi into hanging up his gloves? The man had run out of opponents. At the end of his four-year winning streak, no one would go up against this martial arts master.
Hopefully these fun facts will get you excited about Muay Thai’s fascinating history. If you want to get some real Muay Thai training with a world-class martial artist, make sure you come to our seminar with EFC champion Jason House on November 18th. You can also contact Warrior Martial Arts online with any questions you have about our regularly scheduled mixed martial arts classes.