vendredi 6 juin 2014

The Tradition Of Thai Fights

By Wanda Rosner

Thai fights are a kind of sport in Thailand that involve stand up striking combined with different grappling techniques. This traditional Thailand combat of fighting is famously known as the art of eight limbs since it involves the use of all limbs: fists, knees, feet, and elbows. There is a professional league in Thailand organized and governed by the World Thai Council.

In the old days, the technique was traditionally used as an actual fighting combat in warfare, and was only later practiced as a sport. The opponents would meet in a ring in front of spectators gathered to watch the match as entertainment. As time went by, the fights became an integral part of the local traditions and celebrations of the people of Thailand, especially those organized in the temples. Later on, fighters were given hemp rope that they tied around their hands and forearms to protect themselves. This type of match was called the muay khat chueak.

During the 19th century, with the rise of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), muay advanced to a great height, and the country became at peace, using the technique mostly as a means of leisure and sometimes in self-defense. The first boxing ring in Thailand was constructed in 1921, where referees were brought in and fighters were clothed with modern gloves and hard groin protectors.

When knots were tied on the ropes on the knuckles, the strikes became more severe and damaging to the fighters. This was evidenced when an opponent was killed in the ring, prompting the use of gloves and cotton coverlets as replacements. The previous version known as muay boran became extinct, and is modernly used as a presentation form of art.

The latter is now practiced mainly as a presentation art form. There are two groups of muay Thai fighting combats: major techniques (mae mai ) and luk mai ( minor techniques). In any case, most of the techniques involve the movement of the whole body, circling the hip when taking every kick, punch, elbow or block.

Many techniques are used to prevent attack. The fighter can use blocking, in which the he /she prevents a strike by stopping it before it reaches him/her. Redirection is used where a defender wades off an attack by changing its direction, making it to miss its designation. The defender can decide to use avoidance, in which he/she moves his/her body or part to avoid getting hit, and then finds space to counter attack.

The use of the evasion technique can also be used, whereby the defender moves the whole body away from an attack, but then moves it back to counter. Disruption technique, used by bridging an attack, could be used with anticipation technique. This involves countering an attack such as a roundhouse kick before it lands.

In the past, muay Thai was used to improve body fitness and toughness, which is required when participating in a match. The training can be in the form of running, jumping, shadowboxing, medicine ball exercises, weight training ,abdominal exercises, and bodyweight resistance exercises. These are useful to the health and fitness of the fighter.

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