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Thailand Boxing - Thai Boxing or Muay Thai is a martial art with a difference. Traditional pageantry, integrated with the aggressive nature of the sport, makes the boxing match a stimulating event.
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Thailand Boxing (Muay Thai)
Thailand Boxing or Muay Thai or Thai kickboxing is a form of hard martial art, which evolved in Thailand over 2000 years ago. The art is known for several traditions. In one of them, prior to bouts, the two fighters dance around the ring to special music. Heavy puches, fatal kicks, powerful elbow strikes, and artful feints are some features of Muay Thai.

History
The history of Muay Thai mingles remarkably with the history of the country. The Thais had to defend their country from the marauding powers. This prompted them to develop a form of close, hand-to-hand combat which was suitable for the kind of battle they were fighting.

King Naresuan the Great (1555-1605), who is regarded as one of the country's most able warrior-heroes, was an excellent boxer himself. He is credited to have made Muay Thai a compulsary part of military training.

Another landmark in the history of the game was the triumph of Nai Khanom Tom over 10 Burmese boxers in 1774. Held captive after the fall of the Thai capital in 1767, Nai Khanom Tom was chosen to fight in the presence the Burmese monarch. He inflicted defeat on ten of them in a row, and returned home victoriously.

Crossing Boundaries
The sport has gained popularity even outside Thailand. World Muay Thai Council was set up in 1995 to promote this national heritage at national and international levels. At a conference held in that very year, 78 member countries voted for the foundation of a training school where all elements of Muay Thai would be taught. The Muay Thai Institute was established in 1997.

Global Passion
The Thais have huge passion for the sport. The fights are broadcasted by television networks five days a week, and the results of the fights held at major stadiums are reported in all major newspapers. The country has produced several international boxers, but they all started as Muay Thai fighters.

The Fight
Muay Thai bouts are fought in five three-minute rounds with two-minute breaks in between. The fighters, wearing a headband and armbands, perform wai khru dance before the fight. The dance proved a good warm-up exercies. Tourists fill up a sizable chunk of the seats on fight nights at major stadiums, especially at Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen.