Muaythai is often referred to as "The Science of the Eight Limbs" as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. Fighters execute strikes using eight points of contact, as opposed to two points (fists) in Western boxing and four points (fists, feet) used in the primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts.
For spectators, muaythai invokes a myriad of emotions with each exciting blow. Competitions are fun and thrilling to watch. Expect to see jumping, flinching, shouting and cheering in the audience as crowds lend support to the fighters.
Points are awarded whenever the boxer hits the opponent by punching, kicking, kneeing or elbowing with force, lands on target, no infringement without being blocked or guarded against. Matches can end with a winner by knockout, a technical knockout, winning by points, or a draw can be declared. Fighters will compete for five rounds of three minutes each, with a two-minute interval between rounds in professional bouts and 4 rounds of 2 minutes each, with a one-minute interval between rounds for amateur bouts.
Before a match begins, fighters will perform a ceremonial ritual called, The Wai Khru. It is graceful and aesthetic, often accompanied by traditional Thai music. The ritual is both practical and spiritual. In a practical sense, it functions as a final pre-fight warm-up and gives the fighter some time alone before the fight to collect his thoughts. It's a tradition in which fighters pay respect to their teachers, parents and things they hold sacred and pray for their safety and victory. The ritual has been developed in different ways, in different regions, incorporating unique styles.
Muaythai is a very safe sport. Protection is worn for amateur competition: head guard, mouth guard, groin protector, elbow pads, shin protectors and boxing gloves weighing ten or twelve ounces. In the professional realm, protection is minimal with the use of only a mouth guard, groin protection and gloves weighing a minimum of 6 ounces.
Muaythai is the national sport of Thailand and has been a part of Thai heritage for hundreds of years. With a proud history, muaythai has progressed and is recognised in many countries worldwide, creating a new era of appreciation for the sport. In recent years muaythai, both amateur and professional, has swept the world like a wildfire and developed into the premier ring sport – fighting art with no equal in terms of unarmed combat and spectator appeal as well as a form of self-defence and a means to achieve personal fitness.
Muaythai has been a part of Thai history and heritage for hundreds of years as with most traditions from ancient times. There exist many different versions of the history of muaythai but all sources agree that muaythai was the primary and most effective method of self defence used by Thai warriors in the battlefields of conflicts and wars that occurred countless times throughout the history of the nation now known as Thailand.
Read more.... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/Brochure2008/08_Brochure_History.html
In the late 1980’s, the Thai government recognised muaythai as an international sport. In order to regulate the sport a single organisation was commissioned and created, maintaining uniformity of the sport under the same rules, regulations, and safety measures and get international recognition for muaythai, this became the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA).
IFMA’s objective is the total unification of all national federations working mutually for the sport and the athletes. The enthusiasm and commitment of the members, boxers and officials are the greatest assets that IFMA brings to this ancient sport of muaythai.
Read more .... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/Brochure2008/08_Brochure_IFMAbackground.html
WAI KHRU AND SKILLS
Muaythai has been practiced by Thai people for hundreds of years. One of the oldest traditions that is still in practice today is the pre fight ceremony, called “Wai Khru” in which fighters pay respect to their teachers, mentors or parents and their opponents. Fighters will display their techniques while performing this ritual.
Read more..... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/Brochure2008/08_Brochure_WaiKhru-Skill.html
MUAYTHAI TOWARDS IOC RECOGNITION
Blending sport with culture and education is one of the important foundations of the Olympic movement. Muaythai is a martial art and sport which strongly and consistently demonstrates culture, tradition and education. Muaythai has many aspects: self defence; fitness; competition; culture or art form, or simply just a way of life. The keystones of muaythai are honour, tradition, friendship, respect, fair play and excellence.
Read more.... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/10_0405_MT_ioc.html
MUAYTHAI FOR EVERY BODY
Did you know that Muaythai is one of the fastest growing sports in the world? The reason is easy to explain: Muaythai can be practiced by people from all walks of life, ages and fitness levels. There is something for Every Body in Muaythai!
Read more.... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/10_0405_MT_everybody.html
WOMEN IN MUAYTHAI
As the men’s competitions developed over the years, from 1990, female fighters looked on and began to question their status. So, in 1999 at the stadium in Bangkok, the first amateur international women’s competition took place. In front of an enthusiastic crowd, many of the myths about women not being skilled enough to fight or entertaining enough for the crowd were laid to rest.
read more… http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/Brochure2008/08_Brochure_She.html
SPORT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
This is the motto of the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur, the world governing body for amateur Muaythai. Many charity projects are operated through these organizations from Thailand in over 50 countries. His Excellency General Pichitr Kullavanijaya, the Honorary President of the IFMA and Privy Councilor to His Majesty the King of Thailand, is the driving force behind this campaign with the aim of getting kids off the streets.
read more… http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/08_130508_.html
SUPERSTARS OF MUAYTHAI
Many fighters started their career in the IFMA world championships before progressing into muaythai superstars. Today they are household names, superstars in the sport and feature on leading sport channels around the globe.
Read more... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/10_0407_SuperStar.html
SPORTACCORD TV – an interview with Stephan Fox
IFMA General Secretary Stephan Fox travelled to Lausanne in November '09 to attend the SportAccord IF Sports Forum. While in Lausanne, he gave an interview to SportAccord Television on the subject of Muaythai at the upcoming SportAccord Combat Games in Beijing.
Watch it here… http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/10_0126_Sfox.html
BIGGEST LOSER ASIA
The inclusion of a muaythai training session on the Biggest Loser Asia's episode 12 certainly proved muaythai's amazing fitness benefits for every body! With former world champion and TV celebrity host Stephan Fox leading the way, six Malaysian Tigers muaythai fighters joined forces with the Biggest Loser Asia trainers to put the remaining contestants through a challenging and memorable workout session.
Read more... http://www.ifmamuaythai.org/HTML/10_0406_MT_BiggestLoser.html