Thai culture and Muay Thai are so tightly entwined that the name of the country is right there in the style. The two are inseparable. The word Muay comes from the Sanskirt word Mavya, which means “pulling together” or “unity”.
Muay Thai is a practical fighting style that pulls together the whole body: fists, elbows, knees, and legs as eight weapons. It is literally referred to as the “Science of Eight Limbs”. It was forged on the battlefield at a time when hand-to-hand combat was the norm.
There is a very deep link between Muay Thai and the temples of Buddhism. When Buddhism spread from India, it was embraced by the people of Thailand. The temples housed the community of Monks, which were usually retired soldiers and high-ranking officials, or men from nobility, who were educated and successful in their secular lives. They were the leaders of their villages. It was from the Monks of these Buddhist Temples that Muay Thai continued to be passed on.
Now in the 21st Century, Muay Thai is not only the national sport of Thailand, but is gaining popularity throughout the world. It has developed into such a recognized sport that women and children are now also participating not only as fighters or for self-defense, but for exercise. It has become the go-to striking discipline for mixed martial arts fighters.
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