One of the many things that people don’t know much about Muay Thai is how it is deeply connected to spirituality and meditation. Of course, the sport is one of the most popular forms of martial arts, especially in many Asian countries like Thailand.
Despite this, Muay Thai has never been among the ranks of major sports you would expect to find in the Olympics. Those days are now a thing of the past. But before we get to that, let’s learn more about Muay Thai and how it shaped it to become a sport that clearly deserves more attention.
The Thai Sport Deserving of More Recognition
Thailand is no stranger to many fitness activities. Like with many neighboring countries in the entire Asian territory, martial arts have long been a part of their culture and Thai boxing even serves as their national sport. This form of boxing is most known as Muay Thai.
One thing that makes Muay Thai unconventional is that it used to involve strategic unarmed combat that’s accompanied by a piece of music. We’ll talk more about its brief history in a bit.
Thai boxing takes a couple of different names other than Muay Thai. Some also refer to it as the “art of eight limbs”. This is because Muay Thai makes use of the human body parts such as fists, elbows, knees, and shins during combat.
The sport has drawn lots of practitioners, enthusiasts, and even sports bettors due to how high-octane the combat can get. In fact, macau888 can attest to how extremely popular this sport is online. This alone makes Muay Thai play a huge role in the country’s overall culture despite competing among the other major sports heavily favored abroad like football or basketball.
A Brief History of Thai Boxing
Muay Thai has a fascinating and rich history, one that dates back from Thailand’s first-ever King. Although historical documents that prove this was gone in the 14th century, the origins strongly suggest that the sport has been long-lived.
According to many popular beliefs and tales, Muay Thai is a disciplinary form of meditation for many ancient warriors. One popular tale involves the war commander named Phraya Phichai who won victoriously only using Thai boxing techniques.
As mentioned earlier, Thai boxing is also referred to by many Thais as the “art of eight limbs” as the sport has moves utilizing eight points of the human body that makes contact during the combat: hands, legs, elbows, and knees. What’s further interesting is that each of the body parts resembles an ancient weapon. For instance, the hands represent ancient daggers, forearms as shields, etc.
The International Federation of Muay Thai Associations (IFMA)
The International Federation of Muaythai Associations or IFMA is the main governing body for both amateur and professional Muay Thai. The federation involves 130 countries worldwide and they are officially recognized by many global sports committees from around the world including the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The Road to Becoming an Olympic Sport
In a statement made by IOC member Patama Leeswadtrakul in July 2021, Muay Thai, along with its global governing body (IFMA) has now been fully recognized as part of a bigger committee, one that hints at the high likelihood of Muay Thai finally becoming an official Olympic sport.
The announcement was made during the 138th IOC session in Tokyo according to Patama. He went on to add that it’s simply the beginning of such a huge possibility. With the Thai government’s backing, the long-awaited moment can now finally become a reality.
For many fans of the sport, this is a huge deal that can ensure a better and brighter future for Thai boxing. It would certainly help to see these committees and the local government working altogether for the common goal of bringing Muay Thai into the Olympic scene.
It could certainly still be a long road but no one knows for sure what could happen given more focus and attention. Countless fans, enthusiasts, and online gambling bettors are all eager to see where this could all lead to. One thing is for certain, we could all be happy about it when the time comes.
The Popularity of Muay Thai
If there is one sport in Thailand that attracts the attention and admiration of international visitors as much as Muay Thai boxing, it is without a doubt the most popular martial art in the country. While amateur fighters only make about 5000 baht per fight (about $150 USD) a typical champion can earn 10,000 to 15,000 baht ($300-$460) per fight.
Many Muay Thai fighters tend to start training as young children. They learn fist strength, joint strength, endurance, and all of the other important skills of a well-developed fighter through hard work and disciplined exercise.
Once these skills have been developed, a fighter will then be placed into an amateur class, and once he has made it to the professional level, then they will be called up for a fight. Muay Thai is the only martial art in Thailand that is commonly practiced by both males and females. This means that no nationality is able to claim sole ownership of the Thai boxing tradition.
In the ring, the matches are brutal affairs. Each fight consists of a series of quick strikes and elbows that end in either a knockout or submission. It truly is a sport that is packed with lots of high-octane action, hence why this is extremely appealing to people who love betting on online casino sites and sportsbooks.
The Future of Muay Thai
Seeing how Muay Thai has progressed over the years, it’s hard to deny how large the community around this sport has grown since. It has some of the world’s most loyal and disciplined athletes, but most important of all, it has some of the most passionate ones to stand by its development through and through.
Thai boxing is becoming more and more relevant due to the collective efforts of the fans, and the Thai people who constantly push the sport into making it into the Olympics. Honestly, the sport is truly deserving of such support and attention it’s been getting.