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In The Arena Blog

What is Muay Thai?

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If you are looking to learn one of the most comprehensive striking arts on the planet, then consider looking into The Arena’s Muay Thai program. The Arena offers 12 Muay Thai classes throughout the week with our incredible Muay Thai coaches, James Ewton and Kru Mark. But you may be wondering “What is Muay Thai?”. 

Muay Thai is a form of striking originating from Thailand in the 1500s. Modern day Muay Thai shares many similarities with other striking arts like kickboxing, but Muay Thai significantly expands the traditional kickboxing ruleset. 

Muay Thai fighters or “Nak Muay” are allowed to throw any combination of kicks, punches, elbows, and knees, to the head, body, and legs of their opponents. Nak Muay are also allowed to catch the kicks of their opponent in order to sweep them or counter. This ruleset differs from kickboxing, which forbids elbows, some knee strikes, and catching kicks. 

Perhaps the biggest difference between Muay Thai and other striking martial arts is the use of the clinch. Clinching is when two fighters grab ahold of each other’s arms, body, neck, or head, in an attempt to maneuver them around for a sweep, trip, knee strikes, or elbows. While in western boxing and kickboxing, you may see two fighters immediately separated after they engage in the clinch, in Muay Thai, the action is allowed to continue in this position. 

If you have an interest in watching some Muay Thai legends, check out the following list of names on YouTube. 

Saenchai Saepong

Somrak Khamsing

Ramon Dekkers

Samart Payakaroon

Dany Bill

Lerdsila Chumpairtour

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