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Muay Thai ( , , , lit. Thai Boxing) is a form of hard martial art practiced in large parts of the world, including Thailandmarker and other Southeast Asian countries. The art is similar to others in Southeast Asia such as: pradal serey in Cambodiamarker, lethwei in Myanmarmarker, tomoi in Malaysiamarker and Lao boxing in Laosmarker. Muay Thai has a long history in Thailandmarker and is the country's national sport. Traditional Muay Thai practiced today varies significantly from the ancient art muay boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing.

Muay Thai is referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A practitioner of Muay Thai ("nak muay") thus has the ability to 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. A practitioner of Muay Thai who is not of Thai nationality or race, is known as a Falang Nak Muay (foreign boxer).


Muaythai match in Bangkok, Thailand.
Praying before the match
Muaythai match in Bangkok, Thailand

A Thai boxer praying during the Wai Kru before match
Various forms of kickboxing have long been practiced throughout Southeast Asia. As with most countries in the region, Thai culture is highly influenced by ancient civilizations within Southeast Asia. The origin of Muay Thai is unclear. One theory is that it was with the Tai people before the Tai immigration to Southeast Asia from China. Another is that it was adopted and modified off of Khmer martial arts when Thai culture was influenced by Khmer culture. A third theory is that a little bit of both the first and second theory occurred. Muay Thai evolved from its ancestor Muay Boran ("ancient boxing"), an unarmed combat used by Siamese soldiers in conjunction with Krabi Krabong. There is a phrase about Muay Boran that states, "Punch Korat, Wit Lopburi, Posture Chaiya, Faster Thasao. (หมัดหนักโคราช ฉลาดลพบุรี ท่าดีไชยา ไวกว่าท่าเสา)".

As well as continuing to function as a practical fighting technique for use in actual warfare, Muay Thai became a sport in which the opponents fought in front of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. This kind of muay contests gradually became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. It was even used as entertainment to kings.

Eventually, the previously bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of rope wrapped around their hands and forearms. This type of match was called muay kaad chuek (มวยคาดเชือก).

Royal Muay

Muay gradually became a possible means of personal advancement as the nobility increasingly esteemed skillful practitioners of the art and invited selected fighters to come to live in the Royal palace to teach muay to the staff of the royal household, soldiers, princess or the king's personal guards. This "royal muay" was called muay luang (มวยหลวง).

Some time during the Ayutthaya Period, a platoon of royal guards was established, whose duty was to protect king and the country. They were known as Grom Nak Muay (Muay Fighters' Regiment). This royal patronage of muay continued through the reigns of Rama V and VII.

Muay Renaissance

The ascension of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the throne in 1868 ushered in a Golden Age not only for muay but for the whole country of Thailandmarker. Muay progressed greatly during the reign of Rama V as a direct result of the king's personal interest in the art. The country was at peace and muay functioned as a means of physical exercise, self-defense, recreation, and personal advancement. Masters of the art such as former fighters or soldiers began teaching muay in training camps where students were provided with food and shelter. Trainees would be treated as one family and it was customary for students to adopt the camp's name as their own surname.

Legendary heroes

At the time of the fall of the ancient Siam capital of Ayutthaya in 1763, the invading Burmesemarker troops rounded up a group of Thai residents and took them as prisoners. Among them were a large number of Thai boxers, who were taken by the Burmese to the city of Ungwa.

In 1774, in the Burmese city of Rangoonmarker, the king of the Burmese, Hsinbyushin (known in Thai as "King Mangra"), decided to organize a seven-day, seven-night religious festival in honor of Buddha's relics. The festivities included many forms of entertainment, such as the costume plays called likay, comedies and farces, and sword-fighting matches. At one point, King Hsinbyushin wanted to see how Muay Boran would compare to the Burmese art Lethwei . Nai Khanom Tom was selected to fight against the Burmese champion. The boxing ring was set up in front of the throne and Nai Khanom Tom did a traditional Wai Kru pre-fight dance, to pay his respects to the Burmese king, as well as for all the spectators, dancing around his opponent, which amazed and perplexed all the Burmese people. When the fight began, he charged out, using punches, kicks, elbows, and knees, pummeling his opponent until he collapsed.

The referee however stated that the Burmese opponent was too distracted by the Wai Kru, and the knockout was invalid. The King then asked if Nai Khanom Tom would fight nine other Burmese champions to prove himself. He agreed and fought them all, one after the other with no rest periods in between. His last opponent was a great boxing teacher from Ya Kai City. Nai Khanom Tom mangled him by his kicks and no one else dared to challenge him any further.

King Mangra was so impressed that he remarked, "Every part of the Thai is blessed with venom. Even with his bare hands, he can fell nine or ten opponents. But his Lord was incompetent and lost the country to the enemy. If he would have been any good, there was no way the City of Ayutthaya would ever have fallen."

King Mangra granted Nai Khanom Tom freedom along with either riches or two beautiful Burmese wives. Nai Khanom Tom chose the wives as he said that money was easier to find. He then departed with his wives for Siam. Other variations of this story had him also winning the release of his fellow Thai prisoners. His feat is celebrated every March 17 as "Boxer's Day" or "National Muay Thai Day" in his honor and that of Muay Thai's.

Today, some have wrongly attributed the legend of "Nai Khanom Tom" to King Naresuan, who was once taken by the Burmese. However, Nai Khanom Tom and King Naresuan were almost two centuries apart.

(As their name they are "legends" and there is no concrete proof in this concern, however it is sure that there have been many fighters kept in the kingdom for entertainment purposes as keeping wrestlers in other kingdoms worldwide.

The most important "rennaissance" is the erection of modern "fight stadiums" such as "rajandamnern" and "lumpini" after 1950's with the erection of those stadiums the task is oriented to improve the "technics, capability etc" of fighters considering the needs and backbone of muay thai, many techniques have been created, adopted especially from wrestling.

Muay Thai techniques

Muay Thai consisted of an arsenal of nine weapons—the head, fists, elbows, knees and feet—known collectively as na-wa arwud. However in modern Muay Thai, both amateur and professional, headbutting an opponent is no longer allowed.

To strike and bind the opponent for both offensive and defensive purposes, small amounts of stand-up grappling are used: the clinch. Formal Muay Thai techniques are divided into two groups: Mae Mai or major techniques and Luk Mai or minor techniques. This is certainly the case with traditional stylists in Thailand, but is a less popular form of fighting in the contemporary world fighting circuit. It has evolved and incorporated much more powerful hand striking techniques used in western style boxing and the Thai style of exchanging blow for blow is no longer favorable. Note: when Muay Thai fighters compete against fighters of other styles (and if the rules permit it), they almost invariably emphasize elbow (sok) and knee (kao) techniques to gain a distinct advantage in fighting. Almost all techniques in Muay Thai use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block. The rotation of the hips in Muay Thai techniques, and intensive focus on "core muscles" (such as abdominal muscles and surrounding muscles) is very distinctive and is what sets Muay Thai apart from other styles of martial arts.

Punching (Chok)

English Thai Transliteration
Jab หมัดตรง Mud Trong
Hook หมัดเหวี่ยงสั้น Mud Wiang San
Swing หมัดเหวี่ยงยาว Mud Wiang Yao
Spinning Backfist หมัดเหวี่ยงกลับ Mud Wiang Glub
Uppercut หมัดเสย ( หมัดสอยดาว ) Mud Seuy
Cobra กระโดดชก Kra-dod Chok

The punch techniques in Muay Thai were originally quite simple being crosses and a long (or lazy) circular strike made with a straight (but not locked) arm and landing with the heel of the palm. Cross-fertilization with Western boxing and western martial arts mean the full range of western boxing punches are now used: jab, straight right/cross, hook, uppercut, shovel and corkscrew punches and overhands as well as hammer fists and back fists.

As a tactic, body punching is used less in Muay Thai than most other striking martial arts to avoid exposing the attacker's head to counter strikes from knees or elbows. To utilise the range of targeting points, in keeping with the Theory of Muay Thai—Centre Line, the advocate can use either Western or Thai stance which allows for either long range or short range attacks to be undertaken effectively without compromising guard.

Elbow (Tee sok)

The elbow can be used in several ways as a striking weapon: horizontal, diagonal-upwards, diagonal-downwards, uppercut, downward, backward-spinning and flying. From the side it can be used as either a finishing move or as a way to cut the opponent's eyebrow so that blood might block his vision. The blood also raises the opponent's awareness of being hurt which could affect his performance. This is the most common way of using the elbow. The diagonal elbows are faster than the other forms, but are less powerful. The uppercut and flying elbows are the most powerful, but are slower and easier to avoid or block. The downward elbow is usually used as a finishing move.
English Thai Transliteration
Elbow Slash ศอกตี Sok Tee
Horizontal Elbow ศอกตัด Sok Tud
Uppercut Elbow ศอกงัด Sok Ngud
Forward Elbow Thrust ศอกพุ่ง Sok Poong
Reverse Horizontal Elbow ศอกเหวี่ยงกลับ Sok Wiang Glub
Spinning Elbow ศอกกลับ Sok Glub
Elbow Chop ศอกสับ Sok Sub
Double Elbow Chop ศอกกลับคู่ Sok Glub Koo
Mid-Air Elbow Strike กระโดดศอก Gra-dode Sok

There is also a distinct difference between a single elbow and a follow-up elbow. The single elbow is an elbow move independent from any other move, whereas a follow-up elbow is the second strike from the same arm, being a hook or straight punch first with an elbow follow-up. Such elbows, and most other elbows, are used when the distance between fighters becomes too small and there is too little space to throw a hook at the opponent's head. Elbows can also be utilised to great effect as blocks or defences against, for example, spring knees, side body knees, body kicks or punches.

Kicking (Tae)

Thrusting kick
English Thai Transliteration
Straight Kick เตะตรง Tae Trong
Roundhouse Kick เตะตัด Tae Tud
Diagonal Kick เตะเฉียง Tae Chiang
Half-Shin, Half-Knee Kick เตะครึ่งแข้งครึ่งเข่า Tae Krueng Kheng Krueng Kao
Spinning Heel Kick เตะกลับหลัง Tae Glub Lang
Down Roundhouse Kick เตะกด Tae Kod
Axe Heel Kick เตะเข่า Tae Khao
Jump Kick กระโดดเตะ Gra-dode Tae
Step-Up Kick เขยิบเตะ KhaYiep Tae

The two most common kicks in Muay Thai are known as the teep (literally "foot jab,"), and the Tae(kick)chiang (kicking upwards in the shape of a triangle cutting under the arm and ribs) or angle kick. The Muay Thai angle kick has been widely adopted by fighters from other martial arts and is considered one of or the most powerful kicks in martial arts. The angle kick uses a rotational movement of the entire body. The angle kick is superficially similar to a karate roundhouse kick, but it uses less rotation of the lower leg from the knee used in other striking martial arts like Karate or Taekwondo. The angle kick draws its power entirely from the rotational movement of the body. Many Muay Thai fighters use a counter rotation of the arms to intensify the power of this kick. Muay Thai has a style of kicking unique to the martial art.

If a round house kick is attempted by the opponent the Muay Thai fighter will normally check the kick, that is he will block the kick with his own shin. Thai boxers are trained to always connect with the shin. While sensitive in an unconditioned practitioner, the shin is the strongest part of the leg for experienced Muay Thai fighters. The foot contains many fine bones and is much weaker. A fighter may end up hurting himself if he tries to strike with his foot or instep.

Muay Thai also includes other varieties of kicking, such as the axe kick, side kick or spinning back kick etc. These kicks are only used in bouts by some fighters. It is worth noting that a side kick is performed differently in Muay Thai than the traditional side kick of other martial arts. In Muay Thai, a side kick is executed by first raising the knee of the leg that is going to kick in order to convince the opponent that the executor is going to perform a teep or front kick. The hips are then shifted to the side to the more traditional side kick position for the kick itself. The "fake-out" almost always precedes the kick in Muay Thai technique.

Knee (Tee kao)

English Thai Transliteration
Straight Knee Strike เข่าตรง Kao Trong
Diagonal Knee Strike เข่าเฉียง Kao Chiang
Curving Knee Strike เข่าโค้ง Kao Kong
Horizontal Knee Strike เข่าตัด Kao Tud
Knee Slap เข่าตบ Kao Tob
Knee Bomb เข่ายาว Kao Youwn
Jumping Knee เข่าลอย Kao Loi
Step-Up Knee Strike เข่าเหยียบ Kao Yiep

  • Kao Dode (Jumping knee strike) – the Thai boxer jumps up on one leg and strikes with that leg's knee.
  • Kao Loi (Flying knee strike) – the Thai boxer takes step(s), jumps forward and off one leg and strikes with that leg's knee.
  • Kao Tone (Straight knee strike) – the Thai boxer simply thrusts it forward (not upwards, unless he is holding an opponents head down in a clinch and intend to knee upwards into the face). According to one written source, this technique is somewhat more recent than Kao Dode or Kao Loi. Supposedly, when the Thai boxers fought with rope-bound hands rather than the modern boxing gloves, this particular technique was subject to potentially vicious cutting, slicing and sawing by an alert opponent who would block it or deflect it with the sharp "rope-glove" edges which are sometimes dipped in water to make the rope much stronger. This explanation also holds true for some of the following knee strikes below as well. In an episode of Fight Science, martial artists performed and tested their most powerful kicks with a crash test dummie and scientest testing their power, the kicks including were the karate side kick, kung fu flying double kick and taekwondo spinning back kick, the last one was the Muay Thai Knee Strike performed by Melchor Menor, a Muay Thai champion tested his Knee Strike which in terms of force, power, damage and chest deflection, inflicted the most out of all of the other techniques.

Foot-thrust (teep)

Foot-Thrusts also Kicks or literally "foot jabs" are one of the most common techniques used in Muay Thai. Teeps are different from any other Muay Thai technique in terms of objective to use. Foot-thrusts are mainly used as a defensive technique to control distance, block attacks, and get an opponent off balance. Foot-Thrusts should be thrown quickly but yet with enough force to knock an opponent off balance.
English Thai Transliteration
Straight Foot-Thrust ถีบตรง Teep Trong
Sideways Foot-Thrust ถีบข้าง Teep Kang
Reverse Foot-Thrust ถีบกลับหลัง Teep Glub Lang
Slapping Foot-Thrust ถีบตบ Teep Tob
Jumping Foot-Thrust กระโดดถีบ Gra-dode Teep

Clinch & Neck Wrestling (Djab-ko)

In Western Boxing the two fighters are separated when they clinch; in Muay Thai, however, they are not. It is often in the clinch where knee and elbow techniques are used.It seems that the methodology of "djab -ko" is evolved from "greco roman style wrestling maneuvers " especially after 1940's with some differences enabling especially "knee attacks " and also "elbows" with a much more stiffer stance... The front clinch should be performed with the palm of one hand on the back of the other. There are three reasons why the fingers must not be intertwined. 1) In the ring fighters are wearing boxing gloves and cannot intertwine their fingers. 2) The Thai front clinch involves pressing the head of the opponent downwards, which is easier if the hands are locked behind the back of the head instead of behind the neck. Furthermore the arms should be putting as much pressure on the neck as possible. 3) A fighter may incur an injury to one or more fingers if they are intertwined, and it becomes more difficult to release the grip in order to quickly elbow the opponent's head.

A correct clinch also involves the fighter's forearms pressing against the opponent's collar bone while the hands are around the opponent's head rather than the opponent's neck. The general way to get out of a clinch is to push the opponent's head backwards or elbow him or her, as the clinch requires both participants to be very close to one another. Additionally, the non-dominant clincher can try to "swim" his or her arm underneath and inside the opponent's clinch, establishing the previously non-dominant clincher as the dominant clincher.

Muay Thai has several other variants of the clinch, including:
  • arm clinch, where one or both hands controls the inside of the defender's arm(s) and where the second hand if free is in the front clinch position, this clinch is used to briefly control the opponent before applying a knee strike or throw
  • side clinch, one arm passing around the front of the defender with the attacker's shoulder pressed into the defender's arm pit and the other arm passing round the back which allows the attacker to apply knee strikes to the defender's back or to throw the defender readily
  • low clinch, with both controlling arms passing under the defender's arms, which is generally used by the shorter of two opponents
  • swan-neck where one hand around the rear of the neck is used to briefly clinch an opponent (before a strike).

Defense against attacks

Defenses in Muay Thai are categorised in 6 groups:

  • Blocking – defender's hard blocks to stop a strike in its path so preventing it reaching its target, (eg the Shin Block described in more detail below)

  • Redirection – defender's soft parries to change the direction of a strike (eg a downwards tap to a jab) so that it misses the target

  • Avoidance – moving a body part out of the way or range of a strike so the defender remains in range for a counter-strike, eg defender moving the front leg backwards from the attacker's low kick: then immediately counter-attacking with an angle kick: or defender laying the head back from the attacker's high angle kick: then immediately counter-attacking with a side kick from the front leg:

  • Evasion – moving the body out of the way or range of a strike so the defender has to move close again to counter-attack, eg defender jumping back from attacker's kicks

  • Disruption – Pre-empting an attack. eg with defender using disruptive techniques like jab, teep or low angle kick (to the inside of the attacker's front leg) as the attacker attempts to close distance

  • Anticipation – Defender catching a strike (eg catching an angle kick to the body) or countering it before it lands (eg defender's low kick to the supporting leg below as the attacker iniates a high angle kick).

Punches and kicks

Defensively, the concept of "wall of defence" is used, in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to hinder the attacker from successfully executing techniques. Blocking is a critical element in Muay Thai and compounds the level of conditioning a successful practitioner must possess. Low and mid body roundhouse kicks are normally blocked with the upper portion of a raised shin. High body strikes are blocked with the forearm/glove, elbow/shin.Mid section roundhouse kicks can also be caught/trapped, allowing for a sweep or counter attack to the remaining leg of the opponent. Punches are blocked with an ordinary boxing guard and techniques similar, if not identical, to basic boxing technique. A common means of blocking a punch is using the hand on the same side as the oncoming punch. For example, if an orthodox fighter throws a jab (being the left hand), the defender will make a slight tap to redirect the punch's angle with the right hand. The deflection is always as small and precise as possible to avoid unnecessary energy expenditure and return the hand to the guard as quickly as possible. Hooks are most often blocked with a motion most often described as "combing your hair," raising the elbow forward and effectively shielding the head with the forearm, flexed biceps, and shoulder. More advanced Muay Thai blocks are usually counters, used to damage the opponent to prevent another attack being made.The punching technics of muay thai consists of "long distance punches " in common and are a bit different if compared to "quinsburry-western style boxing" in general...the reason of this is that the fighters are challenging against kicks ,the thai fighters mostly use the long direct punches as an intremediate step into throwing kicks ,knees or elbows......however, there are also many fighters using "western style boxing methodology" and getting also success...


A fighter doing some heavy bag work in a training camp in Thailand
Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. Muay Thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition. Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases weight training. Muay Thai practitioners typically apply Namman Muay liberally before and after their intense training sessions.

Training that is specific to a Muay Thai fighter includes training with coaches on Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bag, and sparring. The daily training includes many rounds (3-5 minute periods broken up by a short rest, often 1–2 minutes) of these various methods of practice. Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning which involves practicing punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer wearing thick pads which cover the forearms and hands. These special pads are used to absorb the impact of the fighter’s strikes and allow the fighter to react to the attacks of the pad holder. The trainer will often also wear a belly pad around the abdominal area so that the fighter can attack with straight kicks or knees to the body at anytime during the round.

Focus mitts are specific to training a fighter’s hand speed, punch combinations, timing, punching power, defense, and counter-punching and may also be used to practice elbow strikes. Heavy bag training is a conditioning and power exercise that reinforces the techniques practiced on the pads. Sparring is a means to test technique, skills, range, strategy, and timing against a partner. Sparring is often a light to medium contact exercise because competitive fighters on a full schedule are not advised to risk injury by sparring hard. Specific tactics and strategies can be trained with sparring including in close fighting, clinching and kneeing only, cutting off the ring, or using reach and distance to keep an aggressive fighter away.

Due to the rigorous training regimen (some Thai boxers fight almost every other week) professional Muay Thai fighters have relatively short careers in the ring. Many retire from competition to begin instructing the next generation of Thai fighters. It is a common myth that Thai boxing causes arthritis ; this is not true, and it is in no way more damaging to the body than other sports such as karate or even running. Most professional Thai boxers come from the lower economic backgrounds, and the fight money (after the other parties get their cut) is sought as means of support for the fighters and their families. Very few higher economic strata Thais join the professional Muay Thai ranks; they usually either don't practice the sport or practice it only as amateur Muay Thai boxers.


Muay Thai is practiced in many different countries. There are different rules depending on what country the fight is in and under what organization the fight is arranged. The following is a link to the rules section of the Sports Authority of Thailand.


Most popular brands in Thaiboxing are Twins Special and Fairtex. Both are based in Thailand and sell muay thai equipment worldwide.

Use in other martial arts


Muay Thai, along with savate, karate, and taekwondo heavily influenced the development of kickboxing in Japan, Europe, and North America. Especially "kickboxing" has been considered as "Modified Muay Thai" during 1970-1980 's ,which has been introduced by"Kurosaki" and his Durch followers till 1990's until to this time the organizations were named as "Karate associations "such as "WKA- World Karate Association and later they changed in their names the "karate" into "kickboxing" due to the domination of those "kickboxers who were actually muay thai fighters". "However, unlike Muay Thai, most kickboxing competitions do not allow elbow strikes or prolonged clinching knee strikes to avoid potential fight ending cuts. American kickboxing does not allow kicks below the waist.

Mixed martial arts

Starting in the 1990s, Muay Thai has enjoyed a boost in popularity worldwide as it has been very effective in mixed martial arts training and competition. MMA artists such as Mauricio Rua, Wanderlei Silva, and Anderson Silva have combined many striking elements of Muay Thai with grappling, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into a hybrid synthesis that has been highly effective in their fights.

In the UFC, Muay Thai is slowly becoming a part of a few mixed martial arts fighters, as well as Karate and other martial arts. In the early days of the UFC, many titleholders relied on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling to subdue their opponents. Over the past several years, a few fighters who claim Muay Thai as their main fighting style (such as Anderson Silva) have become titleholders.

In popular culture


  • The documentary feature film Fight or Flight starring Peter J McCarthy and also Andy Tompson of Lanna Muay Thai, based on an epic journey into Thailand's ring fighting circuit. Fight or Flight has won "Best Foreign Documentary" at the Long Island Film Festival. Also "Best Documentary" at festivals in Hamburg, Toronto and TVIFF in California. The official website is
  • In 2004, Muay Thai boxer Asanee Suwan was named best actor at the Thailand National Film Association Awards for his portrayal of Parinya Charoenphol in Beautiful Boxer. The movie tells the true-life story of a man who masters Muay Thai in order to realize his dream of becoming a woman.
  • The 1971 Shaw Brothers Studio film, Duel of Fists, is set in Bangkokmarker's Lumpinee Boxing Stadiummarker and stars Ti Lung as a Muay Thai boxer who is the long-lost brother of a Hong Kong martial artist, portrayed by David Chiang.
  • Recently the films Ong-Bak, The Protector and Born to Fight helped to popularize Muay Thai. Ong-Bak demonstrates some techniques of Muay Boran and Tom-Yum-Goong illustrates the fighting style of the Thai Royal Bodyguards (Jaturongkabaht, circa 1400–1700s): Muay Koshasan (Elephant Boxing style). Muay Koshasan is also known as Muay Chang Tumlai Roang (Smashing Elephant Boxing style) in that it emphasizes a lot of throwing, crushing, and breaking of joints and limbs.
  • The film Chok Dee starring Dida Diafat who plays himself in this semi-fictional story of his life. The film covers a lot of the training filmed in the Muay Thai camps of Bangkok.
  • The film Kickboxer starring Jean Claude van Damme is about a young fighter who learns Muay Thai to avenge his brother, who was paralyzed by the current champion/thug.
  • The 1988 movie Bloodsport features Paulo Tocha as a Muay Thai fighter named "Paco".


  • RTE television Ireland have acquired to screen Fight or Flight, the feature documentary which won "Best Foreign Documentary" at the Long Island Film Festival in 2009 Fight of Flight.
  • The Contender Asia is a 15 episode reality show featuring 16 Muay Thai fighters from around the world. [2916]
  • The History channel took a deep look into the history and fighting techniques in Muay Thai on their show Human Weapon.
  • True Life: I'm a Muay Thai Fighter follows two American Thai boxers, Kit Cope and Ben Garcia, as they travel overseas to make their mark in the brutal world of Muay Thai fighting, Thailand's national sport, which combines kicking, punching and wrestling with few restrictions. Kit and Ben are each scheduled to compete in bare-knuckle fights that will be broadcast live on television all across Thailand.[2917]
  • Power Rangers: Jungle Fury and the source of its footage, Juken Sentai Gekiranger, both depict the Violet Ranger as a Muay Thai-style warrior. He sports the prajed, dual elbow bands worn by Thai fighters; and mainly uses elbow and knee attacks, often performing Ongbak-style flying knee strikes.
  • Fight Girls is a reality show similar to the Ultimate Fighter, where ten female fighters live together and train with a Muay Thai instructor in Las Vegas for six weeks in an effort to fight for a Muay Thai championship in Thailand. The group of women is narrowed down to five via a three round fight between house mates set up by the head trainer. The losing fighter is eliminated from the house and the winner will go to Thailand at the end of the season. Head Trainer: Master Toddy. Mentors : Lisa "the black widow" King and Gina Carano.
  • On Gaki no Tsukai, it is standard to bring in a kickboxer, Ernesto Hoost to punish the losing contestants of the no laughing batsu games. They are usually regarded as the worse of punishments doled out.
  • In the Anime "Kenichi: The Mightiest Disiple" (or also known as History Strongest Disciple:Kenichi) Kenichi (Main character) learns from Apachai a Muay Thai master. Later in the manga, he faces a Muay Boran fighter from the Yami Organisation.
  • In the Discovery Channel's series, Fight Quest, Jimmy Smith trains in Muay Thai.
  • In the Travel Channel series pilot Dhani Tackles The Globe Dhani Jones learns Muay Thai Boxing.

Video games

  • In Capcom's Street Fighter video game series, the character Sagat is a Muay Thai master and a national hero in Thailand. His student Adon is also a practitioner.
  • In SNK's Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting and King of Fighters video game series, Joe Higashi and King utilize Muay Thai as their fighting styles.
  • In SNK's World Heroes 2, the character Shura/Naikanom Tom is based on the legendary Muay Thai hero, Nai Khanom Tom.
  • In the Dead or Alive video game series, the fighter Zack is a self-taught Muay Thai master.
  • In True Crime: NYC it is possible to learn Muay Thai. The game shows a kick strike, an elbow strike, a clinch grapple, and a flying knee attack as a special move.
  • In the Virtua Fighter video game series, the character Brad Burns is an undefeated Muay Thai champion from Italy.
  • In Namco's Tekken series, Bruce Irvin is highly skilled in the art of Muay Thai. ((Bryan Fury)) uses a personally modified version of Muay Thai
  • In ((Virtua Fighter)) series, ((Vanessa Lewis)) uses Muay Thai as an alternate style. With the appearance of ((Brad Burns)), another Muay Thai practitioner, ((Vanessa Lewis)) sticks to her ((Vale Tudo)) fighting style.
  • In UFC undisputed the most of the fighters use Muay Thai as a primary fighting style.

See also


  1. "The Story of Nai Khanom Tom"
  2. "Muay Thai Weapons"


Books and articles Muay Thai Chaiya

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