Thai Boxing – Muay Thai in Phuket
Thai boxing or Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. This martial art has its origins in the ancient battlefield skills of the Thais. It evolved from Krabi-Krabong, literally sword and baton, the hand-to-hand tactics the Thais used in warfare. As a spectator sport, Muay Thai began as bouts between different companies within the Siamese army with few rules and no weight divisions or time limits.
In the 1930s, the rules of Thai Boxing were changed in the interest of safety to be based on the Marquis of Queensbury’s rules. Contestants now had to wear international style gloves, as opposed to horsehide straps that were in common usage, but were still allowed to use almost any part of their body – feet, elbows, legs, knees, and shoulders. In fact the only part of the body that can’t be used is the head.
Further reading: History of Thai Boxing.
The main venue in Phuket is the Phuket Boxing Stadium, in the Saphan Hin district of Phuket City. Bouts are held every Friday evening from about 8pm.
There are also nightly fights in a specially built venue at the corner of Soi Sansabai and the road that runs behind Jungceylon (Phungmuang Road). Though these fights are aimed at tourists, they can still be quite ferocious and provide an entertaining spectacle.
If you are interested in learning Thai Boxing or want to train, Phuket has a a few Muay Thai training camps.
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