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Muay Thai

"In the distant past, Muay Thai instructors were very careful in choosing their students. They required their students to have honesty, integrity, courtesy, and humility. Students learned their skills only to defend their country, families, or their lives. This rule was strictly enforced - street brawling was strictly forbidden.

This holds true in more modern times. Instructors still hold their boxers by the same guidelines. Thai boxers do not need to speak loudly, brawl, boast, or be disrespectful. They fight against each other fiercely when in the ring, but not outside the ring. To be a good fighter and a good champion, one must be humble and respectful. The spectators love that kind of a fighter."

- Mark "The Hyena" Beecher

Muay Thai, translated into English as "Thai Boxing," is the national sport of Thailand and is a martial art with origins in the ancient battlefield tactics of the Siamese (or Thai) army. It evolved from Krabi-Krabong, literally sword and baton, the hand-to-hand tactics of the Thai army. The early Muay Thai bouts pitted different companies within the Siamese army against each other with few rules and no weight divisions or time limits. They became quite popular and eventually were shown in stadia across the country. In the early 20th century, time limits, boxing gloves, and a uniform set of rules were introduced. During the latter half of the 20th century Muay Thai was exported to many countries and is now practiced by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.

Muay Thai is known as "King of the Ring" in kickboxing circles. These fights feature punches, kicks, elbows, knees, and standing grappling to wear down and knock out opponents. Thai training methods develop devastating power and speed, and superb cardio-vascular endurance, as well as fighting spirit. Muay Thai training is also quite safe thanks to sophisticated pad training that evolved to keep fighters healthy between fights. Muay Thai has also proven very effective outside the ring and has been embraced enthusiastically by practitioners of a variety of self-defense, sporting, military, and law enforcement organizations.

The Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A. (TBA), the oldest and largest Muay Thai organization in the United States, was founded in 1968 by Ajarn Surachai "Chai" Sirisute. (Ajarn is Thai for "master instructor".) Ajarn Chai came to the United States with a vision to spread Muay Thai throughout the world. He is the first ever Thai boxing instructor to teach Americans this art, and he has worked tirelessly for more than 45 years to that end. We are indeed grateful to Ajarn Chai for his gift of the knowledge of Muay Thai.