Muay Thai is a self-defense. This is one of Martial art origin in Thailand. Muay Thai is national sport of Thailand called "Art of the Eight Limbs" (two hands, two shins, two elbows, two knees.) In the past, Muay was trained by the king and senior soldiers for combat on battlefields. After they retired, they were as the monks in Buddhism and stayed at the temples. Thai people life is close with regional. Most of people sent the son to learn everything with the monks. Muay is the art use with or without weapons in the past to combat on battlefields. (Not enough weapons for everyone but must fight for survive!!)
When Muay Thai Started?
Hundred years ago, Muay was competitions. However, many fighters injuries and someone was died from the competitions. So we developed Muay to sport for safety and acceptable for world class. So, Muay was deduct some dangerous strike weapons and improve more standard like fight in the ring like western boxing, use the boxing gloves instead of Kaad chuek (Hand wrap) to save fighter from injury. We call Muay after developed "Professional Muay Thai".
Muay Thai Today
Nowaday, Professional Muay Thai is very popular around the world. Many fighter train Muay Thai to self-defense. Muay Thai is starting to be recognised as a competetive sport, and will be shown at the Olympics. Some fighters train to fight on the ring to be champion specially Thai fighters. They usually come from poor family and need the chance for better life. Award for the champion can change the life. While, Western fighters popular train Muay Thai for use in Mix Martial Arts, MMA and UFC. and Japan developed Muay Thai to Kickboxing and K-1 fighting.