Muaythai (Thai Boxing) is what the Thai people call their own martial art. The art of muaythai has been the country's most popular spectator sport for hundreds of years. It is unique among other kinds of fighting disciplines in its approach to close quarters fighting. Fighters are able to more effectively use their elbows, knees, feet and fists than in other martial arts,muaythai is referred to as "The Art of the Eight Limbs", as the hands; shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively.
Today Muaythai is a variation of Muaythai Boran which translates to "Ancient Boxing", So uses kicks , knee, elbows and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in western boxing.
he "Wai Kru" or "Wai-Khru" also known as boxing dance is an important part of any evening watching Thai Boxing. These are ceremonies that are performed before each muaythai bout. Sometimes the "Wai-Kru"are brief and basic, but other times they may be eloquent performances that draw praise and applause from the crowd. It is said that those who see well can determine who will win the fight by watching two fighters perform their "Wai-Kru". Teachers are highly respected in Thai society, and many artistic disciplines, not just muaythai, perform "Wai-Kru" or"respects to the teacher". Foreigners viewing these rituals should take care to be polite and not act disrespectfully regarding the "Wai-Kru". The Thais take seriously any insult to the "Wai-Kru", just as you would if somebody insulted your spiritual beliefs.
Before the competition of muaythai, Krabi-Krabong (Thai swords) , or any other thai ancient weapons martial arts , every competitor must perform the "Wai-Kru" ritual and perform the boxing dance which is the continued tradition since ancient times."Wai-Kru" is a way to pay respect to his majesty the king or the chairman of the competition tournament. Furthermore , "Wai-Kru" is the way to realize the goodness of the master who gave them the knowledge. It's also the way to create the strength of their mind. The style of the dance is unique to each boxing bureau. Boxers who danced the same style wouldn't box each other since they realize that they have the same master. Furthermore, to dance is one way to warm up before starting the fight . It also helps relax the stress and to prepare body and mind to be ready to get into the battle.