Lumpinee Boxing Stadium ( different spellings seem to occur but the area is Lumphini
& the Stadium is Lumpinee ) is an indoor sporting arena located in Bangkok, Thailand.
Opened more than a decade later than Rajadamnern Stadium ( this stadium can be seen
on the Google satellite map on the first page ) the Lumpinee is run by Royal Thai
Army for the Thai Government. It has become the symbol of modern Muay Thai. Only
Rachadamnoen Stadium rivals the prestige of holding the title of "Muay Thai Champion
of Lumpinee". The ranking system and championship titles are held from Flyweight
(111 lb) up to Welterweight (147 lb). Muay Thai contests are held on every Tuesdays,
Fridays and Saturdays. The fights usually start around 6.00 p.m. Ticket prices range
from 200 to 2,000 Baht.
Muay Thai is the martial arts style of fighting in Thailand. Muay Thai is the Thai
form of a hard martial art originating in Indochina. It is similar to Muay Lao from
Laos, pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia and closely related to lethwei
from Myanmar. The art has a long history in Thailand and is the country's national
sport. Muay Thai as it is practiced today varies significantly from its ancestor
Muay Boran, such as in its use of gloves similar to those worn in Western boxing.
The word Muay derives from the Sanskrit Mavya and Thai comes from the word Tai. Muay
Thai is called the - Art of Eight Limbs - because it makes use of punches, kicks,
elbows and knee strikes. A practitioner of Muay Thai - called a nak Muay or child
of boxing - thus has the ability to attack using eight points of contact, as opposed
to two points namely fists as in Western boxing and four points - hands and feet.
Various forms of kickboxing have long been practiced throughout mainland Southeast
Asia. Based on Chinese and Indian martial arts, practitioners claim they date back
two thousand years. Cambodia, one of the most influential countries in Indochina,
may have been instrumental in spreading the art across the region. In Thailand, Muay
Thai evolved from Muay Boran (ancient boxing), an unarmed combat method which would
probably have been used by Siamese soldiers after loosing their weapons in battle.
Some believe that the ancient Siamese military created Muay Thai from the weapon-based
art of Krabi Krabong but others contend that the two were merely developed alongside
each other. Krabi Krabong nevertheless was an important influence on Muay Thai as
can be seen in several kicks, holds and the movements in the wai khru which have
their origins in armed combat. As well as being a practical fighting technique for
use in actual warfare, Muay became a sport in which the opponents fought in front
of spectators who went to watch for entertainment. These Muay contests gradually
became an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held
at temples. It was even used as entertainment for kings. Eventually, the previously
bare-fisted fighters started wearing lengths of hemp rope around their hands and
forearms. Muay gradually became a possible means of personal advancement as the nobility
increasingly esteemed skilful 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, princes or the king's personal guards. Cont: page 3