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Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, its history

Lumpinee Boxing Stadium Page 2, about Muay Thai

Formal Muay Thai techniques are divided into two groups: Mae Mai or major techniques and Luk Mai or minor techniques. Muay Thai is often a fighting art of attrition, where opponents exchange blows with each other. This is certainly the case with traditional stylists in Thailand, but is a less popular form of fighting in the contemporary world fighting circuit where the Thai style of exchanging blow for blow is no longer favourable. Note: when Muay Thai fighters compete against fighters of other styles (and if the rules permit it), they almost invariably emphasize elbow (sok) and knee (kao) techniques to gain a distinct advantage in fighting. Almost all techniques in Muay Thai use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, elbow and block. The rotation of the hips in Muay Thai techniques, and intensive focus on core muscles (such as abdominal muscles and surrounding muscles) is very distinctive and is what sets Muay Thai apart from other martial arts.

Like most competitive full contact fighting sports, Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. Muay Thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition. Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning such as running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and sometimes weight training. Muay Thai practitioners typically apply Namman Muay liberally before and after their intense training sessions.

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Some time during the Ayutthaya period, a platoon of royal guards was established, whose duty was to protect king and the country. They were known as Grom Nak Muay (Muay Fighters' Regiment). This royal patronage of Muay continued through the reigns of Rama V and VII. The ascension of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the throne in 1868 ushered in a golden age not only for Muay but for the whole country of Thailand. Muay progressed greatly during the reign of Rama V as a direct result of the king's personal interest in the art. The country was at peace and Muay functioned as a means of physical exercise, self-defence, recreation, and personal advancement. Masters of the art began teaching Muay in training camps where students were provided with food and shelter. Trainees would be treated as one family and it was customary for students to adopt the camp's name as their own surname. Scouts would be sent by the royal family to organise matches between different camps. King Rama the VII pushed for codified rules for Muay Thai, and they were put into place. Thailand's first boxing ring was built in 1921 at Suan Kularp. Referees were introduced and rounds were now timed by clock. Fighters at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium began wearing modern gloves during training and in boxing matches against foreigners. Rope-binding was still used in fights between Thai’s but after the occurrence of a death in the ring, it was decided that, fighters should wear gloves and cotton coverlets over the feet and ankles. It was also around this time that the term Muay Thai became commonly used while the older form of the style was referred to as Muay Boran. With the success of Muay Thai in mixed martial arts, it has become the  martial art of choice for competitive stand-up fighters.

Lumpinee Boxing Stadium Page 4, its History and Rules