Muay Thai - An Effective Hard Style Thai Boxing Martial Arts
Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, is the national sport of Thailand. Its origins are shrouded in mystery, but it can be agreed that it has existed for at least nearly the entire history of Thailand.
In recent times, it has enjoyed an immense amount of popularity, and some of its techniques have been incorporated into other fighting styles.
Muay Thai is classified as a "Hard Style" martial art, putting it in the same category as Western Boxing, Karate and Tae Kwon Do.
In distinction from "Soft Styles" such as Judo and Aikido, the emphasis is on power and toughness, striking and being stricken, rather than throwing and restraining.
As a Hard Style, Muay Thai can't be beat. In its purest form, it uses 9 striking points: the head, both hands and feet, and both knees and elbows.
In competition, the head is removed as a striking weapon, leaving 8 points to strike with. The striking techniques have been considered almost universally the most powerful of all the Hard Styles.
Since its Westernizing, it has incorporated the punching techniques of Western Boxing, adding to the list of ways you can brutalize your opponent.
It is the main Hard Style that survived the melting pot of Mixed Martial Arts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and PRIDE. For toe to toe non-grappling fighting, it is the hands-down winner.
There are some problems with using Muay Thai as a self defense technique. These are primarily in that you have to spend hours of training and conditioning for months before you become effective at it.
The kicks focus a great deal on using the shins as striking implements.
Considered a weak point in most other fighting styles, the shins are actually conditioned to be used as weapons.
This means months of toughening your shins. Needless to say, for the average person, that's months of excruciating torture.
Also, as a Hard Style, you have to develop your technique, speed and power in months of training.
You may not have that long before you get attacked in the street. You need something with immediate results.