Muay Thai – Often referred to as ‘The Art of Eight Limbs,’ Muay Thai fighters utilize both legs and arms, with the end goal of taking down their opponent. Each body part serves as its own, individual weapon: fighters’ hands serve as swords, their shins as shields and armour and their elbows and knees as a hammer or axe. Fights usually do not go on for more than five rounds, lasting three minutes each. The Muay Thai in Phuket is world renowned for developing future fighters. While we are not all aiming for the championship belt, Muay Thai is a great way to burn off those excess holiday calories.
Where or from whom Muay Thai actually originated from has yet to be discovered entirely. Most records were destroyed in 1767 after the Burmese army apparently burned all records of its roots. There are still many stories, however, as to how this martial art form came about.
One is that all Thai military members were taught this hand-to-hand form of combat as a means of protection against neighbouring countries, including Myanmar and Cambodia. Another says that as Thai people moved south from China, the struggle to occupy land forced them to develop their fighting skills to defend both themselves and their land from the threat of possible invasion.
It is not uncommon for serious Muay Thai students to make a pilgrimage to Thailand to train and study. While finding a qualified Muay Thai instructor is becoming easier than it once was, it is still essential to choose your instructor and gym wisely. At the very least, your trainer should be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sport.
If your thinking of joining up to a Muay Thai class while on vacation in Phuket. The good news is, the gym you go to has more than likely dealt with new people hundreds of times. Rarely will a gym throw you into the lion’s den. Most first day classes will involve instruction on how the class is operated, rarely will it require any Muay Thai sparring. However, you should still be prepared to sweat, especially during the warm-up workout.
Muay Thai Classes can be held privately in your villa, or for a full-day experience here are some of Phuket’s top Muay Thai schools.
1. Tiger Muay Thai
7/6 Moo 5 Soi Taled Chalong
Tel: (+66) 076 367 071 or 076 367 072
2. Sumalee Boxing Gym
234 Moo 3, Soi Hua Tha, Sri Sunthon Road
Tel: (+66) 088 017 3020
3. Sinbi Muay Thai
100/15 Moo 7, Soi Sai Yuan, Rawai
Tel: +66 (0)83 391 5535
4. Kingka Supa Muay Thai
43/42 Moo 7, Viset Road, Rawai
Tel: +66 (0)7 622 6495
5. Suwit Muay Thai Camp
15 Moo 1, Chao Fa Road (opposite the Phuket Zoo turnoff), Chalong
Tel: +66 (0)81 737 6072
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