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In our modern popular culture, muay thai became known mainly thanks to the rise of professional UsefulNotes/{{Kickboxing}} and UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, in which it soon established itself as the crown jewel of striking styles due to its flexibility, efficiency and physical preparation. However, you may possibly know it thanks to film star and notable exponent Tony Jaa, who gave us films like ''Film/OngBak''.

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In our modern popular culture, muay thai became known mainly thanks to the rise of professional UsefulNotes/{{Kickboxing}} and UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, in which it soon established itself as the crown jewel of striking styles due to its flexibility, efficiency and physical preparation. However, you may possibly know it thanks to film star and notable exponent Tony Jaa, Creator/TonyJaa, who gave us films like ''Film/OngBak''.
''Film/OngBak'', or thanks to the ''Film/{{Kickboxer}}'' series.


Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related to Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles are subjects of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.

to:

Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Malaysia (which is directly descended from Muay Thai as it was introduced by the Siamese communities in Kedah and Kelantan before the Islamization movement in the 80s), Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related to Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles are subjects of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.



* DanceBattler: Thai fighters are expected to perform a ritual dance named ''wai kru ram muay'' before fighting. Also, ritual music is played during the fight itself, which gives to the match a dance feel (a really violent dance, that is).

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* DanceBattler: Thai fighters are expected to perform a ritual dance named ''wai kru ram muay'' before fighting. Also, ritual music is played during the fight itself, which gives to the match a dance feel (a really violent dance, that is). Malaysian Tomoi as a descendant art also had this in its beginnings, but the Islamization movement that banned the sport for years until it was legalized again in 2006, but still banned the ritual chanting and dance due to its Hindu-Buddhist influences, though they did keep the music.

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** This is especially true of their shins, which are notoriously tough. The shin is the part of the leg a Nak muay kicks (and defends from kicks) with, and can safely be toughened much further than the other striking surfaces (elbows, knees, fists). Training includes kicking bags, trees and each other's shins to condition them. Kicking with or being kicked in the shin hurts ''very'' much, as anyone who has taken a low kick from Muay Thai can tell you.


[[caption-width-right:350:TIGER KNEE!]]

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[[caption-width-right:350:TIGER KNEE!]][[caption-width-right:350:[[VideoGame/StreetFighter TIGER KNEE!]]]]


** Brazilian Muay Thai is more wild and aggressive than the traditional variant from Thailand thanks to being influenced by the near rule-free "Vale Tudo" competitions of Brazil. Brazilian nak muay favor a constant offense with a focus on taking the clinch position to knee opponents into submission, a habit brought about by mixing Muay Thai with the native "Luta Livre" grappling styles of Brazil. Many of the instructors of Chute Boxe, the premier Muay Thai training center of Brazil, had also been Taekwondo blackbelts before falling in love with Thai boxing. As a result many Brazilian nak muay pick up [[HurricaneKick complicated spinning kicks]] alongside the normal MT repertoire. While these kicks are [[AwesomeButImpractical normally low percentage moves]] Brazilian nak muay still manage to frequently land them by combining them with the more linear but practical tactics of Muay Thai [[DifficultButAwesome often leading to spectacular K.O.s]].

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** Brazilian Muay Thai is more wild and aggressive than the traditional variant from Thailand thanks to being influenced by the near rule-free "Vale Tudo" competitions of Brazil. Brazilian nak muay favor a constant offense with a focus on taking the clinch position to knee opponents into submission, a habit brought about by mixing Muay Thai with the native "Luta Livre" grappling styles of Brazil. Many of the instructors of Chute Boxe, the premier Muay Thai training center of Brazil, had also been Taekwondo blackbelts before falling in love with Thai boxing.boxing (though actually almost all the early Brazilian nak muay were Taekwondo practitioners). As a result many Brazilian nak muay pick up [[HurricaneKick complicated spinning kicks]] alongside the normal MT repertoire. While these kicks are [[AwesomeButImpractical normally low percentage moves]] Brazilian nak muay still manage to frequently land them by combining them with the more linear but practical tactics of Muay Thai [[DifficultButAwesome often leading to spectacular K.O.s]].

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* OddFriendship: In the old vale tudo scene, Muay Thai was commonly associated with Brazilian luta livre, to the point that most of the greatest lutadores (Flavio Molina, Eugenio Tadeu, Hugo Duarte and Marco Ruas, among others) were nak muay as well. This was mostly due to an EnemyMine situation against the jiu-jitsu boom in Brazil, along with the luta livre's eagerness to assimilate new styles like capoeira and muay thai.


[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/muay_thai.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:A thick head can do as much damage as a hard heart.]]

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[[quoteright:300:https://static.[[quoteright:350:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/muay_thai.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:A thick head can do as much damage as a hard heart.]]
org/pmwiki/pub/images/tony_jaa_muay_thai_2.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:TIGER KNEE!]]


There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[CombatPragmatist realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the Royal Armed Forces.


There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[CombatPragmatist realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the RoyalArmedForces.

to:

There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[CombatPragmatist realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the RoyalArmedForces.
Royal Armed Forces.



Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related to Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles is a subject of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.

to:

Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related to Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles is a subject are subjects of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.


There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[((CombatPragmatist)) realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the Thai military.

to:

There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[((CombatPragmatist)) [[CombatPragmatist realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the Thai military.
RoyalArmedForces.



Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related tl Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles is a subject of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.

to:

Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, UsefulNotes/ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related tl to Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles is a subject of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.

Added DiffLines:

There is sometimes the misconception that Muay Thai is a martial art in the sense that Karate, Kung Fu and Kali are martial arts, when it is more of a combat sport in the vein of boxing or wrestling, albeit more tradional and ritualistic. There are innumerable self defense benefits to the conditioning from training and the appllication of techniques, but like boxing and wrestling, it is not optimised or designed for complete self defense and has no intention to be such a style. There is no throwing, groundfighting, or training to fight with or against weapons, though these did exist in Muay Boran prior to the establishment of Muay Thai. The focus is to be victorious within the rules and arenas of Muay Thai, and its applications in self defense are potent but purely incidental. There are other descendents of Muay Boran, such as Muay Chaiya from Southern Thailand, that have the mindset of being more traditional, complete martial arts, but some of these styles have faded into obscurity with the rise of Muay Thai. There is also Muay Lerdrit, a system developed by combining Muay Thai with other Muay styles and [[((CombatPragmatist)) realistic combat application]] to create a modern military martial art, which is currently used to train the Thai military.


Added DiffLines:

Muay Thai has cousins throughout Southeast Asia in the form of other stand-up, kickboxing styles with clinching and knee/elbow strikes, with similar but distinct techniques and rules. These include Tomoi from Malaysia, Muay Lao [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin from Laos]], Pradal Serey from Cambodia and Lethwei from ThatSouthEastAsianCountry, all of which appear to be related tl Musti Yuddha, or ancient Indian boxing. The heritage and development of these related but unique styles is a subject of heated debate and national pride to some, but Muay Thai is indisputably the dominant style internationally.

Added DiffLines:

*BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame: Muay Thai is an infamously flexible martial art and champion nak muay have been known to compete at the highest levels of other sports ranging from Kickboxing all the way to Marquess of Queensbury rules Boxing. In no particular order:
**Samart Payakaroon captured a Boxing world championship (Super Bantamweight) in addition to his Muay Thai championships.
**Sakmongkol Sithchuchok took up Kyokushin Karate as a hobby after retiring from Muay Thai and became a two time WKO (World Kumite Organization) champion.
**Buakaw Banchamek, Changpuek Kiatsongrit, and Kaoklai Kaennorsing all competed in K-1 with Buakaw becoming K-1 WORLD MAX champion in 2004 and 2006 and [[DavidVersusGoliath Changpuek and Kaoklai placing 3rd and 2nd in K-1's Openweight division despite being a middleweight and the lightest fighter in K-1 history respectively.]]
**Sittichai Sitsongpeenong and Petchpanomrung Kiatmookao are the GLORY kickboxing light and flyweight champions at the time of this writing.

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** Brazilian Muay Thai is more wild and aggressive than the traditional variant from Thailand thanks to being influenced by the near rule-free "Vale Tudo" competitions of Brazil. Brazilian nak muay favor a constant offense with a focus on taking the clinch position to knee opponents into submission, a habit brought about by mixing Muay Thai with the native "Luta Livre" grappling styles of Brazil. Many of the instructors of Chute Boxe, the premier Muay Thai training center of Brazil, had also been Taekwondo blackbelts before falling in love with Thai boxing. As a result many Brazilian nak muay pick up [[HurricaneKick complicated spinning kicks]] alongside the normal MT repertoire. While these kicks are [[AwesomeButImpractical normally low percentage moves]] Brazilian nak muay still manage to frequently land them by combining them with the more linear but practical tactics of Muay Thai [[DifficultButAwesome often leading to spectacular K.O.s]].


In our modern popular culture, muay thai became known mainly thanks to the rise of professional kickboxing and UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, in which it soon established itself as the crown jewel of striking styles due to its flexibility, efficiency and physical preparation. However, you may possibly know it thanks to film star and notable exponent Tony Jaa, who gave us films like ''Film/OngBak''.

to:

In our modern popular culture, muay thai became known mainly thanks to the rise of professional kickboxing UsefulNotes/{{Kickboxing}} and UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts, in which it soon established itself as the crown jewel of striking styles due to its flexibility, efficiency and physical preparation. However, you may possibly know it thanks to film star and notable exponent Tony Jaa, who gave us films like ''Film/OngBak''.



* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Actually encouraged to some point by Thai culture. In a muay thai match, it’s correct and sometimes obliged to celebrate immediately after scoring a dump or a knockdown, as it eases scoring count by separating intentional techniques from accidental falls. It doesn’t extend to the Buddhist ceremonial performed before the matches, however.

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* ArrogantKungFuGuy: Actually encouraged Encouraged to some point degree by Thai culture. In a muay thai match, it’s it's correct and sometimes obliged to celebrate immediately after scoring a dump or a knockdown, as it eases scoring count by separating intentional techniques from accidental falls. It doesn’t extend to the Buddhist ceremonial performed before the matches, however.


Note that "muay thai" and "kickboxing" are often used interchangeably, but reality is much more complicated. While muay thai is a form of kickboxing, technically speaking, it contains a set of moves, rules and cultural practices that are tied solely to the style practiced in Thailand. The rising popularity of the art caused that many forms of Western kickboxing are called by this name, which adds confusion when said forms are dissimilar and/or unrelated at all to the Thai source (good examples are the Dutch and Japanese schools).

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Note that "muay thai" and "kickboxing" are often used interchangeably, but reality is much more complicated. While muay thai is a form of kickboxing, technically speaking, it contains a set of moves, rules and cultural practices that are tied solely to the style practiced in Thailand. The rising popularity of the art caused that many forms of Western kickboxing are called by this name, which adds confusion when said forms are dissimilar and/or unrelated at all to the Thai source (good examples are the Dutch and Dutch, Japanese and Brazilian schools).



* AttackAttackAttack: Muay thai (at least its classic, true Thai style) is a heavily committed style based on maximizing every attack. They twist the entire body to kick, step in when throwing knees, and whip around their elbows to strike; their usual course of action is plodding forward and exchanging blows to the very end.
** The "Brazilian" style (Or ''Chute Boxe'' style, named after one of the most influential MT gyms in Brazil) is known for this. Aggressive, beserker, brawling style, with wild punch combinations and somewhat unsophisticated clinch game focusing on taking the ‘double collar tie’ position in order to smash a knee into the opponents’ face. Mostly used in UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts and used mostly by fighters such as Wanderlei Silva.

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* AttackAttackAttack: AttackAttackAttack:
**
Muay thai (at least its classic, true Thai style) is a heavily committed style based on maximizing every attack. They twist the entire body to kick, step in when throwing knees, and whip around their elbows to strike; their usual course of action is plodding forward and exchanging blows to the very end.
** The "Brazilian" Brazilian style (Or ''Chute Boxe'' style, "Chute Boxe style", named after one of the most influential MT gyms in Brazil) is known for this. Aggressive, beserker, brawling style, with wild punch combinations and somewhat unsophisticated clinch game focusing on taking the ‘double double collar tie’ tie position in order to smash a knee into the opponents’ face. Mostly It was mostly used in UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts and used mostly by fighters such as Wanderlei Silva.



* HandwrapsOfAwesome: The traditional hand protection of the sport was the ''kaad chuek'', a rope bound around the hand in the shape of a glove, which served both to protect the knuckles and to lacerate further the opponent. It has been largely replaced by regular boxing gloves nowadays, but Tony Jaa has made them a trademark on his ''Ong-Bak'' film series.
* HonorBeforeReason: In Thailand it’s believed that moving backwards, side-to-side or simply to evade an attack is contrary to the spirit of muay thai; the "right" strategy is charge forward and absorb all the enemy hits that cannot be blocked or checked.

to:

* HandwrapsOfAwesome: The traditional hand protection of the sport was the ''kaad chuek'', a rope bound around the hand in the shape of a glove, which served both to protect the knuckles and to lacerate further the opponent. It has been largely replaced by regular boxing gloves nowadays, but Tony Jaa has made them a trademark on his ''Ong-Bak'' film series.
* HonorBeforeReason: In Thailand it’s it's believed that moving backwards, side-to-side or simply to evade an attack is contrary to the spirit of muay thai; the "right" strategy is to charge forward and absorb all the enemy hits that cannot be blocked or checked.



* DivergentCharacterEvolution: Foreign schools of muay thai often added influences from the native martial arts of their countries resulting in related but distinct types of muay thai. This is most clearly seen in it's two largest derivatives, the Dutch and Japanese schools. Dutch muay thai is characterized by carrying heavy influences from European boxing and Kyokushin karate, and it places a huge emphasis on footwork and punching combinations. Japanese muay thai takes the heaviest influence from Kyokushin and other forms of karate and favors flashier kicks and longer combinations than what a traditional nak muay would consider practical. Both shy away from clinch, elbow, and knee techniques, often because the governing bodies of kickboxing in their countries don't allow them.

to:

* DivergentCharacterEvolution: Foreign schools of muay thai often added influences from the native martial arts of their countries resulting in related but distinct types of muay thai. This is most clearly seen in it's two largest derivatives, the Dutch and Japanese schools. Dutch muay thai is characterized by carrying heavy influences from European boxing and Kyokushin karate, and it places a huge emphasis on footwork footwork, leg kicks and punching combinations. Japanese muay thai takes the heaviest influence from Kyokushin and other forms of karate and favors flashier kicks and longer combinations than what a traditional nak muay would consider practical. Both shy away from clinch, elbow, and knee techniques, often because the governing bodies of kickboxing in their countries don't allow them.

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