The World Games explained: Muaythai

The World Games explained: Muaythai
Muaythai is a specialized form of boxing that originated in Thailand in the 1700s. (Bartek Sadowski)

We are less than two years away from the World Games 2021 taking place in and around Birmingham. Many are likely unfamiliar with the sports in the World Games, so Alabama NewsCenter is explaining what you can expect to see. Today, we look at Muaythai.

Muaythai boxing is a combat sport that originated in Thailand. The discipline is called the “art of eight limbs” for the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins for combat.

The history of Muaythai can be traced to the middle of the 18th century. During the battles between the Burmese of the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam, the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom was captured in the year 1767. The Burmese knew of his expertise in hand-to-hand combat and gave him an opportunity to fight for his freedom.

According to legend, Nai Khanomtom managed to knock out 10 consecutive Burmese contenders. Impressed by his boxing skill, his captors freed him and allowed him to return to Siam. He was acknowledged as a hero, and his fighting style became known as Siamese-style boxing, later to be known as Muaythai. This fighting style was soon to be recognized as a national sport.

Muaythai joined the World Games in 2013 as its popularity in the West continued to increase. (Bartek Sadowski)

Muaythai saw a rise in popularity in the west in the early 2000s and as a result joined the World Games as a sport in 2013.

To learn more, visit:


Related Stories