Breaking Down The Foundations: Muay Thai In MMA

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The Art of Eight Limbs, Muay Thai is one of the most effective striking bases in MMA. Join us as we break down the transition of one of the world’s most popular martial arts in to MMA……

One of the fastest growing sports in the world today, mixed martial arts, owes it’s success to the origins of fighting. If it weren’t for the rampant obsession with various styles of unarmed combat throughout history, there would be no base for such a promotion to exist, let alone flourish.

One such base style is Muay Thai, the art can be traced back to the 16th century, originally known as Siamese style boxing and made famous by Nai Khanomtom in 1767. The Siam fighter was captured by the Burmese during battle, and was given the opportunity by his captors to fight for freedom. He used what would later be called Muay Thai to win the fight and gain his release, and became a national hero. It was this single event that helped catapult the art to becoming a national sport soon after.

Fast forward to present day MMA, and Muay Thai is more alive than ever. Coaches and fighters recognize the advantages gained in the striking department when Thai boxing is introduced, and it shows in some of the top strikers’ gameplans and resulting finishes. So let’s take a look at the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’ and the most effective tools, before we check out some video footage on the top Muay Thai strikers in MMA today.

The striking parts of the body in Muay Thai are the fists, elbows, knees and shins. Clinching is also allowed. With these tools, the techniques are broken down in to six categories, as follows; Punching (Chok), elbow (Sok), kicking (te), knees (Ti Khao), foot thrust (Theep) and clinch/neck wrestling (Chap Kho). Within these categories there are many different methods of delivering the techniques, and many transition perfectly in to MMA.

Although the fundamentals of stance and striking style are very different to that of a solely MMA trained fighter, the most effective movements of Muay Thai can be tailored in to a combatant’s arsenal to devastating effect. Check out our breakdowns of some of the top Muay Thai specialists in MMA history….

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