Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and its origins date back to the 16th century. It can feature the use of stand-up strikes along with the clinching technique, a component of stand-up fighting in which opponents wrestle each other. It operates under different rules, including the use of elbow attacks, punches and kicks. It was later adopted as a peacetime martial art by Thai soldiers within Thailand’s former name, the Kingdom of Siam. His one of the first records of Muay Thai being observed and recorded by someone outside the country was when Simon de la Rouvelle was sent to the Kingdom of Siam by Louis XIV in the late 17th century. Muay Thai, also known as the “art of the eight limbs”, is considered a combat sport and uses techniques that focus on the use of fists, elbows, knees and shins. Originally used as a combat technique for soldiers, martial arts eventually began to transition into a sport in which opponents competed in front of an audience. Muay Thai spread throughout Thailand due to its acceptance by King Rama V and the great personal interest of King Rama V. This period was considered the golden age of Muay Thai. As the war subsided, citizens across the country began using martial arts in physical, recreational, and self-defense forms.
In the 20th century, Muay Thai began to gain momentum. In the 1920s, codified rules were finally introduced into the sport as promoted by King Rama VII. These rules introduced the use of official referees and rounds were timed by kicks.Muay Thai quickly became popular in the 1980s and 90s, with matches attracting hundreds of spectators. There were gatherings, heavy gambling, and high incomes. With the sport gaining global recognition, in 2015 Muay Thai was allowed to join the International University Sports Federation and the first University World His Muay Thai Cup was introduced. As of 2022, there are nearly 4,000 Thai boxing gyms overseas.