Muay Thai is a way of life for many Thai people. The combat sport is also known as the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, it has been practised since the middle of the 18th century. Interestingly, the Burmese captured the famous fighter Nai Khanomtom during the Konbaung Dynasty and Siam battles. His captors allowed him to fight for his freedom. He proceeded to knock out all ten of his contenders and was subsequently freed and returned to Siam. He was hailed a hero, and his fighting style was known as Siamese-style boxing and later, as we know it today, Muay Thai.
Muay Thai – “The Art Of Eight Limbs” | Credit: aboutthailandliving.com
Muay Thai was once the answer to fight against poverty for many rural children in Thailand, but it has evolved to embrace everyone, no matter their status. You’ll find endless training camps across Phuket that offer after school or weekend sessions.
Everyone knows that youngsters are easily addicted to screens and games, and many health issues are attributed to this 'SMART' technology. The introduction of camps that train young children instils in them a balance of good values, socialisation and exercise. Many camps also offer family training so that you can bond with your children and all benefit from the training and being away from pesky screens that promote inactivity. Muay Thai is an excellent all-round fitness workout.
One of the most documented side effects of SMART technology addiction is the lack of attention and focus. This means that children can lack in concentration skills and have a low attention span which can even affect routine conversations. Muay Thai is fast-paced and requires a single-mindedness that will allow your child to embrace new learning and fitness skills. Everyone understands that nothing comes easy. Muay Thai requires resolute determination, grit and courage.
Kids Muay Thai Class | Credit: Tripadvisor
Children are naturally sociable creatures and enjoy being around each other. Training together allows them to form a bond, mutual trust and motivation. Muay Thai is a huge confidence booster. As children continue to learn and build their skills, become more robust, agile, fitter, and their confidence levels will bloom. Sadly, bullying is prevalent in schools and in the workplace later in life. Giving children the opportunity of learning a self-defence mechanism is vital and can be, quite literally, a lifesaver.
Those that practice Muay Thai understand that it’s all about humility, discipline and respect. Televised Muay Thai is often dramatised for effect and ratings and has nothing to do with the ancient sport that holds dear strong tradition. Muay Thai fights have also become commonplace at festivals and celebrations, especially those held at temples. Fighters perform the Wai Kru before each fight, allowing them to pay homage to their teachers, family and to bless themselves with victory and success. To be humble, respectful and possess self-discipline are great traits for any child to have.
Muay Thai schools | Credit: Southeastasiabackpacker.com
Throughout Phuket, there are lots of open-air Muay Thai schools, gyms and recreational facilities within hotels that will happily teach your children the art of eight limbs. The outlay costs are next to nothing; children can wear their regular sportswear and run around with bare feet. The club will provide hand and wrist wraps and gloves as a matter of course.