Sunday, June 14, 2009

Muay Thai's Popularity

An interesting take on Muay Thai in its homeland by a sports writer

Read: "Muaythai Won't be Popular Abroad"-

He brings up a lot of interesting points about the sport. In particular, the bits about the fighter's habits of engaging each other is predominant in Thailand, and not so much in foreign bouts. This wasn't always the case, as many fights during the 80's "Golden Age" were very fast paced back and forth showcases of technique.

However, with the exception of a small percentage, most Thai fighters tend to engage exactly the way the author described. It's possible that this has to do with the increasing influence of gambling over the years. Gambling has always been a part of Muay Thai in Thailand, but I believe it's only grown since the 80's. That's just my speculation though. I won't pretend that I know exactly what cultural factors have affected Muay Thai's development in its homeland

Saenchai Sor Kingstar: arguably the best fighter in MT at the present moment...but not someone who often finishes his opponents off with a knockout.

It makes some fights very difficult to watch, but also pushes Muay Thai into the realms of an acquired taste. I can appreciate a slower paced technical game of chess in a fight, but it was not something I was able to appreciate right away. In the same way, I have limited knowledge and exposure to grappling, and it is easily the thing that makes me sleep during an MMA fight. I don't disrespect it, but it is something that takes getting used to. In the same way, Muay Thai as it is practiced in Thailand seems to be falling into that realm for many.

Keep training hard, and keep the sport alive

photo 1 courtesy of
photo 2 courtesy of

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