Discover Muay Thai and other martial arts schools near you. Our online community and basic information resources lean toward Muay Thai aka Thai Boxing aka The Art of Eight Limbs, but our city-by-city directories can help you find local dojos and martial arts schools of any discipline or style. We want to make it easier and more rewarding for individuals who are looking to take their fighting skills to the next level and for families thinking about getting their kids into martial arts.
What is Muay Thai?
We encourage you to use this site to learn more about the history and cultural significance of Muay Thai, but let’s start with some basic information. Muay Thai is an aggressive style of martial arts that emphasizes decisive blows that enable the fighter to press his or her advantage against a rival while minimizing vulnerability to counterattack. It’s a form of close combat and hand-to-hand fighting that isn’t hard to imagine being developed during centuries of jungle wars between Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia.
It’s called The Art of the Eight Limbs (or sometimes The Science of the Eight Limbs) because it emphasizes knee and elbow strikes in addition to kicks and punches. Instead of weapons, it requires the fighter to treat their entire body as a weapon. Traditionally, the hands are swords, the elbows are a hammer or mallet, the knees are axes and the legs are staffs. When a blow connects, the fighter often looks for a way to take their rival to the ground for a decisive victory. Again, this is a particularly effective strategy for close hand-to-hand combat. Which isn’t to say, there aren’t any defensive skills involved. You’re also encouraged to think of the shins and forearms as shields and how to deploy them against various kinds of attacks.
What has been the national pastime in Thailand for centuries is garnering more and more international attention. It just recently became an Olympic sport. It’s also one of the most commonly included styles for those fighters looking to become a dynamic force in mixed martial arts. No matter if you’ve had training in American boxing and other fighting styles, or it’s your first experience with martial arts, taking Muay Thai classes is a great choice for your next step.