Muay Boran: The Roots of Muay Thai

If you ask people about Muay Thai, most of them will likely say that they have heard about Muay Thai. But, when it comes to Muay Boran, there will be hardly anyone with any knowledge about this martial art. Muay Thai’s popularity has overshadowed Muay Boran, so much so that it is almost considered nonexistent. That is not the case however as there are still people who practice Muay Boran. After all, it is from Muay Boran that Muay Thai originates from.

Muay Boran, the Combat Style of Ancient Warriors


When translated, Muay Boran actually means ‘Ancient Boxing’. Muay Boran originated as a combat art for warfare. It is a practical fighting skill that uses all the body parts such as the fists, head, forearms, knees, feet and elbows. Warriors were trained in this art to be able to fight effectively in case they were disarmed in the battlefield. This training was for most folks as marauders were common in those days and people had to learn such type of defensive skills to defend their villages.

Effectiveness and Differences


The differences between the two martial arts Muay Thai and Muay Boran are quite simple to understand. While Muay Thai is a sport that focuses on fights within the ring, having rules of engagement, Muay Boran has no such rules and regulations. It has no boundaries and no limitations as it is a combat art made for warfare, it gives its practitioner free range to use a vast number of techniques to disable or even kill the opponent.

The only rules that apply are the ones that regard the code of conduct of a warrior on the battlefield, not to harm the innocent and the taking of prisoners. The moves and techniques have the end result of either maim, incapacitate or kill your enemy with whatever weapons are available.

Muay Boran focuses on taking out the opponent as quickly as possible. It ensures that you are ready to take on the next opponent before they get the chance to strike. The focus is on efficiency and causing maximum damage to the enemy with every single blow.

Muay Boran later evolved into a competition for ring fights. However there were some changes made so that the fighters don’t end up breaking each other’s limbs. Rules were introduced that did not allow hitting the groin, striking a fallen opponent, hair pulling, grappling and eye-gouging. Head-butts and all forms of throws, tackles and trips were still allowed, much like in wrestling. These however are not allowed in Muay Thai.

When comparing these two forms of martial arts it is interesting to note the similarities. Muay Thai evolved from Muay Boran into a sport for entertainment purposes as it allowed its fighters to be able to stand and fight for longer periods of time. Its rules made it difficult for the fighters to strike each other down quickly as they had to rely more on form and techniques to hit the right moves for a perfect KO!

If you want to learn the ancient way of Muay Thai then Arashi Do Martial Arts in Edmonton is the place to be. Muay Thai is an excellent form of sport for fitness, self-defense and self-improvement. If these are the things you seek, you need to learn the ways of Muay Thai.

Fb 30 day trial profileCome down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great Brazilian programs like Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.

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