|10AM - 5PM|
|5:30PM - 6:30PM|
Beginners Amateur Boxing Class
|6:45PM - 7:45PM|
|8PM - 9:30PM|
Free Style Kick Boxing
David Riley's Bradford based Muay Thai gym.
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Muay Thai is the National Sport of Thailand. It's part of Thailands cultural heritage where it has strong Buddhist links.
Originally this warrior art saw the use of weapons and empty handed self defense on battlefields. The art of Muay Thai is thought to be over 3000 years old. In the early days the fight lasted until the first blood was drawn, and sometimes lasted until death of an oponent. Fighters wore cotton cloth wrapped around their hands which was dipped in glue and rolled in sand and broken glass.
In the 1930s things completely changed when boxing gloves were introduced and the fights began to be fought over rounds with rests between. A system of weight categories was also introduced with fists, feet, knees and elbows permitted. Thai boxing is now hugely popular in Thailand with daily fights in the main stadiums in Bangkok and on TV.
In the UK it's becoming very popular with competitions and shows up and down the country.
Fighters can punch to the head and body, kick to the inside and outside of the legs and kick to the body. Fighters can also use knees and elbows to the head and body. In the Western world, most bouts are sanctioned under modified Thai boxing rules, where elbows to the head are not permitted. Full Muay Thai rules are much more common in the UK as the level in this country continues to progress.
Fighters wear shorts, boxing gloves, a gum shield and groin guard.
Professional Muay Thai cosists of five Rounds with a three minute duration, with a two minute break between the rounds. The winner of the round will be given ten points, and the loser gets nine. A point will be deducted if a fighter suffers an eight count.
MuayThai is very different to kickboxing and international boxing. It is effect of techniques and not the volume of techniques that are important in determining the winner of a fight. A number of techniques are considered by judges to be more effective than others; unbalancing an opponent and following up with a strong technique, knocking down or throwing an opponent onto the floor, hitting with clean hard kicks or knees to the body.
In professional fights, the fights are judged as a whole and it's important that a boxer finishes strongly. Therefore the later rounds are the most important to the judges. In amateur fights each round is scored equally but the judges are still looking for the most dominant and most effective fighter of the two. A fight judge needs to be very familiar with the rules of MuayThai, have an understanding what good MuayThai techniques look like, look objectively at what happens in the fight and not be influenced by the crowd.
It is possible for one competitor to use one type of technique exclusively and win if the use of that technique results in that competitor delivering more, effective techniques than their opponent. For example one competitor may win by only kneeing their opponent.
There are a number of techniques that judges consider to be the best scoring techniques. These are the primary techniques that win fights, they include:
- Knocking an opponent to the floor with a concussive blow (if the referee gives an eight count, two points are initially be deducted from the counted boxer's score card, if the boxer fights back strongly or has previously dominated the round, a one point difference may be awarded)
- Unbalancing an opponent with kick or throwing action and immediately following with a strong striking technique
- Knocking an opponent off their feet with a strike or kick
- Throwing an opponent to the canvas using a legal throw
- An attacking technique or combination that results in an opponent turning their back on the attacking boxer.
Although judges are looking for overall effectiveness and dominance, the successful delivery of any of these techniques, without a similar or equivalent response from an opponent, would result in a fighter winning that round. Maintaining physical and mental composure is the essential for a fighter if they are to win a fight. This is the reason fighters in Thailand place such emphasis on stance, footwork and balance.
Judges are looking to award the fight to the strongest fighter. They are looking for evidence of the effect of techniques, mental strength, physical condition and technical ability. If a fighter is forced by his opponent to show weakness, or any evidence of not wanting to fight, the judges will award the fight to their opponent.
Europe and the USA use the following class system for fighters:
C Class – People with less than five fights fought over three, two minute rounds.
B Class – Up to 15 Fights fought over five, two minute rounds
A Class – More experienced fighters at professional level and fought over the standard five, three minutes rounds, although Europe has introduced the same fight duration but with no elbows. Some of the sanctioning bodies such as WKA, WAKO pro and ISKA sanction titles both with and without elbows.
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