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Muay Thai (Thai: มวยไทย, RTGS: Muai Thai, IPA: [mūɛj tʰāj]), Muay Boran (Thai: มวยโบราณ, RTGS: muay boran, IPA: [mūɛj bōːrāːn], lit. "ancient boxing") and Krabi Krabong (Thai: กระบี่กระบอง, Thai pronunciation: [krabìː krabɔ̄ːŋ]) are Thai martial arts with the history of more than two thousand years.
The word muay derives from the Sanskrit mavya which means "to bind together". Muay Thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports.
The word boran means ancient or old and Muay Boran can be translated as ancient boxing. The art of Krabi Krabong uses weapons and the empty hands techniques of Muay Boran and the name refers to its main weapons, namely the curved sword (krabi) and staff (krabong).
Although the early origins of Muay are not very precisely know, it had been used as a practical and deadly fighting skill at war on the battle fields - with or without weaponry.
While many Muay Thai teachers in today's society instruct their students to enter the ring, Muay Boran instructors stress more traditional aspects of the art of Muay. Muay Thai is under certain rules and regulations but Muay Boran follows more the traditional style where all parts of the body are targets and techniques are capable of causing severe injuries.
During the history the art of Muay has changed and evolved, and nowadays it is very well known as one of the hardest and one of the effectives combat sports all around the world.
Despite the fact that Muay Thai has spread all over the world, it's still an essential part of Thai culture and cultural heritage of Thailand, and Thais are still know to be the best in the art of Muay.
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