This extreme sports of Thailand is a now a daring venture of Nepalese kick boxing and martial art lovers. Originally a combat sport it uses stand up striking with various clinching techniques. It is also known as “art of eight limbs”, which includes combat on shins along with combined use of fist, elbows, knees, shins that makes in as full combat fighter. The King of Thailand is avid fan of Muay Thai and it is governed by The Professional boxing association of Thailand, sanctioned by the sport authority of Thailand. Young men practiced this art primarily for self-defense, exercise, discipline. Monks instructed young men at Buddhist temples and the legacy has been passed down over the generations and it has come to Nepal where experienced trainers are preparing novice men with physical training and combat lessons. The goal of each movement and strike is to deliver an excruciating blow which would enable fighter to quickly overcome his rival without being exposed to counter attack. It is definitely not a sport for faint heart. Muay Thai is also a form of martial arts that instills a sense of discipline in a practitioner. Once you have put on a pair of gloves and protection gears, you dwell into intense training and physical work out during the process of learning the correct techniques to defeat your opponent. This sport is extreme and have pitfalls also like broken foot, torn hamstrings, bruised lips and cuts in the mouth. It is a sheer test of strength and endurance. In fighting a functional training is the way to be tougher. After all, you either learn or you win, there is no losing”. It is tough and daring sport as we know iron sharpens the iron. The more rigorous the trainings and practice will be, more refined will be the outcome. It targets to the whole body which is physical, mental (psyche), fighting spirit. Muay Thai is most fatal form of striking with attacks from fist, elbows, knees and feet. As a beginner you must master the techniques or stances. For e.g. in defense blocking with legs particularly the front leg, front teep (push kick), attack stance as a result of “square” hip position made by out-turned lead foot, mobility stance with body being set to a rear with front leg out ahead, a decent Muay Thai stance for stability where fighter will be knocked off balance less often than with some other stances as the width and length are fairly even are all parts of traditional Thai stance.
Muay Thai was unofficially introduced more than a decade ago. The training sessions provides lessons on padding, shadow boxing, sit-ups and players are required to run 10 kilometers daily. The teachers command respect and students work hard not to disappoint their masters and their institutes’ reputation. This extreme sport has some loose ends also when Olympics and Asian games don’t include Muay Thai on the combat sport heavy list like Taekwondo, boxing, judo mainly because a fight is judged on the quality of fight exhibited by the player. It doesn’t distinguish a fighter’s ability as there are no belts. They only have a grading system like A, B, C grades which is achieved by fighter’s entering fight and winning.” Nepal national Muay Thai Association”, was registered in the Nepal sports Council in 2012. It has altogether organized three competitions. Due to lack of support from the state not only Muay Thai associations but also those who want to be professional fighter are also affected. More funding for upliftment of this sport must be encouraged to make our Country popular internationally by participating and winning tournaments abroad. Right now it is surviving only because of sport’s practitioners but this is not sufficient enough to bring out to family-friendly arenas and events like Olympics.
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Interview with Dr. Bhai Raja Shrestha (Phacoemulsification Surgeon)