Muay Thai, translated into English as Thai Boxing, is the national sport of Thailand and is a martial art with origins in the ancient battlefield tactics of the Siamese (or Thai) army. It evolved from Krabi-Krabong, literally sword and baton, the hand-to-hand tactics of the Thai army. The early Muay Thai bouts pitted different companies within the Siamese army against each other with few rules and no weight divisions or time limits. They became quite popular and eventually were shown in stadia across the country. In the early 20th century, time limits, boxing gloves as well as a uniform set of rules were introduced. During the latter half of the 20th century Muay Thai was exported to many countries and is now practiced by hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.
Muay Thai is known as "King of the Ring" in kickboxing circles. These fights feature punches, kicks, elbows, knees, standing grappling and head-butts to wear down and knock out their opponent. Thai training methods develop devastating power, speed and superb cardio-vascular endurance as well as fighting spirit. Muay Thai training as also quite safe thanks to sophisticated pad training that evolved to keep fighters healthy between fights. Muay Thai has also proven very effective outside the ring and has been embraced enthusiastically by practitioners of a variety of self-defense, sporting, military and law enforcement activities.
The Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A. (TBA-USA), the oldest and largest Muay Thai organization in the United States, was founded in 1968 by Ajarn Surachai "Chai" Sirisute. (Ajarn is Thai for head instructor.) Ajarn Chai came to the United States with a vision to spread Muay Thai to throughout the world, and he is the first-ever Thai boxing instructor to teach Americans this art and he has worked tirelessly for 40 years to that end. We are indeed grateful to Ajarn Chai for his gift of the knowledge of Muay Thai.
The TBA-USA now has representation in almost every state in the USA and has expanded to establish affiliate organizations in more than 15 countries around the world. Ajarn Chai continues to promote Muay Thai through a busy teaching schedule.