Muay Thai or “the art of eight limbs” is a combat sport which originated in Thailand and became known internationally in the 20th century. It was called the art of 8 limbs because it uses fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
Muay Thai is not very popular in the country which is why the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has conducted various grass-rooting in some parts of the country. Last year, I happened to meet their Head Coach, Claro and one of their best fighters, Manuel Christopher Delos Reyes when they conducted grass-rooting in Naval, Biliran. They showed how the Muay Thai is done at the Naval State University Gym starting with the ritual dance to show respect and then the actual fight. They likewise picked some students and taught them the basic techniques of the sport.
This year, Coach Claro and Manuel are part of the Philippine delegation of 7 athletes and 4 officials to the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) Royal World Cup 2015 held at the National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand from August 13 to 23. Their team collected three (2) gold medals and three (3) bronze medals for the Philippines, including one gold from a 22-year old Jessa Rivera of Quezon City dubbed as “The Golden Girl of Muay Thai Association of the Philippines” who defeated a Thailander and another from Ghenyan Berdon (22 years old) from Zamboanga City. Meanwhile, Jonathan Polosan (26 years old) from Cagayan de Oro, 11 year-old Ken Kaniga from Cebu City and Maico Fernandes from Cagayan de Oro each got a bronze medal.
So why should we promote Muay Thai here in the Philippines? Here are 5 great reasons why we should promote this sport and discipline in our country:
1. Our athletes deserve equal recognition.
We actually have athletes who already brought home gold medals from international competitions. If we are giving so much fuss with the Gilas and Azkals for their international victories then I believe it is just reasonable for us to recognize our athletes in the field of Muay Thai who gave their all to give pride to our country.
2. Self Defense.
Muay Thai is one of the best self defense methods. Through proper training, you can apply Muay Thai as a wall of defense using your shoulders, arms and legs to hold back your attacker. With the criminality happening in our country I think it is best for us, especially women to learn how to defend ourselves.
3. It can help you get fit.
Taking Muay Thai classes can help you have an improved overall fitness. Most Local Government Units (LGUs) in the country are promoting fitness among their constituents through Zumba dance and other forms of exercise. Now, if you really want to burn some calories, Muay Thai is a good alternative because you do not only lose weight you likewise gain knowledge in self defense which might be useful to you in the future.
4. Muay Thai is fit for everyone.
Kids, teens and adults can train together; they can help each other in achieving their goals. Whether they want to lose weight, learn self defense, go pro or simply want to belong in a group and make new friends.
5. Boosts self confidence.
Because of positive encouragement and respect for values which are promoted by Muay Thai, the best benefit you can get from this sport is better self confidence. Whether you are in danger or in an uncomfortable situation, you will find it easier to accomplish anything with the self-discipline you become accustomed to during Muay Thai trainings.
Whether you want to be a professional athlete or you simply want to get fit, Muay Thai may be the best sport you should try.
My congratulations to our National Muay Thai Team!