Muay Thai (pronounced [muāitʰāi]; Thai: มวยไทย) literally Thai Boxing and also known as The Art of the Eight Limbs is the Thai name for a form of hard martial art practiced in several Southeast Asian countries including Thailand. It is known as Pradal Serey in Cambodia, Tomoi in Malaysia, Muay Lao in Laos and as a similar style called Lethwei in Burma. The different styles of kickboxing in Southeast Asia are analogous to the different types of Kung Fu in China or Silat in the Malay peninsula. The Thai military uses a modified form of Muay Thai called Lerdrit.
Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand and is the country's national sport. Traditional Muay Thai practiced today varies slightly from the ancient art Muay Boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing. Muay Thai is referred to as "The Science of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A master practitioner of Muay Thai thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight "points of contact," as opposed to "two points" (fists) in Western boxing and "four points" (fists, feet) used in the primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts.
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