My Muay Thai Movement

Fight Like a Girl: Rebecca Terry

My Objective

At first, my objective was to get exercise and use Muay Thai as a way to release stress. However, now that I've been doing this for over a couple months, I really enjoy it and am incredibly immersed in the culture and art of it. My objective now is to spread the knowledge and art of the martial art. I want everyone to understand the culture and how different it is from regular cardio kickboxing.

Why I was Interested

I have been interested in the martial arts ever since I was little. My parents made me take shorinji kempo (Japanese martial art) from a young age. They made me very involved in sports such as soccer, swimming, running, track, and other recreational activities. However, over time I lost interest in sports and I migrated over to the academic side of extra curricular activities. I quit being active and I transferred my time into studying. For about 5 years, I didn't do any extreme physical activity except for the minor bursts of motivation to run on the treadmill for an hour every day until I ultimately quit 2 weeks later.

My progress

At the start: I didn't know how to punch or kick. I didn't understand anything about coordination

Currently: I know how to do multiple punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. I know how to do the uppercut, hook, jab, and cross. I know how to teep, round kick, and do various knee/elbow strikes

Culture and History

In thailand, education is not a choice. Most of the kids will not excede an elementary/middle school education. Their options are to work in a rice field or send them to Muay Thai camps (if they are boys) and into human trafficking (if they are girls). There is a Christian organization called Remember New that goes into Thailand to save the girls who are going to be sold into prostitution. They teach them a skill so they can become useful for the family and able to earn money so they can be returned back to their family. Otherwise, these girls are sold into human trafficking because the family needs money. If the offspring is a male, however, they work in a rice field or sent to Thai camps to be trained as a Muay Thai fighter. Most of the time they will have at least 300 fights by the time they are 14 years old. Whatever gym that trains him will take a portion of his earnings while the remainder of the money goes to his family. He will train and fight at least twice a week instead of working in his family rice field. This is a way of life in Thailand while Muay Thai is considered a sport in America. It is a recreation and exercise in America, but it is a matter of Life and Death for the kids in Thailand.

Although this practice is brutal, the depth of it is purely spiritual. If you watch Thai fights, there is a lot of respect that is shown and a lot of rituals are performed before and after the fight. If the opponent is knocked out, then te fighter immediately stops and gets on their knees and bows to send a prayer to them that they are okay. They understand that the sport itself is brutal so they are giving the opponent respect. There is never any dirty or cheap shots in Muay Thai because they agknowledge that they are two people that have trained and learned the skillset and that they are testing out their skill set against yours.

There are a lot of customs and traditions. This sport is deeply rooted in Buddhism. There is a religious headgear called Mongkon. There is a short video clip attached where the Mongkon and traditional Muay Thai dance (Wai Khru/Ram Muay) is demonstrated. The Mongkon is consiered sacred so it should never be below anything, so the fighter goes over the top ring istead of in between (like the boxers do in America.) The individual Wai Khru dance helps the audience gauge the fighting ability of the two fighters. This dance is special to each gym and this dance is used to judge which fighter to put their bet on.

Traditional Muay Thai dance ritual done before a fight

Special Thanks To...

Big image