Traditional Muay Thai styles have preserved ancient fighting techniques of Muay Boran which influenced the modern sport of Muay Thai.
Muay Thai is not a monolith as some of you may think so. It consists of 4 distinctive regional styles that were born and developed in different provinces of Thailand.
Let's take a closer look at them.
You've probably heard about this Muay Thi style since it was made famous by 2007 Thai action film Muay Thai Chaiya.
The name of this style refers to a province in southern Thailand where it was founded 200 years ago.
The main characteristics of Muay Thai Chaiya style are:
Defense is part of your attack. Let your opponent hurt himself trying to hurt you
It puts a great pressure on footwork and movement.
The movements pattern is different than that in a sports Muay Thai
It allows throws and some limited grappling techniques which changes the overall flow of the fight
Defensive techniques of Muay Chaiya are not very widely taught in the gyms. Modern ring Muay Thai is based on offensive fighting techniques. Muay Chaiya is considered to be one of the "softer" Muay Thai styles.
This style is great for damaging your opponent with quick punches from a short distance and in a clinch fight. Thai fighters fighting with this style tend to be very technical.
Muay Tha Sao
Is a Muay Thai style which originates in North Thailand.
This style values speed and agility the most.
Main characteristics of Muay Tha Sao are:
Fast and versatile movement
High adaptability to changing conditions in the fight
Muay Thao Sao fighters are keeping their arms high during a fight
The adepts of this style are trained to be able to switch stances easily during a fight.
This allows them to adapt to different fighting conditions and makes them uncomfortable to fight with for their opponents. This way they can also protect their legs from getting too much damage from low kicks.