The art of Thai boxing is a self-defense technique that is as old as Thailand itself. Thai boxing is a branch of knowledge, which has been in existence for as long as there have been Thais.
When Burma attempted to conquer Thailand by force they were eventually defeated when the Burmese army was driven back at the hands of Thai fighters using Thai boxing, spears and elephants. For more than 2000 years Thai boxing has played a significant role in the survival of Thailand.
Like other fighting arts Muay Thai was born out of conflict. In 300 B.E. The Thai Mung were invaded and sent fleeing for their lives to the south of Thailand. The vanquished villagers developed a form of self-defense using their feet, knees elbows and fists as a way to defend themselves. This evolved into the art we now know as Muay Thai.
In former times, Thai boxers would bind their hands with raw cotton threads loosely woven into a chain-mail type configuration, knotted at the fingertips like a seashell. The purpose was to give the hand a hard and abrasive surface. At times it would be dipped in glue and sprinkled with finely ground glass. This practice was eventually discontinued, however the cotton bindings remained in use until 1929, when they were replaced with padded gloves.
Kicking rubber plants hundreds of times a day strengthened legs and shins. Today heavy canvas bags have replaced the rubber plants but the training remains as rigorous now as it was centuries ago.