Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) is what the Thai people call their own martial art. The art of Muay Thai has been the country's most popular spectator sport for hundreds of years.. It is unique among other kinds of fighting disciplines in its approach to close quarters fighting. Fighters are able to more effectively use their elbows, knees, feet and fists than in other martial arts.
The Wai Kru (respects to the teacher) also known as Ram Muay (boxing dance) is an important part of any evening watching Thai Boxing. These are ceremonies that are performed before each Muay Thai bout. Sometimes the Wai Kru are brief and basic, but other times they may be eloquent performances that draw praise and applause from the crowd. It is said that those who see well can determine who will win the fight by watching two fighters perform their Wai Kru. Teachers are highly respected in Thai society, and many artistic disciplines, not just Muay Thai, perform Wai Kru or "respects to the teacher". Foreigners viewing these rituals should take care to be polite and not act disrespectfully regarding the Wai Kru. The Thais take seriously any insult to the Wai Kru, just as you would if somebody insulted your spiritual beliefs.
Before the competition of Muay-Thai ,Krabi-Krabong (Thai swords) , or any other ancient weapons martial arts , every competitor must perform the "Wai-Khru" ritual and perform the boxing dance which is the continued tradition since ancient times."Wai-Khru" is a way to pay respect to his majesty the king or the chairman of the competition tournament. Furthermore , "Wai-Khru" is the way to realize the goodness of the master who gave them the knowledge. It's also the way to create the strength of their mind. The style of the dance is unique to each boxing bureau. Boxers who danced the same style wouldn't box each other since they realize that they have the same master. Furthermore, to dance is one way to warm up before starting the fight . It also helps relax the stress and to prepare body and mind to be ready to get into the battle.
I got a chance to do some real Thai boxing while I was in Bangkok and down in Ko samui. Took a few nice beatings by guys a lot smaller than me and man did my shins hurt. We did some training on the beach and they smashed cocconuts on my shins until they bled.
im a muay thai fanatic. i have trained off and on. but i have been at for 4 months straight this time. i plan to take my muay thai into mma and be one of the next great strikers. and i agree with jmack..i spar for an hour in muay thai, and then do grip fighting and gaurd passing for an hour. and i can tell you, you better come in shape to fight me..