Elbows cut like blades, regardless of whether it’s thrown by a trained fighter or not. Though, when it’s thrown by someone who’s trained in Muay Thai, an elbow can cut deep, with knees and roundhouse-kicks even more devastating, leaving you feeling like you’ve been hit by a baseball hat and if hit hard enough, with fractured bones.
Anywhere outside of Thailand, most fighters often train hard to make their bodies strong. Fighters will learn the technique for months, years even before even thinking of asking their trainers for permission to step into the ring and take on a real fight. Then, once allowed to fight, elbows are often outlawed, and 16 oz gloves are required, shins are padded up, knees to the face banned and basically, every precaution is taken to keep both novice fighters safe while inside the ring.
That, however, does not happen in Thailand.
The Full-Thai Rules
Outside of Thailand, both body and ego of fragile new fighters are protected. Almost always, every fight ends with a draw and fighters often have to fight twice first before they’re allowed to have their taste of real non-padded fighters. And again, there’s still no elbows allowed, unless it’s a title fight or until they turn professional.
You can’t really blame them for taking such precautions, with Muay Thai being a dangerous sport and all. Besides, first fights are ugly, even more so when such precautions are not in place. Then again, one could argue that “ugly” is fitting only for a sport whose techniques originally were used by soldiers in the battlefield.
In Thailand there’s no such thing as a “no-winner rule” to shield the ego of the fighters involved. There, fighters fight as if they were professionals from day one. There’s a winner and there’s a loser. Though, more importantly, knees and elbows are allowed, the gloves used are the same of those used by professionals and paddings are not allowed.
In Thailand, novices fight with no padding. In fact, padded fights are almost unheard of in Thailand, and it’s pretty normal to have bruises there that would normally take weeks to heal. True, this may sound brutal, but such is the reality faced by those who are training in Muay Thai and are interested to take on fights there.
Then again, the quality of instruction there is unarguably better compared to anywhere else in the world. Not only that, but fighters there can train with even more capable fighters, further increasing their chances of being significantly better and more prepared for a PRO fight.
Still, you can’t just hide the fact that the PRO rules applied when fighting Muay Thai in Thailand, even as novices, are far from a guarantee that the quality is that of professionals. Being novices, novice mistakes are common and many fighters often lack the technique, as well as grace, to take their opponents out or down without having to cause as much damage.
To put simply, fights among novice Nak Muays in Thailand are brutal. But then again, you shouldn’t really expect any less from a sport that utilizes sharp elbows and knees to their full extent?