Muay Thai, a devastating kickboxing art, is the official sport of Thailand. Like most Southeast Asian arts, the influence of Chinese and Indian arts are assumed. However, some believe the people of Siam (Thailand) developed their "Pahuyut" (combat) independently, with each kingdom producing its own type of warrior. Before becomming popularized for their use of elbows, knees, and various other techniques used in the Mixed Martial Arts world, traditional Thai warriors practiced older versions of what is now called Muay Thai. These more traditional versions included Krabi Krabong and Muay Boran, now the umbrella term used for all Thai arts. The main weapons used in Krabi Krabong are the "Krabi" a single edged sword and the "Krabong," a staff. In addition to the sword and staff, Thai warriors also used sticks similiar to those found in the Filipino arts, clubs worn on the forearms, and a weapon similiar to the European halberd. Krabi Krabong also incorporated unarmed tecniques involving strikes, pressure points, and throws.
Muay Boran is the bareknuckle predecessor to Muay Thai. Its rules were few: no biting, no intential groin strikes, no hair pulling and no striking an opponent when down. Muay Boran was eventually divided into regional styles, Muay Lampang (North), Muay Chaiya (South), Muay Korat (East), and Muay Paak Klang or Muay Lopburi (Central). The Northen Thai style was best known for its pinpoint striking, the South for its low compact stance and vicious knee and elbow blocks, the East for its tall stance and back heel raised, and the South or Bangkok style for its similiar stance to Western boxers. Today, the Thai military uses a deadly form of Muay Thai called Lerdrit, which is not bound to any sport regulations.
At UNITED COMBAT ARTS the Muay Thai system is taught without rules (clinching and grabbing the ears, hair, strikes to the groin and knees, etc.) making it more of a Lerdrit combative style than sport Muay Thai.