Many different versions of the history of Muaythai exist, but all sources agree that Muaythai was the primary and most effective method of self defence used by Thai warriors on the battlefields of conflicts and wars that occurred countless times throughout the history of the nation now known as Thailand. The first known practice of Muay Thai as a “sport” occurred during the reign of King Prachao Sua (1697-1709 A.D.). When the nation was at peace, to keep the army busy he often ordered them to train in Muay Thai. It was from this that loosely organised competitions started sprouting up around the country. In 1774, the legendary Nai Khanom Dtom made Muay Thai famous for his battle against a group of Burmese while he was a prisoner of war in Burma.
King Rama V realized the value of Muay Thai and did much to promote the sport from the late 1880’s to the turn of the century. The Department of Education was created in 1887, with Muay Thai as part of the Military Cadet teachers school curriculum. Muay Thai was introduced to Europe and the rest of the world during the first world war. The term Muay Thai became prevalent in the 1920’s as did the adoption of some of the equipment and rules from Western boxing. During the 1920’s, King Rama VII began this process of modernization by constructing a western style boxing ring for Muay Thai competition in Suan Kularb, Bangkok... In the early 1930s, Muaythai was officially codified, with rules and regulations being created.