Kickboxing has a long history in Thailand and is the country's national sport. An evening ringside at a Muay Thai event is a must for any sporting enthusiast traveling to Thailand.
Traditional Muay Thai practiced today, varies slightly from the ancient art, and the only similarity to western boxing is that the fighters wear gloves. Muay Thai is also known as the 'science of the eight limbs' as master Muay Thai fighters are able to strike using eight different points of contact including the hands, shins, elbows and knees
Muay Thai boxing is the national sport of Thailand and became that way due to the exploits of one of its former rulers, King Naresuan in 1560. Thailand and Myanmar fought constantly back in those days, and inone of these battles, the King was captured and taken back to Myanmar. The King was known to teach and possess great close-quarters fighting skill, and was offered a chance to win his freedom. He had to defeat any fighter the Myanmarians chose, and obviously they chose their best. After he defeated all comers, he was released back to his people, who hailed him as a hero. The techniques he used and taught are still on display today as Muay Thai.
Here is a link to a great informational page on Muay Thai, including all the rules and regs: