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Royal Muay Thai

I Dedicate this website to my Muay Thai Teacher (Grand Kru) and my Older Brother:
Great Grand Master (Tom Khamvongsa) Sounthon "the Knockout" Sitvanchai
Bangkok Muay Thai Stadium Champion
Former Special Forces Paratrooper
Vietnam Vet
"A Real Life Rambo"
From: Master Shawn Shervan  

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai

Focus Striking: Kicking, Boxing, Standing, Grappling, Knee, Elbow Striking.
Kingdom of Origin: Thailand / Siam

At The Imperial International Martial Arts Federation, our students have the option of training in our style of Muay Thai Kick Boxing.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai History

Royal Muay Thai matches have been held in Bangkok, Thailand. Various forms of Martial Arts have been practiced for over 2500 years, throughout Asia. As with the most countries in Asia, Thai culture is highly influenced by Indian, Chinese, Indo European and other Ancient Asian civilizations within Asia. The origin of Royal Muay Thai is unclear. One theory is that different people immigrated to Asia from China, India and Persia and their fighting styles were adopted and modified by Thai people. Thai culture was influenced by other cultures.

  • Royal Muay Thai emphasizes strength. A Technique like "Throwing Bull Boxing" is used. It could supposedly defeat a Large Attacker in one blow.

  • Royal Muay Thai emphasizes movements. Its strong points are straight and counter Boxing.

  • Royal Muay Thai emphasizes posture and defense, as well as elbows and knees.

  • Royal Muay Thai emphasizes speed, particularly in kicking. Because speed and power can cause more damage.

Royal Muay Thai is a practical fighting System, for its use in actual warfare, where the Royal Thai Military is trained in Muay Thai. Royal Muay Thai also a Martial Sport in which the Fighters go out and fight in front of Audiences who went to watch them in town centers. This kind of Royal Muay Thai contests gradually become an integral part of local festivals and celebrations, especially those held at Thai Buddhist Temples. It was even used as Royal entertainment for Thai Kings. Eventually, the previously bare-fist fighters started wearing Protection wrapped around their hands and forearms. These types of matches were called Modern Royal Muay Thai. Royal Muay Thai gradually became a national sport, as the Competitors increasingly became more skillful Boxers. These Special Muay Thai Kick Boxers were invited to come and live in the Thai Royal Palace so they could teach Royal Muay Thai to the staff of the Royal Household, Soldiers, Princes and the King's Personal Body Guards. This type of "Royal Muay Thai" was called The Royal Household Martial Arts. Sometime during Thai history, a platoon of Royal Body Guards were established, whose duty was to protect Thai King’s and the Kingdom of Thailand. They were known as (Royal Muay Thai Fighters' Division of the Royal Thai Armed Forces). This Royal patronage of Royal Muay Thai continued through the reigns of many Thai Kings.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Renaissance

The ascension of H.M.King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) to the Thai Throne in 1868 Brought in a Golden Age not only for Royal Muay Thai, but for the whole Kingdom of Thailand. Royal Muay Thai progressed greatly during this Period of the Thai Kingdom, as a direct result of the king's personal interest in Royal Muay Thai Kick Boxing. The Kingdom was at peace and Royal Muay Thai functioned as a means of physical Fitness, Self-Defense, Health and personal achievement. Masters of the Royal Muay Thai Kick Boxing Martial Art, started to train Competition Fighters and Soldiers. Coaches and Trainers began teaching Royal Muay Thai in training Centers where students were provided with food and shelter. Students would be treated as family and it was customary for students to adopt their Training Camp's name as their own nickname.

After an occurrence of serious injury in the Competition Ring, H.M.King Rama the VII pushed for Safety rules for Royal Muay Thai, and the many of Rules were changed. These new rules included that all Competitors should wear modern gloves and cotton Padding over the feet and ankles. It was also around the 1920s that the term, Royal Muay Thai Kick Boxing became commonly used. The Royal Thai Special Forces started their serious training in this Royal Martial Art style.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Techniques:

In its original form, Royal Muay Thai consisted of an arsenal of nine areas including fists, elbows, knees and feet. In Royal Muay Thai, both students, amateur and professional fighters receive extensive conditioning. The clinch (standing Grappling) is used when a Royal Muay Thai Fighter gets close to a criminal or opponent. Formal Royal Muay Thai Techniques are divided into two groups: Royal Muay Thai Techniques and Western Boxing Techniques. Royal Muay Thai is often a Competition fighting art, where opponents exchange blows with one another. Muay Thai is certainly very popular form of fighting in the world Cage fighting circuit. With the success of Muay Thai in Mixed Martial Arts fighting, it has become the Main Martial Art of choice for stand-up Cage Fighters. The Royal Muay Thai has evolved and incorporated much more powerful hand striking Techniques from Western Boxing. Note: when a Royal Muay Thai Boxer competes against other fighters of other styles (and if the rules allow it), the Royal Muay Thai Boxers are almost invariably use elbow and knee Techniques to gain a distinct advantage. Almost all Techniques in Royal Muay Thai use the entire body's momentum, rotating the hip with each Kick, Punches, and Covering. The rotation of the hips in Royal Muay Thai is what sets Royal Muay Thai Above other styles of Martial Arts.

IIMAF Royal Martial Sport:

Muay Thai is a form of Royal Thai martial arts, practiced by over 20 million in different parts of the world. Royal Muay Thai has a long history in the Kingdom of Thailand (Siam) and is the country's national Royal Sport. Muay Thai is referred to as "The Science of Eight Extensions of the Body", as the Hands; Shins, Elbows, and Knees are all used extensively in this Royal Art. Royal Muay Thai practitioners have the ability to execute strikes "using 8 parts of the body," as opposed to "two points" (fists) in Western boxing and "four points" (fists, feet) which is used in most other Martial Arts. Muay Thai’s very distinctive style is what sets it apart from other styles of Martial Arts.

Some of IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Fist Techniques Include

  • Jab

  • Uppercut

  • Hook

  • cross

  • Swing

  • Uppercut

  • Spinning Back Fist


The Fist Techniques in Royal Muay Thai are original and quite simple. Using Cross and Circular Strikes which are used with a straight Arm (but not locked elbows) and landing the Punch on the heel of the Knuckle. Mixing Royal Muay Thai with western boxing has really improved this Royal Thai Martial Art. Modern Royal Muay Thai Fist Techniques include: Jab, Straight Right/Cross, Hook, Uppercut, Shovel and Corkscrew Boxing and over Punches as well as Hammer Fists and Back Fists.
Punching to the body is used less in Royal Muay Thai than most other Martial Arts. Punching to the body could expose the head of the fighter and the attacker can counter strike with Knees or Kicks. To use the range of targeting points, in keeping with the Theory of Royal Muay Thai - Center Line, the Fighter can use Western Boxing/Royal Muay Thai stances, which can allow either long range or short range offensives done effectively without compromising the Guard Position.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Elbow Attacks

The Elbow can be used in several ways as an Offensive Weapon: Horizontal, Diagonal-Upwards, Diagonal-Downwards, Uppercut, Downward, Backward-Spinning and Jumping. From the side it can be used as either a knockout move or as a way to cut the attackers eyebrow, so the injury to the opponent could cause bleeding which can block his vision.

Elbow Attacks Include

  • Elbow Cut

  • Reverse Horizontal Elbow Strike

  • Horizontal Elbow Strike

  • Spinning Elbow Strike

  • Uppercut Elbow Strike

  • Double Elbow Strike

  • Forward Elbow Push  

  • Mid-Air Elbow Strike 

  • Elbow Strike


There are distinct difference between a Single Elbow and a Follow-Up Elbow Strike. The single Elbow Strikes are an Elbow move, independent from any other move, whereas a Follow-Up Elbow is the second strike from the same arm, being a Hook Punch or Straight Punch at first with an Elbow follow-up. Such Elbows Strikes, and most other Elbows Strikes, are used when the distance between fighters becomes less and there is too little space to throw a Hook Punch at the opponent's head. Elbows Strikes’ can also be utilized to great effect as blocks or defenses against attacks, for example, Spring Knees, Side Body Knees, Body Kicks or Snap Kicking.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Kicks include

  • Front Kick 

  • Down Roundhouse Kick

  • Roundhouse Kick

  • Axe Heel Kick 

  • Side Kick

  • Jump Kicks

  • Half-Shin, Half-Knee Kick

  • Step-Up Kick

  • Back Spinning Heel Kick


The two most common Kicks in Royal Muay Thai are known as the Foot Jab, and kicking upwards in the shape of a triangle cutting under the arm and ribs. The Royal Muay Thai Angle Kick has been widely adopted by other Martial Arts and is considered one of or the most powerful kicks in the Martial Arts. The Angle Kick uses a rotational Turning of the entire body. The Angle Kick is similar to a karate/Taekwondo roundhouse kick, but doesn't have the rotation of the lower leg from the knee. The Angle Kick draws its power entirely from the turning movement of the body. Many Royal Muay Thai students use a counter turning of the arms to intensify the power of this Kick. When a Round House Kick is attempted by the Royal Muay Thai Boxers, he or she will normally strike with their Shin. Royal Muay Thai boxers are trained to always make connect with the Shin. While sensitive in an unconditioned student, the Shin and the Heel of the Foot are the strongest parts of the leg for experienced Royal Muay Thai Boxers. The Hand contains many fine bones and it is much weaker. A Royal Muay Thai Kick Boxer may end up hurting Him or Herself if he or she tries to Roundhouse Kick with the instep and not the Shin.

Royal Muay Thai also includes other varieties of Kicking, such as the Axe Kicks, Side Kicks or Back Spinning Kicks and much more. These Kicks can also be used in competitions by some Kick Boxers. A Side Kick is performed differently in Royal Muay Thai than the traditional side kick of other Martial Arts. In Royal Muay Thai, a Side Kick is used by first raising the knee of the kicking leg in order to trick the opponent that the a Push or Front Kick is going to be used, then the hips are turned to the side, like more typical Side Kick positions. A fake is almost always proceeds with a kick in Royal Muay Thai.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Knee Attacks include

  • Front Knee Attack

  • Knee Slap Attack

  • Opposite Knee Attack

  • Drop Knee Attack

  • Side Knee Attack

  • Flying Knee Attack

  • Upper Knee Attack 

  • Step-Up Knee Attack

Other IIMAF Knee Attacks include:

Jumping Knee Attack

The Royal Muay Thai student jumps up on one leg and then attacks with the other knee.

Jumping Knee Kick

The Royal Muay Thai student takes step(s), jumps forward and off with one leg and attacks with that leg's knee.

Front Knee Attack

The Royal Muay Thai Student simply moves his Knees forward, If he is holding an opponent’s head down in a hold and intend to knee upwards into the face.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Push Kicks:

Push Kicks or”Kick jabs" are one of the most common Techniques used in Royal Muay Thai. Royal Muay Thai Push Kicks are different from any Kicking Technique in terms of why it is used. Push Kicks are used as a defensive technique to control distance between you and the Attacker, and get the attacker off balance. Push Kicks should be thrown quickly but yet with enough force to Push an Attacker off balance. Other kicks include:

  • Straight Push Kick

  • Sideways Push Kick

  • Side Push Kick

  • Jumping Push Kick

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Standing Grappling:

In Western Boxing the two fighters are separated when they start to Grapple; in Royal Muay Thai, however, they are not. It is often in the Hold is where Knee and Elbow Techniques are used. The Front Hold Position should be performed with the center of one hand on the back of the other person’s head. There are three reasons why the fingers must not be cress crossed.

  • In the ring, fighters are wearing boxing gloves and cannot intertwine their fingers.

  • The Royal Muay Thai, Front Holds involve, pressing the head of the opponent downwards, which is easier if the hands are locked behind the back of the head instead of behind the neck. More so the arms should be putting as much pressure on the neck and neck as much as possible.

  • A Royal Muay Thai Student may cause an injury to one or more of their fingers, if they are curled, and it becomes more difficult to release the hold in order to quickly elbow the opponent's head, or face.

A correct Hold also involves the Royal Muay Thai student's forearms pressing against the opponent's collar bone while the hands are around the opponent's head rather than the opponent's neck. The general way to get out of a clinch is to, push the opponent's head backwards or elbow him or her, as the hold needs both persons to be very close to one another. More so, the non-dominant standing grappler can try to "swing" his or her arm underneath and inside the opponent's hold, getting the previously non-dominant person as in the Dominant Hold Position.
Royal Muay Thai has many other variations of the Standing Grappling, including:
Arm Hold, where one or both hands controls the inside of the defender's arm(s) and where the second hand if free, in the Front Clinch Position, this Clinch is used to briefly control the opponent before applying a Knee Strike or a Throw.
Side Holds: one arm passing around the front of the defender with the attacker's shoulder pressed into the defender's arm pit and the other arm passing round the back which allows the attacker to apply Knee Strikes to the defender's back or to Throw the defender readily.
Low Hold, with both controlling arms passing under the defender's arms, which is generally used by the shorter of two opponents.
Hook Neck Hold is where one hand around the rear of the neck is used to shortly to hold an opponent neck before a strike.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Defense Against Attacks

Defenses in IIMAF Muay Thai are categorized in 6 groups

Covering the hard attacks or to stop a strike in its path, so preventing it from reaching its defender, (The Shin Cover needs more conditioning).


Defender's soft parries to turn the direction of an attack so that it misses the defender.

Staying away

Moving a body part out of the way of an attack so that the defender remains in an area for a counter-strike, the defender moving the front leg backwards from the attacker's Low Kick: then immediately Counter-Kicking with an Angle Kick: or the defender laying his or her head back from the attacker's High Angle Kicks: then immediately Counter-Attacking with a Push Kick from the front leg.


Moving the body out of the way of an attack so the defender has to move close again to Counter-Kick, defender jumping back from attacker's Kicks.


Pre-Imptive a Striking. with defender using stopping Techniques like the Jab, Push Kick (to the chest of the attacker) as the attacker attempts to come in.


Defender Grabbing a Kick or a Punch (holding a Front Kick to the body) or countering it before it hits the target (the defender's High Kick to the supporting side below as the attacker initiates a Low Angle Kick).

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Boxing and Kicking

Defensively, the concept of "Wall of the Rock" is used, in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to hinder the attacker from successfully executing Techniques. Covering is a critical element in Royal Muay Thai and compounds the level of conditioning, where a successful Student must learn. Low, Mid to the body Kicks are normally Covered with the upper portion of a Raised Shin. High body strikes are Covered with the forearm or hand, Elbow or the Shin. Mid Section Kicks can also be caught, allowing for a counter attack to the remaining leg of the attacker. Fists are Covered with a Western Boxing Guard and Techniques; it is the same as, a Boxing Technique. A common means of Covering a fist is by using the hand on the same side as the oncoming fist. For example, if a fighter throws a Left Jab, the defender will make a slight tap to redirect the Fist's Angle with the right hand. The Deflection is always as small and precise as possible to avoid unnecessary energy expenditure and return the hand to the Guard as quickly as possible. Hooks are most often covered with a motion most often described as "Raising the Elbow forward and effectively Protecting the head with the forearm, flexed biceps, and shoulder". More advanced Royal Muay Thai Techniques are usually counters, used to damage the opponent Limbs to prevent another attack being made.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Strengthening Techniques

Like most competitive full contact fighting Competitions, Royal Muay Thai has a heavy emphasis on Total body Strengthening. Royal Muay Thai is specifically made to promote the level of Martial arts fitness and Martial Arts toughness required for extreme competition or fighting. Training Workouts include many groups of IIMAF Combat Mix Martial Arts Fighting Conditioning such as Jogging, Running, Shadowboxing, Body Weight Isometrics Resistance Movements, Medicine Ball Exercises, Abdominal Power Exercises, and in some cases Weight Lifting Training. Royal Muay Thai students usually apply herbs before and after their Tough Training Sessions.

The workout specific to Royal Muay Thai students and competitors includes training with the Chief Master on Targets, Shields, Pads, Focus Mitts, Light Punching and Kicking Bags, Heavy Kicking and Punching Bags, and Light Sparring and Full Contact Sparring with other students. The Daily Training Program includes many Rounds (5-12 minute periods with, breaks by a short rest, often 1–2 minutes) of these various Programs of Training. Royal Muay Thai Training Equipment are very important to Royal Muay Thai Strengthening which includes practicing Boxing, Kicking, Kneeing, and Elbowing Strikes with the other student wearing thick padding which cover their shins, forearms and hands. These Royal Muay Thai Training Equipment are used to absorb the impact of the student’s strikes and allow the Royal Muay Thai student to react to the attacks of the trainer. The Master trainer will often also wear a stomach padding around the stomach area so that the student can attack with Straight Kicks, Round Kicks or Knees to the body of the other student, at anytime during the Training Rounds.
Royal Muay Thai Focus Mitts are specific to training a student’s Hand Speed, Punching Combinations, Timing, Punching Power, Defensive Moves, and Counter-Punching and may also be used to practice Elbow Strikes. Heavy Kicking and Punching Bag Training is a Strengthening and Power Training Exercise that reinforces the Techniques done on the Pads. Royal Muay Thai Sparring is a way to test Fighting Techniques, Skills, Range, Strategy, and Timing against a Fighting Partner. Royal Muay Thai Sparring is often a Light to Medium Contact Training because competitive Students of this Royal Art are on a full program and do not want to risk getting hurt by sparring full contact. Some Royal Muay Thai Tactics and Strategies can be trained with Royal Thai sparring which can involve Close Range Fighting, Standing Grappling and Kneeing only, cutting off the ring ropes, or using reach and distance to keep an aggressive attacker away.
Due to the Tuff Fighting and Training Regimen (some Royal Muay Thai Fighters Train every week) professional Muay Thai fighters have long training hours. It is common for Royal Muay Thai students to be known as the #1 Stand up Fighting Style. Most professional Royal Muay Thai Kick Boxers come from the different backgrounds and the fight For money is sought as means of supporting their friends and their families.

IIMAF Royal Muay Thai Rules

Muay Thai is practiced in many different countries. There are different rules depending on what country the fight is in and under what organization the fight is arranged.
Royal Muay Thai, along with Karate and Taekwondo heavily influenced the development of kickboxing in Japan, Europe, and North America. However, unlike Royal Muay Thai, most kickboxing competitions do not allow elbow strikes or prolonged clinching knee strikes to avoid potential fight ending cuts. Kickboxing does not allow kicks below the waist.

Mixed Martial Arts

Starting in the Late 1990s, Muay Thai has enjoyed a boost in popularity worldwide as it has been very effective in Cage Fighting /Mixed Martial Arts training and competition. It is the most common way of using the Elbow, Knees and Low Kicks. The Diagonal Elbows are faster than the other forms Elbow Strikes and most powerful. The Uppercut and Jumping Knees and Elbows are the most powerful, but are slower and easier to avoid or get away from. The Downward Elbow and Knee Strikes are usually used as a knockout moves.

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