You know the drill my sherpups, the new article is up: ______ The history of martial arts is very difficult to pin down, as there is so much myth, folklore and general romanticizing about those humble origins. It wasn’t until relatively late in the development of civilization that certain fighting styles were named. Whereas most historical topics have numerous sources that can be examined, a lot of martial arts history is passed down by word of mouth. Since martial arts is such a niche topic, the truth becomes hard to find. It becomes even harder when trying to find out the true history of Indochinese kickboxing, which is even older than modern martial arts such as judo, karate and taekwondo. Indochinese kickboxing is an umbrella term that encompasses several different martial arts so similar they are practically the same style. The most known of these styles are Muay Thai (the most famous), Muay Laos, Tomoi, Pradal Serey and the topic of today’s article – Lethwei. MUAY THAI VS. LETHWEI: HOW RULES CHANGE THE STYLE While most of us know Muay Thai as a ring sport with boxing gloves and a judge’s decision, traditional kard cheuk rules fights are fought with rope handwraps and no decisions. Lethwei swaps rope handwraps for more modern bandage wraps, but remain identical to Muay Thai otherwise… except for headbutts. In truth, the difference between Burmese and Thai boxers is not so much the actual technique – their style of kicks, knees and elbows are identical – but rather their approach to fighting. Bare knuckle means punching to the head is risky, headbutts mean the clinch game is changed strongly, and no decisions means you’ll usually see less kicks and more punches. It also means most Lethwei fights degenerate into outright brawls. This is perfectly fine from an entertainment standpoint, but generally speaking you will not see the same high level of technique and strategy that you get from a Muay Thai fight. That said, Lethwei is not without its craft. Let’s meet a few of the notable talents from the Lethwei world. TWAY MA SHAUNG: THE WHIRLWIND OF AGGRESSION Tway Ma Shaung is considered the best Lethwei fighter of his generation. He’s also a frustrating mix of some real technical brilliance and incredibly fundamental mistakes. Tway is a fighter who will step forward with his back foot first, shorten his stance and compromise his position. On the other hand, he’s also a fighter who will throw up a high kick and then on the recall, pull his leg back into a beautiful floating check. What is particularly interesting with Tway is that he’s one of the only Lethwei fighters I’ve seen thus far to understand bare knuckle boxing is best done to the body. Rather than routinely slamming his fists into his opponent’s head, Tway is always looking for a dig to the body whenever he can. In his bout with Thomas Hengstberger, he dealt with the Austrian’s high guard by going low, for the most part ignoring his opponents guard altogether. When Tway needs to attack the high guard of an opponent, he doesn’t risk his hands, he’ll just go straight for the headbutt. _________________ You can read the rest here: https://muay-thai-guy.com/lethwei-the-wild-west-of-kickboxing.html This is the first of a few articles that I'm going to be doing on Indochinese Kickboxing and it's history and how this all relates to Muay Thai. I'm currently talking with a legit expert on the topic to get as much information as possible for the next one!