A combat sport of Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. This discipline is known as the "art of eight limbs" as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate.
Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the late 20th to 21st century, when westernized practitioners from Thailand began competing in kickboxing, mixed rules matches, as well as matches under Muay Thai rules around the world.
The professional league is governed by The Professional Boxing Association of Thailand (P.A.T) sanctioned by The Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), and World Professional Muaythai Federation (WMF) overseas.
A practitioner of Muay Thai is known as a nak muay. Western practitioners are sometimes called Nak Muay Farang, meaning "foreign boxer".
In 2006, Muay Thai was included in SportAccord with IFMA. One of the requirements of SportAccord was that no sport can have a name of a country in its name. As a result, an amendment was made in the IFMA constitution to change the name of the sport from "Muay Thai" to "Muaythai" – written as one word in accordance with Olympic requirements.
In 2014 Muay Thai was included in the International World Games Association (IWGA) and will be represented in the official programme of The World Games 2017 in Wrocław, Poland.
In January 2015, Muay Thai was granted the Patronage of the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and on March the 16th to the 23rd, 2015 the first University World Muaythai Cup was held in Bangkok.