MOUNT, MINNESOTA — On Saturday, amateur Kickboxer, Ryan Rutherford traveled from his home in Rockford, IL to Mount, MN for the Bruises & Brews event. The event’s headline reads, “Great beer and awesome Muay Thai.”
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is the national sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. It was developed several hundreds of years ago as a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon. Muay Thai became widespread internationally in the late 20th to 21st century, when westernized practitioners from Thailand began competing in kickboxing.
In World War II, after formally being introduced to Muay Thai, foreigners named it “Siam Boxing“, as Thailand was formerly Siam. The French labeled it as “Le Sport Orient” or the fighting style of the orient. Soldiers from Europe and America would watch attentively as the Thai soldiers practiced Muay Thai among themselves. They were so impressed with the style of fighting that they asked the Thai soldiers to teach them the fundamentals and traditions of Muay Thai. As it became more popular internationally, the rules began to change so it could easily be better organized and governed like established sports such as boxing. In the 1920’s, rings were introduced to replace open courtyards, which ultimately planted the roots of modern Muay Thai.
Today Muay Thai is becoming very popular on a global scale. It was recently accepted as an Olympic sport, finally gaining it’s deserved recognition. Professional martial artists from all sides of the fighting spectrum agree, Muay Thai is essential to becoming an all-around multifaceted fighter. As new training camps and gyms open around the world, Muay Thai will continue to grow in popularity.
“It’s been a crazy couple of days,” says Rutherford. “Years of hard work and the help from many awesome people create moments like these. To everyone who’s supported my crazy passion throughout the years I owe a big thank you!”
Rutherford ended his victorious last moments in the ring with this heartfelt speech: