Muay Thai

Thailand To Offer Extended Visas For Muay Thai Training

Thailand is planning to introduce a new special 90-day visa for foreign tourists to practise Muay Thai or Thai Boxing, in an effort to promote the country’s tourism industry as well as promote the sport as a cultural heritage worldwide. Muay Thai, which translates to “Thai Boxing”, is the national sport of Thailand. It is a martial art with roots originating from military use dating back to around the 13th century.

With a tourist visa, a foreigner can stay in Thailand for up to 60 days but with a special visa for learning Muay Thai, they could stay for up to 90 days to complete their course. Thailand boasts numerous Muay Thai camps where enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the sport.

The plan was announced by Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin on his official X account. “The Thai government and I are ready to support the ‘Soft Power’ of Thailand. Giving a special 90-day visa to people interested in learning Muay Thai is just a small beginning of the government’s desired policy to stimulate the Thai economy by using Thai cultural heritage as an export to the whole world.”

“We are not only planning for special visas for Muay Thai but other ‘Soft Powers such as Thai dance, Thai music, Thai food cooking lessons and more,” said Srettha.

Muay Thai match

The government will set a standard level to be attained at the Muay Thai classes and the certification for Muay Thai teachers will also be standardised so that the national self-defence art can be accurately disseminated around the world.

In addition, the government will promote Muay Thai through the ‘Now Muay Thai’ website, a platform for foreigners interested in the sport, to choose courses around Thailand.

However, the Thai government has yet to announce when the new visa will be implemented.
Before 1945, Muay Thai was not a competitive sport. In 1945, the Thai government had a vision to build the Rajadamnern stadium as both a venue and a governing entity to professionalise Muay Thai into Thailand’s national sport.

Rajadamnern Stadium is known as the world’s first Muay Thai stadium with a rich history and its own heritage. In 2022, the stadium underwent a renovation to adapt to modern demands and technological innovations. Rajadamnern is now a world-class sports and entertainment venue which prides itself on the highest quality fights with high level production.

March 17 is also designated as National Muay Thai Day (also known as Boxer’s Day) where commemorative events are held at Muay Thai gyms and stadiums across Thailand. Whether it’s for self-defence, fitness, empowerment, or personal growth, learning Muay Thai can be an incredibly rewarding journey for people of all ages and backgrounds, and it is also becoming popular among women.

Today, Muay Thai is considered to have influenced the development of other combat sports such as kickboxing, which is why it’s common to see not just Muay Thai fighters but kickboxers and MMA fighters from all over the world coming to Thailand to train.

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