Muay Thai or Thai boxing, the national sport in Thailand, is a fighting style derived from traditional Thai martial arts involving the use of fists, feet, elbows and knees, so it is also known as the art of the 8 weapons. It is allowed to continue the fight in clinch, throwing or fixing the opponent for elbow and knee strikes.
In parallel with Muay Thai, in Thailand, people study Krabbi Krabong (art of fighting using weapons), a traditional art, born in the war field of Middle Ages also a large variety of connected techniques: submission or joints manipulation, ground fight, traditional massage and medicine for fighters, meditation. In its home country this sport is still very ritualistic and religious connected.
Modern Muay Thai is limiting the projections - fighters not being allowed to send the opponent to the ground, except in a very small number of cases and a limited number of techniques and the fight never continues at the ground. Are also forbidden techniques belonging to the sphere of "Wrestling - Judo", meaning chocks, articular manipulation or hitting the opponent at the ground, such as "Mixed Martial Arts". Muay Thai boxing is therefore a "stand-up" sport, exchanging blows only standing, but still remaining one of the most permissive and tough of existing contact sports.
The bouts in Thailand are all professional; the term "amateur" is practically a recent invention of European origin. Professionals fight 5 rounds of 3 minutes with breaks of a minute and a half. In amateur mode (mostly in Europe and in the western scene) are divisions as in football league: Class "C" (corresponding to C division) format battle 3 rounds of 2 minutes, class B (for Transition to Pro) - 5 rounds of 2 minutes, and professional bouts themselves are considered "Class A" (again same division of the same name). In class C, knee strikes are sometimes forbidden or limited in number, the elbow strikes are prohibited in class B and class A in most matches outside Thailand, due to high frequency of accidents caused by elbow strikes.
WMC (World Muay Thai Council) is currently the main organization, agreed and accepted by the Thai government, which supervises international Class A professional fights.
The status of the amateur organizations is less clear, recent press releases indicating that the authorities agreed a certain mediating forum among international amateur organizations in order to end the legitimacy disputes. In amateur formats, protections as: head, body, elbow and shin protections are extensively used.