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Bangkok Schools Introduce Muay Thai Curriculum to Preserve Cultural Heritage and Teach Discipline

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A nimble young boxer launches a powerful kick at a punching bag at Atchara Muay Thai Gym, a renowned boxing school in Bangkok. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) is set to pack a punch by introducing Muay Thai as an elective course in 437 of its schools. The initiative is part of a broader effort to preserve Thailand’s cultural heritage while teaching young people the values of discipline and resilience, according to city council president Surajit Pongsingwitthaya. The boxing classes will be offered as a segment of the health science and physical education curriculum, announced in a meeting with Thanakorn Chaisri, director of the BMA’s Department of Education.

This exciting addition to the school system is expected to create quite a buzz among students. The BMA’s move aims to bolster Thailand’s presence in the international sporting community, reinforcing what is popularly known as the country’s “soft power,” notes Mr. Surajit.

Mr. Surajit further explained that the benefits of Muay Thai extend beyond physical training. The sport teaches youngsters the importance of structure and discipline, while also fostering a spirit of sportsmanship. Certified trainers from various celebrated Thai boxing camps across the capital have been enlisted to teach these courses. The lessons won’t just stop at the school bell; after-school sessions will also be available, offering flexibility for students.

Interestingly, the training won’t be limited to students alone. The sessions, which will be conducted on BMA-run school premises, are also planned to be accessible to outsiders, including staff from other state agencies. This inclusive approach ensures that a broader audience can benefit from this remarkable art form.

Mr. Surajit is optimistic about the long-term impacts of this initiative. He envisions that Muay Thai could become more than just a school subject; it could evolve into a professional pathway for interested individuals. This in turn would help in preserving Muay Thai as a national martial art.

“Youngsters will gain a comprehensive understanding of the history of Thai boxing and learn to value our rich culture and heritage,” he remarked. “It’s a sport that carries the essence of Thailand’s soft power, captivating interest from enthusiasts around the globe.”

This engaging curriculum not only promises to equip students with practical fighting skills but also aims to instill virtues of respect and appreciation for their national heritage. By combining physical education with cultural education, the BMA is making a significant step towards a more holistic approach in the educational landscape.

Thailand’s Muay Thai has always been a sport that captures hearts worldwide, and with this groundbreaking initiative, the BMA is ensuring that the next generation carries forward this legacy with pride and passion.


  1. Emma June 19, 2024

    I think this is an amazing initiative! Muay Thai is such an integral part of Thai culture. Incorporating it into the school curriculum is a brilliant way to ensure it continues to thrive.

    • Chris M. June 19, 2024

      But shouldn’t school be focused on academics? Does Muay Thai really hold a place in the school system?

      • Emma June 19, 2024

        Physical education is just as important. Muay Thai teaches discipline and resilience, which are valuable life skills.

      • HistoryBuff123 June 19, 2024

        Exactly, Emma! Plus, understanding one’s own cultural heritage is crucial for building national identity.

  2. Joe June 19, 2024

    Isn’t this a bit too violent for kids? We should be teaching peace and understanding, not combat sports.

    • Zara P. June 19, 2024

      Muay Thai is about discipline and respect, not just fighting. It’s a controlled environment that teaches kids to channel their energy positively.

    • Joe June 19, 2024

      I get that, but will all trainers ensure it’s taught this way? One bad apple can spoil everything.

      • Liam King June 19, 2024

        There are certified trainers involved, Joe. BMA is making sure the trainers are well-qualified.

  3. Sophia Tan June 19, 2024

    This initiative could really help some of the kids focus better in school. Physical activity has been known to improve academic performance!

    • Kevin June 19, 2024

      That’s an interesting point! I’ve read studies that support this. Active kids tend to have better concentration.

    • grower134 June 19, 2024

      More physical activity in school can definitely help with mental health too. Big win for everyone.

  4. Davis June 19, 2024

    Why focus on Muay Thai only? There are many other sports that could be just as beneficial.

    • Ananya June 19, 2024

      While that’s true, Muay Thai is uniquely Thai. It’s a cultural treasure, much like how other countries promote their traditional sports.

    • Davis June 19, 2024

      Good point, Ananya. I guess it adds a special touch to the curriculum.

      • Aria June 19, 2024

        Cultural heritage should indeed be a priority, and Muay Thai does that beautifully.

  5. Tanya June 19, 2024

    What about the risks of injuries? Muay Thai can be very intense.

    • John D. June 19, 2024

      Every sport has risks. Proper training and safety measures can mitigate these. It’s part of the learning process.

    • Tanya June 19, 2024

      True, John, but I hope the schools enforce strict safety guidelines.

  6. Maya Lee June 19, 2024

    Exciting initiative! I wish we had something like this when I was in school. Would have loved to learn Muay Thai.

  7. EcoWarrior June 19, 2024

    This is a smart move, combining physical activity with cultural education. More countries should adopt similar strategies.

  8. Brian June 19, 2024

    How will they balance this with other subjects? The academic curriculum is already packed.

    • Jenna June 19, 2024

      That’s a valid concern. Hopefully, they’ve planned it well to avoid overloading the students.

  9. Oliver Wright June 19, 2024

    Muay Thai can be a great outlet for kids with behavioral issues. It can teach them discipline and respect.

    • Kat June 19, 2024

      Absolutely, Oliver. It offers a structured environment that many kids desperately need.

  10. Sara H. June 19, 2024

    I hope they also teach the history and cultural aspects of Muay Thai, not just the physical techniques.

  11. Pulitzer97 June 19, 2024

    This could open doors for future athletes. Maybe we’ll see more Thai champions in international competitions soon.

  12. Lucas June 19, 2024

    I’m intrigued to see the long-term impact of this initiative. Will kids really be more disciplined?

    • Chris M. June 19, 2024

      It definitely has potential, Lucas. But let’s be realistic, discipline depends on many factors, not just sports training.

      • Lucas June 19, 2024

        True, Chris. But it’s a step in the right direction. Only time will tell.

  13. Helena June 19, 2024

    Will these sessions be accessible for students with disabilities too?

  14. Auntie Mae June 19, 2024

    I’m glad they’re offering after-school sessions. Not everyone’s schedules are the same.

  15. Bobby J June 19, 2024

    More power to the BMA! This is how you preserve cultural heritage and foster national pride.

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