The ensuing popularity and international interest in Muay Thai led to changing of rules, and became more in line with other popular governed sports like boxing. In the 1920’s, this fighting style was further modernized when rings were introduced, replacing open courtyards where the competitions were first held. The old-style horsehide, hemp rope, and leather bindings were phased out, and gloves similar to boxing gloves took their place.
Finally, after WWII ended, the first official and formal rules were introduced into the sport of Muay Thai. These rule changes included such things as a specified number of rounds, time limits, and the use of a clock. Major stadiums were constructed for the sport in large cities like Bangkok, Sukothai, and Chiang Mai. Today, Lumpini Stadium in Bangkok is considered “holy ground” to Thai fighters and foreign fighters alike.
Muay Thai was recently accepted as an Olympic sport, and it is continues to gain in countries throughout the world. Professional fighters in martial arts, K-1, and submission fighting all agree, and is thought of as an essential part of being a well-round skilled fighter by professional fighters in the fields of Martial Arts, K-!, and Submission Fighting. Today, thousands of Muay Thai gyms are spread out across the globe.