Why Do Fighters Wear Ropes In A Muay Thai Fight?

Have you found yourself wondering why fighters wear ropes in a Muay Thai fight? Maybe you have started training in Muay Thai and want to learn more about the ropes used?

Why Do Fighters Wear Ropes In A Muay Thai Fight

Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever your question is that brought you here today, we have the answers for you! 

When it comes to Muay Thai or Thai Boxing, many of us have lots of questions. We find ourselves wondering about the training process and what the purpose of ropes are in fights.

So, we set off on a mission to find out these answers, but no matter what we do, we just can’t find the answers! We find ourselves jaded, disappointed, and unsure if we will ever know why ropes are worn in Muay Thai fights. 

Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers that you need. Just keep reading to find out why fighters wear ropes in a Muay Thai fight and everything else you need to know about them! 

Where Are Ropes Worn In Muay Thai?

In Muay Thai, ropes are worn on fighters’ hands and wrists. These ropes are wound tightly around the fighter’s hands, extending up to their wrist and forearms.

Usually, the ropes are white and at a distance can look a little like bandages. 

These ropes tend to be long and thin hemp ropes. Usually, they have a diameter of ¼-inch and tend to be quite long. Typically, it takes 15 meters of rope to wrap each hand like a Muay Thai fighter.

So before wrapping your hands, make sure you have about 30 meters of rope. 

Ropes are wrapped around the hands in traditional Muay Boran but are used in all variations of Thai boxing, including Muay Thai. How they are wrapped around your hands depends on the style of boxing you are doing.

The style of boxing is determined by the region the boxing style originates in.

Now that we have established where the ropes are worn in Muay Thai, let’s move on and look at why they are worn! 

Why Do Fighters Wear Ropes In A Muay Thai Fight?

Let’s get into what brought you here today! Fighters wear ropes in Muay Thai for a few different reasons. The first reason is that these ropes can help to protect a fighter’s hands and wrists in a similar way to boxing straps. 

Think of the power behind some of these punches, after a few fights you would expect to see some damage to your hands. And damaged hands is the last thing any fighter wants!

So by wrapping their hands and wrists with rope, they can protect themselves from any damage. Of course, this won’t save them from any damage caused by their opponents, but it helps to keep their hands safe! 

However, there is a darker side to these ropes that you need to know about! Muay Thai fighters use hemp rope, and it is usually unrefined.

This rope is very rough and is sure to hurt when you are punched in the face with a fist covered in the rope! 

Muay Thai fighters used to strategically place knots along their knuckles with the roughest ropes they could get. This would cut their opponents when they were punched with fists covered in these ropes.

The point of wearing ropes like this was to injure your opponent as much as possible. 

Fighters would even wrap their hands, place them in water, and leave the ropes to dry. Doing so helps to keep the ropes tighter and stiffer, causing more damage to their opponents!

Remember this was all happening without any gloves on top of the fists, so you would expect to walk away from a Muay Thai fight bloody thanks to the ropes! 

So not only do ropes help to protect a fighter’s hands, but they can cause harm to your opponent when you land punches with fists covered in rope! 

Are Ropes Used In Modern Muay Thai Fights?

Muay Thai has always been considered a vicious type of martial arts, especially before the use of Kard Chuek was banned. For those that don’t know, Kard Chuek is a specific practice of wrapping fighters’ hands with ropes.

The practice was disbanded after the death of a Khmer fighter in 1928. 

Why Do Fighters Wear Ropes In A Muay Thai Fight (1)

Following this, boxing gloves were used in Muay Thai fights moving forward.

And although it was disbanded in professional Muay Thai fighting, you can still see Kard Chuek in televised boxing events and cultural festivals, where people are working hard to keep the tradition alive. 

In most modern Muay Thai fights, you will see fighters wear thin MMA gloves on their hands to protect them. They will then wrap their hands with the rope over the gloves.

This helps to keep the tradition alive, but the gloves soften the impact, meaning there is less damage inflicted on your opponent. 

The ropes are now also worn without knots and wrapping techniques that were known to cause a lot of damage. There are strict rules in place too that will help to protect fighters.

These rules will be made clear to you before you partake in any Muay Thai fight. Not only does it ensure that the fight is fair, but prevents rope burn and other nasty injuries that can come as a result of dangerous knots and rope techniques that were used. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! Muay Thai fighters wear ropes during fights to protect their hands! These ropes have previously been used to inflict more pain to their opponents too, causing them to cut and bleed and suffer other injuries!

The methods used to create maximum pain with these ropes have now been disbanded. 

In modern Muay Thai, it is common to see fighters wear both gloves and ropes. The combination helps to protect fighters” hands and to soften their punches, keeping opponents safe.

Christopher Anderson
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