Why Do Muay Thai Fighters Wear Short Shorts?

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Muay Thai fighters are known to wear shorts when competing in the ring. But do they ever wear a gi or long pants? And why do Muay Thai fighters wear short shorts?

Muay Thai fighters wear short shorts because it allows them to have maximum airflow and freedom around their thighs when training or fighting. Short shorts enable them to cool down much faster, and they also don’t restrict leg and hip movement the way a gi or long pants can.

Of course, think about where this martial art originated.

Thailand is a very hot country, and Muay Thai is a physically demanding martial art. If you want to learn Muay Thai, you should know that wearing shorts is highly required, and not just for tradition.

When it comes to combat sports, Muay Thai is right up there with the best.

Thai boxing is regarded as one of the most popular and well-known sports globally. Due to its popularity, the number of people interested in learning Muay Thai has increased.

Keep reading if you’re curious about Muay Thai shorts and other clothing materials the fighters wear.

What is the point of Muay Thai shorts?

The point of Muay Thai shorts is to have a comfortable experience without being restricted when fighting or training. A nak muay (Muay Thai fighter) wears Muay Thai shorts for easy access and complete body freedom so that they feel unhindered with their kicks.

Even dating back to the earliest century of Muay Thai, it has always been short shorts for their fighters, even when the sport resembled the western boxing style on the outside.

That period was only for a short time as the clothing was quickly adapted to the specific needs of the Muay Thai fighters.

You can observe the apparent differences between the shorts used in Western boxing and Muay Thai.

Western boxing shorts tend to be longer, reaching just above the knees, while Muay Thai shorts are much shorter, extending to just around the mid-thigh section. The Muay shorts are cut this way to allow complete freedom around the limb and reduce body heat.

The Muay Thai shorts are satin, nylon, and polyester blend fabric. These materials are usually used due to their comfortable feel and lightweight.

Traditional British and American designs did not allow enough freedom of movement, and a fighter performing a flying knee kick or a high kick risked having their shorts ripped.

As a result, Muay Thai pants got shorter, stronger stitching, and a special cut on the side of the thigh to allow for more movement. Surprisingly, boxing trunks got longer over time, while Muay Thai shorts got shorter. Cultural differences are also present.

Do you think Kickboxing is better than Muay Thai? 

In a recent article, I compare the two. On the surface, both seem very similar with equally devastating kicks. But there’s 1 key difference, and that leads to Muay Thai being used a lot more in MMA compared to Kickboxing.

Just click that link to read it on my site.

Why are Muay Thai shorts so expensive?

Muay Thai shorts are expensive because they are made with higher-end fabric such as satin or a satin-blend.

Muay Thai shorts are distinctive because they are unlike most other types of martial arts clothing. These were initially designed to be worn in Thailand, providing the wearer with a wide range of practical applications while also reducing restrictions.

If you want to purchase Muay Thai shorts, they should have high-quality stitching, a comfortable fit, and, of course, a flashy design.

Why are Muay Thai shorts so short?

The first thing you’ll notice about Muay Thai shorts is how short they are.

Part of the reason for this is to allow you to optimize your kicks and work in the clinch without being constrained by your clothing. In addition, Thailand is a very hot and humid place, so shorter shorts are required.

Furthermore, Muay shorts are so short in order to improve the movement of the body and to be able to sweat out easily while training or in a competition.

Also, the Muay Thai martial arts is all about kneeling and carrying each other while fighting. You won’t be able to carry this out effectively if you are wearing a gi like other martial arts.

This is why the Muay Thai shorts are made very short and free to help the fighters feel comfortable while training or fighting.

Over the years, specific components of Muay Thai have remained the same. Nak muay (A Muay Thai fighter) has always required an extensive range of motion to deliver knee, elbow, and shin strikes as well as tips and clinches to defend or gain control in a fight.

Most martial arts fighters believe that Muay Thai is bad for their shins. 

In a recent article, I answered this question, including how long it will take you to condition your shins and how to do it safely.

Click on the link to read the article on my site.

What do Muay Thai fighters wear under their shorts?

The underwear that most professional fighters wear under their Muay Thai shorts is popularly known as compression underwear. The compression shorts fit snugly on your body, cover your private part, and allow sweat to slide off your body.

Many of them come with cups, which provide extra support for your groin area.

If you can’t find compression underwear, you can wear dark boxer briefs. Make sure your boxers can withstand the strong, sharp movements you make in Muay Thai. Otherwise, you may suffer some form of discomfort while fighting or training.

Female fighters are to wear leggings or sports shorts underneath their standard Muay Thai shorts. If the weather gets too cold, the former is preferable because it keeps the legs warm. Sports shorts, on the other hand, are better suited if you prioritize comfort.

Compression shorts not only make you look like a professional athlete but also conceal your pasty arms and legs. It also helps to whisk sweat away from your opponent’s face.

I strongly advise wearing compression shorts underneath Muay Thai shorts. If you don’t have that, you can make do with what you have for training.

Are Muay Thai Shorts unisex?

Muay Thai shorts are unisex because they are designed to do the same thing for both men and women.

Most brands offer a variety of sizes so that men and women can wear the same style of shorts, with the only difference being the sizing of the shorts.

Women’s Muay Thai shorts are designed to fit much smaller than men’s shorts.

However, as more and more women choose to partake in this kind of sport, there have been numerous female-centric Muay Thai shorts offered to fit women only.

Why are Muay Thai shorts so colorful?

When in the ring, Muay Thai fighters usually wear bright-colored shorts to add a little showmanship. Over the years, Muay Thai shorts have become stylish clothing. And in terms of design, most fighters want to wear shorts whose color and design reflect the fighter’s personality. 

Muay Thai shorts colors have precise meanings, and they are very important. There are blue, pink, red, and yellow Thai shorts, which are the most symbolic colors in Thailand.

There is a red corner for favorites and a blue corner for non-favorites during a match at a Bangkok stadium in Thailand.

Favorites are dressed in red or pink shorts, whereas non-favorites are dressed in blue shorts. When boxers wear yellow shorts, such as during the King’s birthday fights, a band of blue or red is applied to the side of the shorts to identify the fighters who are favorites and those who are not.

In Thailand, according to the astrological rule linked to Thai, a color is attributed to every day of the week.

Every day of the week has a color assigned to it, a color that represents God, who protects the day.

  • Sunday is the color red (God Surya)
  • Monday is the color yellow (God Chandra)
  • Tuesday is the color pink (God Mangala)
  • Wednesday is the color green (God Buddha)
  • Thursday is the color orange (GorBrinaspati)
  • Friday is the color blue (God Shukra)
  • Saturday is the color purple (God Shani)

It is important to note that Muay Thai shorts were never supposed to make a fashion statement. It was always created with functionality in mind.

Can a beginner wear Muay Thai shorts?

Wearing Muay Thai shorts as a beginner is a personal choice as well as one influenced by the school or location where you are learning. Some schools make it mandatory, while others do not.

There are no exceptions when it comes to those who can wear Muay Thai shorts.

You should wear it as long as you are studying the arts. It also gives you more confidence while training because it allows for free movement of the body and maximum airflow and freedom. This will enable you to cool down much faster after training or fighting.

It’s fine if you don’t want to wear it as a beginner. You’re good to go as long as what you’re using to train is appropriate and comfortable. Nobody will mind you because it isn’t a competition or a strict ground.

You are required to wear one in strict training gyms where Thai culture is highly respected. It can be considered disrespectful for a fighter to train in a dedicated Thai boxing gym without wearing the proper and traditional Muay Thai shorts.

Some dojos often use the Muay Thai shorts to indicate a student’s rank.

You have to reach a certain level before you can be allowed to wear Muay Thai shorts. However, it is a practice that the majority of Muay Thai practitioners frown at. It appears to be an outrageous act, as the clothing item is for functionality rather than ranking systems.

Muay Thai is one of the most effective martial arts you can learn. 

In a recent article, I revealed if Muay Thai is difficult to learn or not and how long it will take you to learn Muay Thai. But I also added 1 key tip that can shave a significant amount of time off your training.

Click on the link to read the full article on this website.

What Equipment Do You Need For Muay Thai?


I’m sure by now you know why Muay Thai fighters wear short shorts.

Judo fighters and other martial arts hardly utilize kicks; therefore, a rigid kimono would suffice. Muay Thai fighters, on the other hand, require apparel that allows for maximum flexibility of movement in all limbs.

There are also cultural distinctions, which are particularly crucial in national sports like Thai boxing.

Image by Christopher Chiu from Pixabay

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