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Real fighting takes place at close range: being able to subdue opponents in close range combat is the chief goal of Lert Rit training. Before becoming a sport oriented fighting discipline, Muay Thai was a precious tool in the arsenal of siamese soldiers who employed barehanded techniques together with swords, spears, axes and knives. Battlefield fighting was radically different from modern ring fighting: while striking techniques were heavily employed, they had to be performed most of the times from a very short distance, together with holds, throws, limbs destructions or bone breaks. Every attack was aimed to maiming or killing, either by striking vital points or by breaking the neck.
Being modern Lert Rit an updated version of the ancient battlefield art, training tends to develop the ability to fight at close range by using strikes to sensitive areas of the enemy’s body, in the first place. Those strikes employ hard bony parts such as: hands (knuckles, heel and edge of the hand) and arms ( ulna), legs (forefoot, heel, shin), knees, elbows and head. Since striking at close range is very different from striking at a long or medium range, a special kind of power needs to be developed: all body districts must come into play at once in every attack and the whole body mass must be explosively thrown towards the opponent, even if combatants are separated by a very short distance. During properly executed close range power strikes, the fighter’s body seems to be crossed by an electric shock; the energy that is absorbed from the ground by the feet is transmitted to the hips and then goes to the limbs (arms, legs) from where it is explosively “shot” towards the enemy’s weak points. The result of such a specialized kind of striking, is usually a knock out, or at the very least, a stunned opponent, ready for a finalizing technique.