Muaythai has been practiced by Thai people for hundreds of years. The traditions were passed down through generations as with most ancient self defense.
One of the oldest traditions and still being practiced is the pre fight ceremony, called "Wai Khru" in which fighters pay respect to their teachers, mentors or parents and their opponents. Fighters will display their techniques while performing this ritual, some fighters usually "seal the ring" by circling three times before the begin Wai Khru. For some fighters this is another way of warm up and the perfect opportunity to study their opponents, while for others, Wai Khru represents deep spiritual beliefs to prepare their mind and body for the competition.
Traditional instrumental music is referred to as "Wong Pee Glong". This music is played during each round of the fights, except during the breaks in between rounds. The music commences with slow tune and accelerates towards the end of the rounds.
There are usually 4 musicians, each with their own instruments: Pee Java (Javanese Oboe), Glong Kaek (A pair of Thai drums play by 2 musicians) and Ching (Small Thai Cymbals). The melody was uniquely created and is performed specifically for Muaythai.
Every fighter also wears a traditional headband, called "Mongkol" and an armband, called "Prajiad" on their biceps, a tradition that was carried on since the beginning of Muaythai history. It is believed to bring good luck to the competition.
These traditions have unique characteristics and are used to differentiate Muaythai from other martial arts.