Muay Boran or originally Toi Muay is an umbrella term for the unarmed martial arts of Thailand prior to the introduction of modern equipment and rules in the 1930s
In the early 20th century, one of King Chulalongkorn’s sons died. He commanded his officers to gather fighters of exceptional skill to perform as part of the funeral ceremonies. Three fighters in particular stood out and were granted titles of muen as a means to promote the quality of muay, which had been diminishing at the time.
The chosen fighters were from different parts of the country: Daeng Thaiprasoet from the Northeast region became Muen Changat Choengchok; Klueng Tosa-at from the Central region became Muen Muemaenmat; Prong Chamnongthong from the Southern region became Muen Muaymichue. Each name means and corresponds to a specific style of muay fighting:
Changatchoengchok means “effective style of punching”, Muemaenmat means “skillful punches”, and Muaymichue translates to “muay with a reputation”. From these grew a few different styles of muay: Lopburi, Khorat, and Chaiya, respectively. Additional varieties came to be later on, but these three styles were originally actualized under the Muay Boran umbrella.