American Boxers Feared the Arrival of Muay Thai, 1936
According to website of the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A., the history of Muay Thai in America began in 1968.
However, a number of vintage articles indicate that as early as 1936, Americans–specifically, New Yorkers–knew about the existence of Muay Thai–and feared its arrival on American shores.
The following article appeared in the Cortland Standard on April 21, 1936:
The article is interesting not only for its illustration of the fact that Americans perceived Muay Thai as a threat to the dominance of their own pugilists, but also for the fact of Americans being so “impressed” by Thai styles that they wished to appropriate them.
Nearly two decades later, on June 15, 1950, the following article appeared in the Niagara Falls Gazette:
One year after this article was published, a team of Thai boxers did indeed come to the United States.