Muay Thai, the art of self-defence from Thailand, is getting more popular among youths in Kelantan.

Lately, a championship is held by one of the district clubs almost every Saturday night to attract the interest of more young people in the state to the sport.

In Kelantan, Muay Thai is better known as Kelantan Boxing to differentiate the sport from Thailand.

Kelantan Boxing Association secretary, Mohd Kamil Ismail said Kelantan Boxing had a huge following as there were more than 30 boxing rings, 30 clubs and more than 3,000 members registered under the association.

"The teenagers here are getting hooked to the sport as they are willing to undergo training at one of the courts every night except Friday night," he told Bernama.

Mohd Kamil said the sport has also engaged youngsters in healthy activities and prevents them from getting involved in social ills.

He said the emphasis on discipline during training also strengthened the character of youths and they are more respectful of others especially parents and school teachers.

"The positive effects can be seen when parents approached me to say that their children's attitude improved after getting involved in the sport," he said.

Mohd Kamil, who is also Pulai Chondong Sports Association chairman, has also established a boxing ring to accommodate 50 students at any one time near his house since 10 years ago to help youths learn the sport in the district.