Muaythai Intro

Muay thai is considered by some to be aderivation of a general indigenous martial art style native to Southeast Asia. Muay Thai began as Krabi Krabong, the Siamese weapon-based style.when disarmed,KrabiKrabong practitioners

resort to unarmed fighting techniques centered on kicks and judo-likes throws.Developing through time and natural evolution of art, it gave birth to Muay Boran, ancient style Muya Thai. As the basis of battlefield warfare evolved technologically, hand-to-hand combat was no longer required within the military. Muay Boran was divided to Muay Tha Saw (North),Muay Thai Korat (Esarn or Northeast), Muay Thai Lobburee (Center Region) and Muay Thai Chaiya ( South ).

There is phrase about Muay Thai Boran thats states, “Punch Korat, Wit Lobburee, Posture Chaiya, Faster Thasao. Muay Korat emphasizes strength. There is one tehnique called “Throwing Buffalo Punch”, called this because it can supposedly Sdefeat a buffalo in one blow. Muay Lobburee emphasizes clever movements. Its strong points are the straight and turned punches. muay Chaiya emphasizes posture and defense, as well as elbows and knees. Muay Thasao emphasizes in speed, particularly in kicking. Because of their faster speed, this Muay Boran was called “Ling Lom” (windy monkey or Loris)

Muay Thai became a sporting martial art, kept alive in Thailand as a competitive sport, and for many, a way of life.

Muay Thai History

Thai ancestors were extremely talented in creating and implementing the art of applying different parts of human body, namely hands, feet, knees, elbows, and head, in the physical combat against the aggressor as well as in self-defense to protect own soft spots from incoming offensive blow. The Martial Art created and invented by Thai ancestors, which is incomparable to others, has been proudly recognized as the national art of barehanded combat, generally known as “Muay Thai. ”

Nan Chao Era 748 – 1238

King P. Laouko build his empire called Nan Chao, which was under the ruling of tough kings. Thai was at war with China sometimes as friend or as enemy. During this period, the practice of weaponry was used in the combat, for example, swords and pikes. In Ranna period, the fighting technique used was similar to Cheung (Chinese fighting technique). Most combat in this period used weapons more than hand-to-hand because it’s the fight for freedom and the land.

Sukhothai Era 1238 – 1378

In this era, the hand-to-hand combat was still used in the battlefield, however, the weaponry were used more. The institutions which taught muay can be separated into 3 categories.

1. The temple (wat) whom the teacher was the monks with exceptional fighting skills.
2. At home where the knowledge was pass from one generation to the next.
3.The Royal Institute where the skills taught were utilizing the weapons on the back of horses, elephants, bulls, and buffaloes. Other activities were local festivals, native dances, hunting, and kite flying.

Ayuthaya Era 1350 – 1767

In this era, the knowledge of Muay Thai was handed down from Sukothai Era continually, for example, hunting, native dance, and socializing activities. The temple was stilled the place to learn and practice muay.

1358-1631 Flying kites was very popular among the people in this period. Its popularity caused an order of the law which stated that flying kites were not allowed close to the palace.

1632-1690 In this period of Majesty Pra Narai Maharak, the sport was at its peak, for example, boxing and boat racing.

In the period of Somdet Prachao Suer or Kungluang Sorrasak, he was highly interested in the art of muay. At one time, he went to look upon the local along with his guards, dressing like commoners. He went to the local festival and entered in Muay Thai contest. When the local know that he’s a fighter from Ayuthaya, they match him up against the best fighters they have. Prajao Suer won all the three fights in the row. He also passed down his skills in boxing and sword playing to his sons, Jaofah Petch and Jaofah Porn.

During this period, whoever was skillful in swords and thrust-fight must also be good in muay. The reason being is that the skill of muay is required in battlefield. Therefore, the main purpose of practicing muay in this period was so that the individual can serve in the military. When the war was over, Muay Thai was fight for enjoyment. There would be fighters from different villages competing and betting against each other in local festivals. Muay Thai at that time would fight with bare-hand.

In 1767, after the broken up of Ayuthaya, many Thais were taken as prisoners to Myanmar . General Suki chosen Nai Khanom Tom to represent Muay Thai fighter and went to fight in Myanmar . He used his skill in muay to fight against 10 Myanmar ‘s soldiers, and he had beaten them all. King Kung Angwatas of Myanmar complimented on how dangerous Muay Thai can be even to use only 2 bare-hand to fight. King Kung Angwatas rewarded Nai Khanom Tom with money and two wives. Nai Khanom Tom is like a father in Muay Thai because he helped make the art of Muay Thai known to other countries. Even until today, his name is stilled popular among the Thais. In the early period of Ayuthaya, muay was changed from fighting with history2bare-hand to using rope to wrap around the hands, this kind of fighting is known as Muay Kad Cherk. The fighters could fight to death because the rope used can have fragment of glasses causing Muay Kad Cherk to be filled with danger.

Kung Thonburi Era

In 1771, Myanmar invaded the town of Chiangmai and the town of Pichai . Praya Pichai (Tongdee Funkao) brought the army to fight against Myanmar , he fought until his two swords were broken and able to protected to town. Praya Pichai was skillful in muay, sword, and battlefield-fight, which led him to the rank of Praya given by King Thonburi (King Taksin). In this period, the popular sports were boxing, sword playing, flying kites, boat racing, takor, and chest.

Rattanakosin Era 1782 – to the present

In the beginning of RamaI to RamaV, the kings favored sports tremendously. King RamaIV would have his kin practiced swords which is a popular sport among the people. KingV appointed skillful official to led each sport. The king would give them rank, for example, Muenmuay Maen Mud and Muen Cha-ngad Choeng Shok. These officials would operated in various sports and these sports were promoted as followed.

1. Flying kites – the athlete would compete for King’s cup. KingV appointed Somdet Kom Praya Damrungrachanuparp to draft the rules and sealed it as Rule of Flying Kites Sanamluang.
2. Sword playing – KingV was very knowledgeable about swords. He supported the practice and competing in this sport widely.
3. Muay Thai – KingV was skillful in muay so he organized fighting events in both the city and countryside.
4. Track and field – KingV first organized competing events on January 11, 1897 at Sanamluang. The Ministry of Education was responsible for this competition.

Muay Thai rules in the past were not very strict and clear like the present. The fighters on both sides must fight very carefully because not only hands, elbows, knees and feet can be used but the head can be used as well.

In the late Ayutthaya period Muay Thai was practiced in various institutions and its has spread widely until the present. The boxer would compete in muay arenas and stadiums, for example, Suan Jao Ched Arena and Suan Gularb Arena. In this period, Muay Kaad Chuek (Ancient Muay) was stilled practice until the Rattanakosin period where the use of gloves was used. However, the technique of fighting was still the same with the use of hands, feet, elbows and knees.

There is a lack of documentation in the standard of competition from the early on up to the period of RamaV. Starting from RamaVI, some facts and figures could be gathered about muay. Its popularity can be separated into 5 different periods as followed:

1.       The period of Suan Gularb Arena – the people favored muay and muay contests were arranged to meet its popularity. The fighting technique of Kaad Chuek was stilled in use, the number of rounds was fixed and the referee was appointed.

2.       The period of Tar Charng Arena – the transition period between Kaad Chuek and gloves. The used of gloves started in this period (2087). The famous referees were Tim Atihaemanon and Niyom Tongchit.

3.       The period of Suan Sanuk Arena – the owner of the arena organized many fighting contests over the number of years, causing the birth of many popular fighters, for example, Saman Dilgavulas and Sompong Waetchasit. The famous referees were Luang Pipat Konlakai, Suthorn Taveesit and Niyom Tongchit.

4.       The period of Lak Muang Arena and Suan Jao Ched Arena – muay contests became more firm because the military took a step in Muay Thai. Part of the income helped maintain the military according to the purpose of the government. Muay Thai’s committee and boxer worked together to help reach the goal. Many famous fighters were borne, such as, Pon Prapadaeng, Perk Singwanlop, Tawas Wongtaveat, Prasert S.S. and Tongbai Yontakrit. The fighting contest continued for many years until the W.W.II, when it was ceased. The famous referees were Sangwean Hiranyaleaka, Jer Juknurak and Wong Hiranyaleaka.

5.       In the present, the contests are held at Ratchadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Stadium. Sometimes there would be temporarily arenas, such as, Royal Thai Air Force Arena, Royal Thai Navy Arena and arenas in various provinces. The contest consisted of Muay Thai and International Boxing. Thai fighters also went to other countries to compete and vice versa.

Autheniques Muay Thai covers all the fighting ranges making unstoppable and is popuraly owning its freedomdubbed ‘ The King of Martial Arts ‘. Thailand translates to ‘land of the free’ owing its freedom to the sucessful use of Muay Thai wich is its National Sport/Martial Art and Heritage.

The Ramakien

Most students of Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) should be familiar with such names as Pra Rama Tam Gwang (Rama follows the deer). Hak Kor Erawan (breaking Erawan’s neck), Mon Yan Lek (Mon supports the pillar), Bid Hang Naga (Twisting the Naga’s tail), Hanuman Tawai Waen (Hanuman presents the rings). Hanuman does this, Hanuman does that, etc. So who and what are Hanuman, Erawan, Rama, Mon, and Naga?

Rama follows the deer

They are all characters from the story of Rama the book of Ramakien, the Thai version of the Indian Ramayana epic in which Rama, Vishnu’s reincarnation on earth and heir to the throne of Ayodhya in Northern India is banished from heaven and spends fourteen years in exile on earth with his wife Sita and his brother Lakshman. With the assistance of a monkey army whose commander is Hanuman, the monkey god, they set out to destroy the forces of evil on earth. Since 1902 the Ramakien has become part of Thailand’s school curriculum. This epic literature contains romance, adventure, heroism, magic, demons, and gods. here are just some of the characters who have martial connections:

Hanuman the Monkey god

Rama – Vishnu resident in the cosmic ocean until reborn on earth specifically to destroy evil demons Erawan – Indra’s white elephant steed; Hanuman – white monkey with fur which sparkles like diamonds and Rama’s greatest warrior. Naga – the mighty serpent King; Indrachit (Ronapak) – Tosakanth’s warrior son also Ongkot, Sadayu, Tosakanth, Khumpakan and lesser demons.There are many Muay Thai techniques which are inspired by stories for example: Hak Kor Erawan: This story is where Hanuman leapt to the sky to break the false Erawan’s neck:
Break the false Erawan’s neck:
Technique: taking hold of your opponents neck, push it down whilst throwing your knee up.

Hanuman Tawai Waen. This episode tells of Hanuman presenting Sita with her ring to prove that he is Rama’s emissary Technique:

Double uppercut to opponents face. Besides Muay Thai techniques, the Ram Muay or Wai Kru (Pre-fight dance) also has Ramakien connections. The Pra Rama Tam Gwang dance tells of the demon Mareet, who transforms himself into a golden deer with diamond antlers. Sita, Rama’s wife sees the creature in the forest and asks Rama to catch it for her. So Rama with his magic bow sets out to pursue this celestial creature. Narai Kwang Chak (Narai throws discus) – in this particular story, Narai armed with his magical discus which has the power to cut through the mountains and destroy all demons, has been released to fight against the demon hordes.
In fact the footwork for Muay Thai which is called Yang Sarm Khun (Three stride movement) is taught by the telling of the story from the Ramakien.

The belief for the boxer is that once you have perfected Yang Sarm Khun there is no escape for your opponent.

Other interesting facts:
The Thai Boxer’s Kruang Ruang (decorative armband worn by many Thai Boxers around the biceps) sometimes has a cloth amulet with a portrait of Hanuman and a sacred Khom script inside. In the Ramakien, if Hanuman was injured or killed he could be revived by the Wind god Pai passing over him. Spectators of Muay Tha bouts will always see that when the teacher removes the Monkol from the boxers head after the dance, he will blow gently over his head. This relates once again to the Ramakien and belief in the story of Pai the wind god awakening Hanuman. This is believed to provide protection for the boxer and give him the courage to win. Occasionally, this sacred cloth is fastened to the teachers Mongkol (Monkon, sacred headband) which is worn by the boxer whilst performing the Ram Muay Anybody who is lucky to witness true Muay Thai will soon realize that they are seeing a battle between good and evil, gods and demons, the story of the Ramakien unfolding before their eyes.

Ritual Muay Thai

Wai khru ram muay is an action of respect in Thai culture that is performed by participants in Muay Thai competitions. Wai is an action of Thais to show respect to others by putting the hands together like in prayer. Similar practices are as in pre-contemporary China where they place the left hand over the right fist or as in Japan where they bow. Khru means teacher. Ram means dance in the old Thai traditional style. Muay means boxing. Usually Thais prefer to call it short Ram Muay or Wai Khru. Ram Muay is the way to show respect to the teachers and the trainers. Also, in past muay Thai was usually fought in front of the king, so Ram Muay was also to apologize to the King for the brutality in fighting.

The fighter first performs the Wai Khru, circling the ring three times before kneeling and bowing three times as a sign of respect to god and man. He also bows to Buddha to ask for protection for himself and his opponent and for an honourable fight.
The fighter then performs the Ram Muay, whose simple movements demonstrate a fighter’s control and style. Each fighter performs the Ram Muay on each side of the ring to demonstrate his prowess to the audience. The Ram Muay is a personal ritual, ranging from the very complex to the very simple, and often contains clues about who trained the fighter and where the fighter is from.
The practitioner may wear a headband called a Mong Kon and armbands known as Pra Jiad / Kruang Ruang during the ceremony, and the Ram Muay may be accompanied by music.

Phuket - Ankie Baan Muaythai won his fight with Koh Samui boxer, Yodpolice in PK-1 Muaythai Super Fights at Patong Stadium, Phuket, lately on February 25th, 2014. With his 19th fights experiences, Ankie could dominate the fight and lead the 5 rounds with decision.   In other match, Fashalli Baan Muaythai tried hard to beat more experience boxer from Phuket, Malaidang. Fashalli, 16 years old boxer from North Sulawesi Province has done his 4th professional fight in lost by decision. Actually this fight made him has more confidence to his upcoming fight in this year. This event has been promoted by one of the most popular promotor from Phuket, Mr. Nipol Vichaidit. He gave Baan Boxer many chances to get more experience. In other match, Fashalli Baan Muaythai tried hard to beat more experience boxer from Phuket, Malaidang. Fashalli, 16 years old boxer from North Sulawesi Province has done his 4th professional fight in lost by decision. Actually this fight made him has more confidence to his upcoming fight in this year. This event has been promoted by one of the most popular promotor from Phuket, Mr. Nipol Vichaidit. He gave Baan Boxer many chances to get more experience. It would be a good opportunities for Muaythai Indonesia to promote what they have done in these 15 years of development. - FM -