Muay Thai Traditions
Muay Thai Traditions
Over a thousand years ago, when the Thai warriors had settled in the land where there was ‘fish in the water and rice in the fields’ … when the clans were unified into a proud and independent nation, a manual of warfare, the ‘Chupasart’ was written.
All of the ways of fighting that the clans had evolved from centuries of battle, was put into it. The ‘Chupasart’ showed how to fight with knives, swords, spears, battle-axes, pikes, cross bows. It became the bible of the warriors and the school book of fighting skills to teach the young. The warriors taught the young men but they trained from this remarkable manual of armed combat without weapons. The shinbone became the staff of the pike to block and strike. The arms became the raised twin swords of defense. The fist the jabbing tip of the spear. The elbow, the battle axe to smash and crush; the knee too axed it’s way through the defenses. The flashing foot, a pike, arrow and knife.
Each part of the body became a weapon and a new close combat fighting skill emerged. A new martial art… Muay Thai – Thai Boxing. Like all martial arts, the heart of Thai Boxing wasn’t just to use the body as a weapon but the self as well.
For the Thai people, gentle Buddhists, no weapon could be used unless the spirit of the weapon was used with it. Again, true to a martial art, the use of the spirit of the weapon was taught by the teacher. He became and still is today, the father and mother of the fighter. The one to whom he shows respect and gratitude. The one he fights for.
From the teacher, the modern trainer, the fighter learns not just his craft but also about himself, his heart, his limits, tactics, strategies and the spiritual expression of his art and skill. Every time a fighter enters the ring he does so, not just to prove his skills but the superiority of his trainer and his camp. If he loses, the camp loses. Much has changed from the early days. Thai boxing is no longer a close combat battlefield skill. Now it’s a sport. But at its heart are the old traditions, and the original spirit fights on.