Muay thai or Thai boxing is a folk play which has the feature of martial arts by using the organs that could harm the opponents indigenously and artistically such as arms, legs, shins, and knees, etc. It is considered as the national art and one of Thais’ prominent identities.
It was rigorously used in the military due to the fact that Thailand was often involved with wars in the history. Therefore, Thai soldiers had to train this martial art for the battle until they became experts.
Muay thai institutes were established to teach general citizens. During the Ayutthaya Era, a person called Nai Kanom Dtom was so excellent at Muay thai that his name became famous until the present. He used the arts of Muay thai to defeat a large number of enemies.
Even some Thai Kings in the Ayutthaya era favored and were skilled in the arts of Muay thai such as Phra Chao Suea or Khun Luang Sorasak. In 1920, during the Rattanakosin era, King Vajiravudh promoted the arts of Muay thai to make it become more widely recognized by organizing a charity Muay thai match at a boxing ring in Suankularb School in order to use the earned revenues for the scout’s maintenance. Other boxing rings in Thailand during that time were the Suan Chao Ched Ring and the Luk Muang Ring, etc. Muay thai were initially fought with bare hands and after that clothes were used to wrap around the hands. Later on, boxing gloves in the international-style boxing were used in Muay thai.
The Tradition of Wai-Khru (Paying Respect to Teachers)
In Thai tradition, it is believed that there are teachers who provide knowledge in every kind of art performances. This custom has been cultivated in the Thai society. Wai-Khru is based on the moral principle of showing gratitude to those who have done good things to you and reciprocating their favors in many ways.
Therefore, Muay Thai (Muay thai) which is one kind of art performances is counted as one of those strict customs. The fighters must perform Wai-Khru before competing. Paying Homage posture (Ta-Wai-Bang-Kom) is the first posture of Wai-Khru ritual. It was said that in the past, Muay Thai was performed in front of the throne hall and the King would come to see it. When the fighters got on the stage, they needed to start with paying homage position in boxing style.
There are many performance techniques for Wai-Khru. They depend on the inventing from teachers and the boxing camp owners such as Ben-Jang-Ka-Pa-Dit, Thep-Pha-Nom-Pom-See-Nha, Sao-Noi-Pa_Paeng, and Ha-Nu-Marn-Tob-Yung.
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