Muay Thai (Muay Boran) - internal martial arts

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by leftwingtaoist, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    I want here to apologize to Slipthejab for calling Muay Thai one dimensional. After I was told that that was not the case, I decided to learn more about the fundamentals of Muay Thai. What I managed to find during only a half an hour search on google, has opened my eyes and has changed my opinion about Muay Thai (or Muay Boran to be more precise). Slipthejab, if this is what you are teaching then I can only say: respect man.
    I decided to post here some excerpts from articles that I have stumbled across and links to the same articles, so that other people can see for themselves how interconnected the spirituality, Buddhist meditation and sen (chi , prana, breath, ether) energy and healing practices are imbedded into Muay Thai.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  2. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    Meditation is perhaps one of the more important parts of the Muay Thai Sangha system.

    Meditation is apart of Muay Thai art. Meditation is an integral part of the study and practice of Muay Boran. Most of the Thai fighters, I know don’t have a daily practice but are aware of it. As the art evolved into a sport, this was one aspect that was trimmed away.

    Muay Luesee
    Finally, the capacity of the followers of Luesee’s style to attain knowledge of the vital parts of the human body is not of least importance: in fact, precisely because of constant and long training focused on the “yoga” postures, the expert practitioner can mentally draw a map of the vital points of the body of the adversary, striking with impact angles, weapons, and adequate techniques to make the attacks more effective, even in the stressful conditions of combat.
    Studying the Mae Mai and the Look Mai through the “filter” of the ascetic style offers the modern practitioner a key to go much more deeply into his Art than could have been imagined before: the “Thai yoga” techniques along with the map of the sensitive points offered by the study of the Sen, make the traditional forms a true treasure chest of martial knowledge and the real base of the whole Muay Boran system.
    The Nuad Paen Thai
    The theoretical fundamentals of the Luesee postures, as well as of Nuad Pean Thai, or Thai massage, are based on the existence of invisible lines of energy flow that run through the body, called Sen: the ten principle energy planes are studied in a particular way in traditional Thai massage. The principle Acupuncture points are situated—according to the theory of Nuad Paen—on the Sen lines, which, if studied correctly, offer a map of the vital points of the human body, as much for therapeutic objectives as martial. The origins of this theory are Indian, and the legendary founder of the art of Massage in Thailand is Indian as well, a doctor from the north of India, Jivaka Kumar (Ishivago Komarpaj, in Thai). Kumar was a contemporary of Buddha and acquired notable fame in his motherland some 2500 years ago. Just as occurred with the archaic Thai martial traditions, it is impossible to find written evidence of the development of the massage technique and the influences of the principles of Indian Yoga due to the destruction suffered by the ancient Thai capital of Ayuddhaya in 1767 at the hands of the invaders from Burma. In any case, the Indian influence in the current use that the Nuad Paen Thai masters still make of a form of “Yoga massage” is evident, following a refined technique that exploits in the best possible way the knowledge of the energy flow and pressure points typical of the ancestral Indian tradition.

    One of the fundamental concepts of traditional Thai medical system is the energy lines, which are called SEN. It is the tradition of yoga that is the source of this perception of the subtle anatomy of man. Yoga, in fact, does not look as muscular flexibility. It aims to maintain a smooth flow of cosmic energy (Prana) in the multiple networks (nadis) in which it circulates. The Thai medical system has identified the 10 channels, or energy lines, the most important. On these lines, and the specific items they are staked, that touches the therapeutic focus of Thai massage. Thai massage has therapeutic protocols to receive special acting on Sen in connection with certain health problems.

    Ether is the first element of the Muay Sangha System. It is based on working with the spirit through meditation and chanting. The student needs to keep the five precepts (not to kill, not to steal, not to lie, not to have sexual intercourse with someone that is not your partner and not to use drugs or any other form of intoxication).
    After one year of practice, the student will start to learn the 8 diagram, ancient alphabets and the methods to open the chakras through breathing
  3. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Interesting... no need to apologize. Since the inception of MMA... everyone thinks they understand Muay Thai - much of what is out there and presented as Muay Thai is a very, very myopic version of it. I've been at it close to 20 years now and I'm still learning stuff. Others MAP members like Firecobra are older than me (and frankly more knowledgeable as well) and still at it - so that goes to show in terms of a system it's got a fair bit of depth and it's not running the risk of being exhausted anytime soon.

    On the surface level yes the basics can be learned in short order. But once people start putting it to scrutiny in the ring against an opponent it becomes another kettle of fish. There are so many variations and tricks and regional differences that it leaves the field wide open for exploration.

    I still maintain that just about anyone never quite reaches the level of understanding of Muay Thai quite like the Thai's do. There are many reasons for that. Even training in Thailand they're not going to just hand over the myriad of secrets involved. National pride, out and out racism and massive cultural differences in the way things are learned are all partially the reason for that. I've come across a bit of each of those. But then again perhaps that doesn't make it so much different than any Asian martial art.

    I'm still inspired when I see top notch Muay Thai and tactical precision with amazing timing in regards to Muay Thai. I prefer it over K-1 rules fights and I still to this day prefer it over MMA. Much of it comes down to what you grew up watching... so for me I love nothing more than proper Muay Thai rules bouts... especially if it's the higher ranking fighters in the most competitive weight categories.

    This coming year I hope to get up into Cambodia for a while to train and if I can manage it...up to Burma. I have a friend or two living there and the Burmese style of boxing is very, very impressive.

    At any rate... I'll give the links a read and come back if I have thoughts.
  4. Teflon

    Teflon Valued Member

    Slip, could you expand on your post a little for an MT noob like me please? :)

    I am interested in the differences you note between those who have a few years of training and a good understanding of the art, and those who you believe to be further ahead in their understanding of the art. What visual signals give this away?

    I'm aware that gyms often have slight variations in their teachings, and my own teacher has mentioned many times that each student has slightly different Muay Thai, due to people having different bodies (tools to work with). He also mentioned there is a variation in techniques between people, because we should all be looking to develop our own version of the technique, based on the framework that we drill.
  5. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    Training in Burma sounds exciting. I have tried to learn as much as possible through whatever I can through the Vanishing Flame. The weapon arts interest me as well.

    I play with a little Krabi Krabong enough to know that there is a whole lot to the arts of Thailand.
  6. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    This is getting more and more interesting by the minute. Muay Boran uses low kicks, and open hand techniques. It also employs lots of takedowns and locks. It has weapons. Cool.
    Here are some links:
    This is a lot like some Bagua drills that we do. Notice how stable his core is. He is moving using full body power.
    [ame=""]Muay Thai Boran-The Form of The Steps - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Muay Thai Boran-The Form of The Steps - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Muay Thai Boran-The Form of The Steps - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame=""]Mit Applied MuayThai Boran-4 directions of elbow strikes - YouTube[/ame]

    This is great. Takedowns and open hand techniques.
    [ame=""]Muay Boran(primitive) : war fight techniques - YouTube[/ame]
  7. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    There are various styles of Muay Boran,Muay Chaiya seems to be the one that is coming out into the modern world so to speak.

    Others such as Muay Korat,Muay Lopburi,Muay Uttaradit,Muay Lanna(fon Jerng) are still ,practiced in Thailand but rarely seen by non Thais:)

    [ame=""]Error 502 (Server Error)!!1[/ame]
  8. fire cobra

    fire cobra Valued Member

    A Classic Muay Thai fight between two top top practicioners,please watch carefully at the technique,timing and rhythmn to see just how much of a art Muay Thai is:)

    [ame=""]Boonlai vs. Karuhat - YouTube[/ame]
  9. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    Hi Cobra

    the stuff from your first post looks a lot like bagua.

    what style is it?
  10. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    i like the front leg flick kick they use. i learned it in taequando for my teacher, it was his little trick. he called it 45 degree kick. You flick your leg forward and connect with the ball of the foot. it targets the upper inner thighs, groin and lower abdomen. Its supper fast and lethal. Esspecially when you are circling. For instance you step slightly to the side and back with your left foot and immediately kick with the right as the opponent is making his step to fallow you. Works every time because they are caught in mid step.
  11. leftwingtaoist

    leftwingtaoist Valued Member

    Hi Slipthejab

    I heard somewhere that Thai Muay Thai fighters are always far superior to any foreigners that practice Muay Thai. You say yourself that you believe that they are not teaching the foreigners everything they know, and I believe that that is probably the case. I also believe that what they are not teaching is all the internal stuff, particularly the energy (sen or chi) related stuff, the equivalent of martial chi kung for Chinese martial arts. Every traditional martial art that comes from asia, has its spiritual, chi kung and meditative side. And in every one of them it is claimed that it is these aspects of the art that give fighters real power. I can see no reason why would Muay Thai be the only exception to this rule. If Muay Thai had only mechanical, purely physical aspects, then westerners with their constitution and the availability of superior training methods and their understanding of the body mechanics should be winning hands down. But the opposite is the case.
    Thai martial culture is a mix of Indian culture and Southern Chinese culture. Both of these cultures put a lot of emphasis on internal energy (prana or chi) and its ability to transform human bodies. Considering all the recorded usage of this internal energy training as part of fighting training both in India and in China, and considering that Muay Thai people talk about importance of spiritual and energy work, I am more then convinced that this is the missing bit that separates Thai Muay Thai fighters from the rest of the Muay Thai fighting population.

    What do you think?

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