Muay Thai And Kickboxing History

History of Kickboxing and Muay Thai

The History of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a modern sport with Western origin. It began during the early seventies when American Karate competitors became frustrated with strict controls and the primitive scoring system in martial arts competitions. Competitors wanted full contact kicks and punches to the knockout. The new sport was born and names such as Full Contact Karate and Boxe Americane eventually evolved into that of Kickboxing.

Early bouts were fought on open matted areas. Kickboxing competitions were later staged in regular size boxing rings. Between 1970 and 1973 a handful of Kickboxing promotions were staged across the United States. However, in these early stages of the sport the rules were never clear. In fact, one of the first tournaments had no weight divisions and all the competitors fought until there was only one competitor left. Many questions were raised about the high risk of injury in this new full contact sport. The development of specialized protective equipment helped speed up the evolution of Kickboxing and safety rules were also improved.

Kickboxers As the sport evolved, Americans sent teams of Kickboxers to Japan under the banner of the World Kickboxing Association (WKA). From this point Kickboxing developed into a true international sport. Some of the other organizations that were created to promote Kickboxing include the United States Kickboxing Association (USKBA), the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) and the World Sport Kickboxing Federeation (WSKF).

The sport has undergone changes and has been refined over the last two decades. As this is a fairly new sport, there are of course no long-term traditions for Kickboxing. However, it has gained recognition as a highly effective martial art for both ring fighting and for holistic fitness.

History of Muay Thai

Before anyone can learn Muay Thai, he/she should have a general understanding of Thai culture and history.

The Fighting Kingdom of Siam

Wherever one may wander in the Orient among the many schools of fighting arts one will not find a deadlier group of combatants than the Kickboxers of Thailand. Many great master's in the martial arts accept that the Thai Boxer is lethal, because he is a professional and lives just to fight. Many people look upon Muay Thai (correct term for Thai boxing) as a sport. This may be partly true, but the legacy of this 2000 year old art lives on today in the hearts of the Thai people. One visit to Thailand will confirm this. Down any street one cane see young children going through the rudiments of this ancient Siamese fighting art.

Muay Thai's Early Rise The old Kingdom of Siam, as Thailand was once known, has from ancient times always seen trouble from its neighbors. Occupying the Southeast Asia peninsula, it has Burma on the west, Laos on the north and east, Cambodia to the southeast, and the Gulf of Siam and Malaysia on the south. Yet amazingly this "Land of the Free" has resisted all attempts to conquer it. One can only put this down to the fierce fighting spirit of the people. Muay Thai techniques were part of the military training system, which was greatly influenced by Chinese fighting methods in the beginning. It later underwent a marked change and developed independently, losing many of the Chinese boxing methods along the way. It is somewhat of a mystery how and why this happened, and for that matter why many of Muay Thai's special fighting techniques are not seen anywhere else outside Thailand.

The Tiger King Because the Siamese people were combative by nature, the common folk picked up the military unarmed fighting methods and developed them into a sport, but they still retained all the lethal blows. Further skills were developed during the reign of king Pra Chao Sua, who was known as the Tiger King. Every village staged its prize fights, with young and old, rich and poor all taking part. The King himself was a high skilled boxer and was reputed to have trained with his soldiers six hours a day. He would often leave his palace disguised as a wandering peasant and enter boxing events, always defeating the local champions. The King would spend hours alone in his palace perfecting certain techniques, and then try them out in local contests. So skilled were some of his boxing strategies that even today they are still used and known as the Tiger King Style.

The Greatest Fighter of Them All Over the centuries the greatest of the Muay Thai fighters have become legendary. Stories are told of their battles and adventures to eager listening children by the village story tellers. Perhaps the most famous of all Siamese fighters was Nai Khanom Tom. He was a brilliant athlete and a strong courageous man, holding the title of the best fighter in all Siam. During the many wars that Siam had with her neighbor Burma, Nai Khanom Tom was captured by Burmese soldiers. They had heard of his great fighting ability so they decided to pit him against 12 of Burma's top bando fighters (Bando is a martial art of Burma and similar to Thai Boxing), and if he could defeat all 12, Nai Khanom Tom would be allowed to go free. So the next day in a stadium packed with thousands of people, Nai Khanom Tom prepared to fight bare handed against the cream of Burma's top fighters. One by one they came at him, all out to hurt him and become heroes themselves for defeating the greatest martial artist in Siam. As each fighter pitted his skills against the great Nai Khanom Tom, he was instantly injured and unable to continue, being dispatched with lighting elbow strikes and murderous knee blows. As the day word on, the great Siamese champion had defeated all of his opponents. The spectators, who had been cheering fort their own men, suddenly began to cheer for this magnificent fighter from Siam. They were full of admiration for the prisoner who had fought and defeated several men without rest or being wounded himself. The King of Burma had no alternative but to let him go free.

No Rules or Regulations In 1930, Muay Thai underwent a transformation. A number of rules and regulations were introduced including the wearing of boxing gloves and groin guards. Certain weight divisions were stipulated. Until that time, virtually anything was allowed in the ring. One favorite device used by the boxers was hemp tope bound around the fist to act as a form of glove. Then it was dipped in glue and rolled in finely ground glass.

Growth of the Art Today With the spread of contact sports among martial artist throughout the world, Muay Thai has burgeoned all over the world. In Japan, Europe, and North America, Muay Thai has reached epic proportions in recent years. Followers of many other martial art disciplines will on most occasions refuse to fight a Thai Boxer because they regard him or her as a complete fighting machine.

History of Siamese and Thailand

BC 600 - AD 1900 ...In the beginning... The peoples who finally became the nation of Thailand where known as the 'Ai Lo' by the Chinese, and as Nanchaoans by others, first migrated out of northern India almost 4,000 years ago. They traveled up towards southern China skirting round the mountainous regions of Tibet and entering the Hunan province of China. battling the imperial Chinese army for over 50 years before the Imperial court allowed the Nanchaoans to stay if they agreed to pay tribute.

When Tibet moved against China in a serious of political wars based on the rejection of China to allow a royal member of the Chinese imperial court to become wife to one of the kings of Tibet. The Nanchaoans like the Tibeto-Burmans were the unfortunate buffer between both countries, but an invading Mongol army from China's eastern borders had swept into the region, the Nanchaoans moved out after 400 hundred years, not being able to compete against the invading Mongol armies and defending their backs against the Tibetans. Throughout this period the Tai peoples had been gradually migrating southwards down the great river valleys of mainland Southeast Asia and settling among the Khmer, Mon and Burman populations whom they encountered on the way. By the 12th century they had established several small states in Upper Burma (Shans), the Mekong valley (Laos) and the Chao Phraya valley (Thais). Thailand before the Thais. The area covered by the modern state of Thailand, known until 1939 as Siam, is one of considerable diversity. The term Thai or Siamese is therefore primarily not ethnic, but political, denoting a subject of the king of Thailand, secondarily linguistic, meaning a speaker of the Thai language, and thirdly cultural, signifying a product of the culture to which the various ethnic groups that have formerly lived or live today in the region have all contributed. The term Tai is generally used to denote the various related peoples, among them the Shans, the Laos and the Siamese Thais, who, as early as the 7th century, began a gradual process of migration into mainland Southeast Asia from southwest China and of whom the Siamese Thai branch now form the majority of the population of the kingdom of Thailand. Trading relations between the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia go back far into the prehistoric period, but the earliest evidence of Indian influence penetrating into Southeast Asia in the wake of this trade dates from the Its. Century AD with the formation in mainland Southeast Asia, the Malay peninsula and the western islands of the Indonesian archipelago of states in which, the kings in order to legitimize their power, had adopted either Hinduism or Buddhism, together with other Indian ideas of kingship, statecraft, law and administration, and forms of religious art and architecture derived from Indian models. Among the earliest of these kingdoms was the state called Funan by the Chinese. According again to the Chinese sources, Funan was replaced as the leading power in the Mekong valley by one of its vassals, the Khmer state of Zhenla, which was centered round Bassac in southern Laos. When Funan was being threatened by the rising power of Zhenla, the dominant people of central Thailand seem to have been the Mons, an ancient people, related to the Khmers, who probably settled in the region at about the same time. While under the rule of Funan, the Mons adopted Indian religion, chiefly Theravada Buddhism. unlike the predominantly Hindu Khmers. There appear to have been numerous small Mon states in the region, of which the most important was Dvaravati. Little is known about Dvaravati, and even its name occurs only once, in an inscription that refers to the 'Lord of Dvaravati'. Many believe that it was a federation of Mon states rather than a single state, but the term is now applied to all Mon art and culture of this period in Thailand. The principal Mon-Dvaravati centers were U Thong, Lopburi, Khu Bua and Nakhon Pathom. In the north in the Lamphun area was the Mon kingdom of Haripunjaya, called Hariphunchai in Thai. Haripunjaya is traditionally believed to have been founded in the late 7th century by a group of holy men at whose invitation the Buddhist ruler of Lop Buri sent his daughter Cham Tewi with a large retinue of Mons to Lamphun to be the first ruler of the new state. At about the time that Haripunjaya was founded, Dvaravati seems to have become politically, though not culturally, subject to the great maritime empire of Sri Vijaya, the capital of which is thought to have been at Palembang on the east coast of Sumatra and which at various times between the 7th and 13th century extended its rule over much of western Indonesia, the Malay peninsula and southern Thailand as far as the Kra Isthmus and other parts of the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. In the early eleventh century the eastern part of the Mon realm fell under Khmer rule, while the western part was conquered by the Burmese King Anawrahta of Pagan (ruled 1044 -77). Haripunjaya also fell under Khmer rule in the II century and was finally conquered at the end of the 13th by King Mangrai, ruler of the northern kingdom of Lan Na. (Lanna). Finally after a serious of battles they succumbed to Khmer domination, but by early 13th century, they outnumber the titular overlords; it was at this point that several groups united, proclaimed their freedom and in 1238 founded the independent kingdom of Sukhothai, (Dawn of happiness) in the Pali language. Under its second ruler, King Ramkhamhaeng, Sukhothai expanded its empire pushing the Khmer as far back as Malaysia and the Philippines. The kingdom of Sukhothai is remembered for its culture rather than political power. in a brief but brilliant period, it was the scene of a 'golden age' that saw the introduction of the Theravada Buddhism as the state religion, the creation of the Thai alphabet and the establishment of a paternal monarchy that made a vivid contrast to the aloof Khmer god-kings of Ankor. Funan In the Ist century of Christian reckoning the kingdom of Funan establishes itself in the Mekong delta, which today is Vietnamese territory. The founders of this kingdom have probably been Indian immigrants. In subsequent centuries Funan develops into a seafaring merchant power without expanding into a state with a large land area. It is strategically well located to become a trading power as in those days ships traveled almost exclusively close to the coastline and the land tip of the Mekong delta was an important stop over on the sea route between China and the Malay realms on the Malay Peninsula, on Sumatra and on Java. According to the Chinese sources, Funan was founded by a Brahmin from India called Kaundinya. The word Funan is the modern pronunciation of two Chinese characters formerly pronounced b'iu-nam, which the Chinese used to represent what they believed was the name of this kingdom, but it is thought was in fact the title of its rulers, bnatil, or 'king of the mountain', a title that was frequently used at that time by Indian rulers and later by rulers of states in Southeast Asia. In the 6th century the kingdom of Funan dissolves. An important reason for the decline of Funan is the improved seafaring technology allowing ships to stray farther from the coasts. Funan is conquered by the kingdom of Champa, which has established itself to the North of Funan.

Khmer Empire legend has it that during the century AD, Kaundinya, an Indian Brahman priest, following a dream came to Cambodia's Great Lake to find his fortune. He met and married a local princess, Soma, daughter of the naga king and founded the first Kingdom called thephnoni, introducing Hindu customs, legal traditions and the Sanskrit language. Modern historians refer to it as Funan, the first Khmer Kingdom, and the oldest State in the Southeast Asian The Khmers who inhabited the Tchenla Vassal State took Funan in the mid-sixth century thus enabling the rise of the Khmer Empire, which became a dominant power in the Southeast Asian region for more than 600 years. Between the 7th and the eleventh century the Khmers created a large and powerful empire, centered from 802 in the Angkor region and eventually covering all of modern Cambodia and much of what is now Thailand and Laos. They first penetrated into northeast Thailand at the end of the 6th century. In the first years of the eleventh century, the usurper Suryavarman I, whose father was named Sujitaraja and is thought to have been king of Tambralinga (Nakhon Si Thammarat) in southwest Thailand, seized Lop Buri from its Mon ruler, thus bringing most of central Thailand within the Khmer realm. Suryavarman I was a Mahayana Buddhist, but he did not interfere either with the Hinduism of his Khmer subjects or the Theravada Buddhism of the Mons. Lop Buri became the chief center of Khmer rule in central Thailand and the valley of the Chao Praya, and the name Lop Buri is traditionally used to designate all Khmer art or art inspired by Khmer models to be found in Thailand, even if outside the Lop Buri region or belonging to the period before or after Khmer rule in Lop Buri. It is very misleading to compare the current size of Cambodia to the influence it had on the history of Southeast Asia. Between the IIth and I3th century, the Khmer or Cambodian state included parts of Southern Vietnam, Laos, and Eastern Thailand. It is not clear where the people of Cambodia came from, how long they lived there, or what languages they spoke before the introduction of writing to the area. Nevertheless, it has been established that people inhabited the area as early as 4000 BC. Unfortunately, though, most of Cambodia's early history is still a mystery. During the fist centuries AD, most of the written history of Cambodia is entirely in Chinese. The Chinese while trading with Cambodia and other groups would write about what they encountered in these areas. They wrote about a kingdom they called Funan, which was said to have flourished during this time. It's rulers over a period of 300 years would offers gifts occasionally to Chinese Emperors. These writers also mentioned the Indians influence on the region. There is much confusion about the political developments' in Cambodia between the wane of the Funan kingdom (about the 6th century), and the rise of a new kingdom commonly referred to as Chenla. Chinese sources imply that there were at least two kingdoms known as water Chenla and land Chenla that vied for recognition from China in this period. It appeared that water Chenla focused of his Khmer subjects or the Theravada Buddhism of the Mons. Lop Buri became the chief center of Khmer rule in central Thailand and the valley of the Chao Praya, and the name Lop Buri is traditionally used to designate all Khmer art or art inspired by Khmer models to be found in Thailand, even if outside the Lop Buri region or belonging to the period before or after Khmer rule in Lop Buri. It is very misleading to compare the current size of Cambodia to the influence it had on the history of Southeast Asia. Between the IIth and I3th century, the Khmer or Cambodian state included parts of Southern Vietnam, Laos, and Eastern Thailand. It is not clear where the people of Cambodia came from, how long they lived there, or what languages they spoke before the introduction of writing to the area. Nevertheless, it has been established that people inhabited the area as early as 4000 BC. Unfortunately, though, most of Cambodia's early history is still a mystery. During the fist centuries AD, most of the written history of Cambodia is entirely in Chinese. The Chinese while trading with Cambodia and other groups would write about what they encountered in these areas. They wrote about a kingdom they called Funan which was said to have flourished during this time. It's rulers over a period of 300 years would offers gifts occasionally to Chinese Emperors. These writers also mentioned the Indians influence on the region. There is much confusion about the political developments' in Cambodia between the wane of the Funan kingdom (about the 6th century), and the rise of a new kingdom commonly referred to as Chenla. Chinese sources imply that there were at least two kingdoms known as water Chenla and land Chenla that vied for recognition from China in this period. It appeared that water Chenla focused more on foreign relations while land Chenla was more domestically centered.


About the year 600, the ruler of Zhenla was Chitrasena or Mahendravarman ('Protected by the Great Indra'), whose inscriptions have been found in northeast Thailand, at Buri Ram and Surin. In the 8th and 9th century Zhenla appears to have been divided between two rival dynasties, and their conflict was not resolved until 802. xwhen Jayavarman II established his capital at Hariharalaya, on the Great Lake (Tonle Sap) in the Angkor region southeast of Siem Reap, and there initiated the cult of the devaraja ('the king who is god'), associated with the worship of Shiva in the form of a Iinga enshrined in a tower-sanctuary (Prasat) at the summit of a temple mountain.' The temple-mountain, which was to become the predominant form of religious architecture throughout the Khmer world In Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, was sometimes built on the top of an actual mountain but was more usually only a representation made in stone of a mountain.

It was conceived not only as the center of the capital and the realm of the ruler who built it, but also as a symbolic representation of the sacred mountain Mount Meru. The king was not a god-king, but the representative on earth of the devaraja whose cult he adopted, generally but not invariably Shiva, and thereby a universal monarch or through the devaraja cult has long since disappeared, the idea of the king as a divinely sanctioned cakravartin has not, and, many Hindu-Khmer monarchical concepts have been preserved to this day in the rituals of the Thai monarchy.

Pre Lan Xang

2,000 - 500 A.D. : Early pottery and bronze culture, middle Mekong Valley. First century B.C.: Early Mandela fifth century formed in middle Mekong Valley. Mid -6th century: Zhenla established, centered on Champasak Early 8th century: Zhenla divided into "Water Zhenla" and "Land Zhenla." 717: First tributary mission from Land Zhenla to Tang China. 8th-12th centuries: Mon mandala of central Mekong region fall under Khmer domination-Theravada Buddhism spread by Mon 10th -12th centuries: Muang Sua (Louangphrabang), renamed Xieng Dong Xieng Thong ; Mandala infiltrated by Lao descending Nam Ou. 12th century: Candapuri mandala in Vientiane region absorbed within Khmer Empire. 1271 - 72: Panya Lang rules Xieng Dong Xieng Thong. 1279: Tai mandala of Sukhothai founded by King Ramkhimhaeng; Xieng Dong Xieng Thong and Muang Vieng Chan 'Vieng Kham (Vientiane) briefly, incorporated into Sukhothai mandala.

Lan Xang

1353 - 73: Reign of Fa Nagum king of Lan Xang; beginning of recorded Laotian history. 1373 - 1547: Successors of Fa Nagum continue to organize Lan Xang; Phetsarath (r-1520-47) involves Lan Xang in battles against Burma and Siam lasting two centuries 174 - 78: Lan Xang reduced by Burma to vassal state. l603: Lan Xang renounces tributary ties to Burma. 1621 - 1713: Succession struggles for throne of Lan Xang results in accession of King Souligna Vongsa (r. 1633 -90); his death engenders succession struggle among his nephews, culminating in division of Lan Xang into kingdoms of Louangphrabang and Vientiane, south further divides into Kingdom of Champasak in 1713. 18th century: Lao states of Louangphrabang, Vientiane, and Champasak try to maintain independence from Burma and Siam but eventually come under Siamese control. 1772: Suryavong seizes throne of Louangphrabang 1778: Beginning of Siamese domination of Champasak, Vientiane, and Louangphrabang 1867 - 87: Mekong expedition of Doudart de Lagree and francis Garnier arrives in Louangphrabang, 1867; Siam contends with France, which established protectorate over Vietnam, to extend influence in Indochina; France eventually installs Auguste Pavie in Louangphrabang as first vice consul, February 1887.

Vietnamese Dynasties

In 1010 the first Vietnamese Ly Dynasty emperor who is independent from China establishes himself in Thang Long (present-day Hanoi). Before that, for more than 1,000 years, the Vietnamese core land (the delta of the Red River, flowing into the Tonkin Bay of the South China Sea) was either just a Chinese province or ruled by Vietnamese dynasties more or less accepting Chinese over lordship. During these more than 1,000 years, when China more or less directly ruled over the Vietnamese, but also after Vietnamese dynasties had gained independence, China influenced Vietnamese culture and government structures enormously.

The basic foundations of the Vietnamese culture and its government structures are the teachings of Confucius (551-479 B.C.).

Vietnamese dynasties and the Vietnamese emperors' courts, in architectural as well as political matters, Vietnamese publications used Chinese script. In 1471 after the Vietnamese empire had slowly expanded to the South in previous decades, an army of the Vietnamese Le Dynasty conquers the kingdom of Champa with its center in the present-day Danang area. The kingdom of Champa is reduced to a small state around Nha Trang.

In the 18th century the Vietnamese expand farther to the South into the Mekong delta, an area that until then had been settled by Khmers (Cambodians). The Khmers are pushed to the West into an area roughly covering presented Cambodia.

In the 2nd century the kingdom of Champa establishes itself in the area modem-day Danang. It is founded by the people of the Chams, who are ethnically not related to the Vietnamese but probably have immigrated from an area today belonging to Indonesia, While the kingdom of Funan to the South of Champa was hardly influenced by China, the kingdom of Champa, during the 1,600 years of its history, repeatedly suffers Chinese over lordship.


Champa has to balance between two immediate neighbors stronger in numbers of population and in military terms: Vietnam to the North and the realm of the Khmer (Cambodians) to the South. Like Funan, the kingdom of Champa principally is a seafaring merchant power ruling over only a small land area. In 1471 the armies of the Vietnamese Le Dynasty conquer the kingdom of Champa. About 60',OOO Champa soldiers are slain, another 60,000 are abducted into Vietnamese slavery. The kingdom of Champa is reduced to a small area around the present-day Vietnamese city of Nha Tranc, When in 1720 a new attack by Vietnamese armies threatens the kingdom of Champa, the entire nation of the Cham emigrates to the Southwest, into an area north of lake Tonle Sap in present-day Cambodia.

Overview of History of Kingdom of Champa The history of the kingdom of Champa was marked with constant engagement in war and hostility with its neighbors, especially those from the North. Champa was first noted in Chinese historical writings in 192 AD. At the time, the Chams were concentrated in the area of the present Binh Thuan province. During the 3rd century, they expanded northward, seizing territory from the Han dynasty who ruled Viet Nam. They rapidly pushed northward and for a brief time occupied the Red River Delta and several provinces in southern China. During the 4th and 5th centuries, the Chinese recaptured southern China and Viet Nam and expelled the Chams. The kingdom of Champa slowly contracted until by the 8th century, it corresponded approximately to the present Central and South Viet Nam. In the 10th century, only fifty years after gaining independence from China, Viet Nam invaded Champa. The Cham successfully repelled the Vietnamese and concentrated their effort in controlling their southern territory and the adjacent high land. During the 12th century, the Khmers to the west invaded the southern portion of Champa and occupied the Mekong delta. But in 1217, the Khmers and Chams allied against and defeated the Vietnamese, and the Khmers withdrew from the Mekong delta. Late in the 13th century, the Mongol army of Kublai Khan occupied Champa for five years, until it was defeated by the Vietnamese in 1287. From then on and little by little, the Vietnamese became master of all the land north of Hai Van pass by 1306. From 1313 on, the Vietnamese only allowed their puppets on the Cham throne. Che Bong Nga (1360-1390) alone resisted for a time and he even succeeded raiding the Red River delta and pillaged the Vietnamese capital of Thang Long (Ha Noi) in 1372. But his successors could not protect their own territory. In 1471, the Vietnamese invaded Champa, captured its capital of Vijaya and massacred thousands of its people. This event signified the cease of existence of Champa as a kingdom. In the mid-17th century, the Vietnamese again marched southward and captured the remaining Cham land in the present provinces of Phu Yen and Khanh Hoa. In 1832, the absorption of Champa land was completed and Viet Nam extended its total control over the Mekong delta all the way to Ca Mau, the southern most tip of the land. Champa and the Southward Expansion of Vietnam: 2-3 century AD: Kingdom of Lin-Yi (Lam Ap) was recorded in Chinese annals. Lin-Yi raided Viet Nam and Southern China in 248. 543: Champa attacked Vietnam but was defeated by Pham Tu, a general of king Ly Bon. 982: Vietnam force led by Ly Thuong Kiet attacked and pushed Champa's border to south of Hoanh Son (Thanh Hoa) 1069: King Ly Thanh Tong led Vietnam to invade Champa, sacked Vijaya and took king Rudravarman III (Che Cu) prisoner in exchange for 3 provinces Dia Ly, Ma Linh and Bo Chanh (present Quang Binh and Quang Tri). 1307: Vietnamese princess Huyen Tran married king Jaya Sinhavarman III (Che Man). in exchange for two provinces O and Ly. King Che Bong Nga raided and pilfered Thang Long (Ha Noi). Che Bong Nga was killed in battle in 1382. 1402: Vietnam invaded Champa. Ho Quy Ly forced king Campadhiraya to concede Indrapura (Quang Nam) and the territory of Amaravati (North Champa) to Viet Nam. 1471: Vietnamese army led by King Le Thanh Tong captured and destroyed Vijaya. Vietnam annexed the new land as provinces of Thang Hoa, Tu Nghia and Hoai Nhon. 1578: Lord Nguyen Hoang annexed the Cham region of Phu Yen. 1653: Lord Nguyen Phuc Tan captured Cham's region of Kauthara and pushed Viet Nam's southern border to Cam Ranh. 1692: Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu annexed the remaining Champa territory as the new prefecture of Tran Thuan Thanh.

SUKHOTHAI The Foundation of Sukhothai Scholars have suggested that Sukhothai was previous ruled by Pho Khun Sri Now Num Thom. When this ruler passed away Khom Sabaad Khlone Lamphong, identified by historians as a Khmer officer who had been sent to take care of the religious sanctuary in Sukhothai, took over the Sukhothai and Sri Satchanalai cities. Later, Pho Khun Pha Muang, a son of Pho Khun Sri Now Num Thom, cooperated with Pho Khun Bang Klang How, the ruler of Bang Yang town, attacked and finally defeated the Khmer officer. Pho Khun Bang Klang How was appointed as a new king of Sukhothai and was named Pho Khun Sri Indrathit. When the king Sri Indrathit passed away, his son named Pho Khun Ban Muang took over the power. Later, Pho Khun Ramkhamhaeng, a younger brother of Pho Khun Ban Muang, took the throne when his brother passed away. King Ramkamhaeng was a great warriors and could largely extend the area under his ruling. Lanna retained a considerable measure of autonomy until the 18th century, and Chiang Mai, which became the permanent capital after 1339, is still a major centre of northern Thai culture as well as being the second city of Thailand. In the mid 13th century, as Khmer power in central Thailand waned, the Thais moved further south to the headwaters of the Chao Phraya River, where at some time in the 1240s a Thai chief named Bang Klang Hao rebelled successfully against his Khmer rulers and was crowned King Sri Indraditya of Sukhothai. The new Thai state of Sukhothai is referred to by the Chinese of the late 13th century as Siem (Siam), a name that occurs in earlier Cham, Khmer and Burmese inscriptions, where it denotes Tai slaves and mercenary soldiers. Sukhothai, meaning the 'Dawn of Happiness' was the first free Thai city founded in 1238, by two Thai chieftains, Khun Bang Klang Tao and Khun Pa Muang , this ending Khmer rule from Angkor Wat. In the early 1300s, Sukhothai enjoyed suzeranity over the Chao Phya River basin, westward to the bay of Bengal and the entire Peninsula. It is still regarded by Thai historical tradition as the " first Thai Kingdom " , it began life as a chiefdom under the sway of the Khmer empire: the oldest monuments in the city were built in the Khmer style or else show clear Khmer influence. During the first half of the 13th century the Thai rulers of Sukhothai threw off the Khmer yoke and set up an independent Thai kingdom. One of the victorious Thai chieftains became the first king of Sukhothai, with the name of Si Inthrathit [Sri Indraditya]. Sukhothai's power and influence expanded in all directions by conquest [the Khmer were driven southwards], by a farsighted network of marriage alliances with the ruling families of other Thai states, and by the use of a common religion, Theravada Buddhism, to cement relations with other states.

King Ramkhamhaeng, conducted diplomacy maintaining cordial relations with Phya Mengrai and Phya Ngammuang, both of whom were both Thai rulers. About 1279, Ramkhamhaeng, a younger son of Sri Indraditya, became king of Sukhothai and established it as one of the most powerful states in mainland Southeast Asia. According to the inscriptions, he achieved great territorial conquests and extended Thai rule as far as Lower Burma in the west, Laos in the east and the Malay peninsula in the south. He concluded a treaty of friendship with the Thai princes of Chiang Rai and Phayao in the north. Which did much to assist the rise of Lanna. Sukhothai is generally considered to be the cradle of Thai culture and civilisation, and Ramkhamhaeng is revered as the father of the Thai nation. During his reign Sukhothai and its subsidiary capitals of Si Satchanalai, Phitsinulok, and Kainphaeng Phet became centres of Buddhist art and learning. In both religion and art Sukhothai looked to Sri Lanka as the model, while retaining a uniquely Thai character. After Ramkhamhaeng's death, his empire rapidly collapsed. In the north a number of principalities that had formerly been subject to Sukhothai emerged as independent states, although some of them, notably Tak, soon exchanged the suzerainty of Sukhothai for that of Lanna, while in the east both the Lao states of Luang Prabang and Vientiane asserted their independence, and in the south Suphan Buri also threw off Sukhothai rule. According to the inscription, the king did not levy road tolls or taxes on merchandise. His liberality was such that he did not tax his subjects' inheritance at all. Such a paternalistic and benevolent style of kingship has caused posterity to regard the Sukhothai kingdom's heyday as a " golden age " in Thai history. Even allowing for some hyperbole in King Ramkhamhaeng's inscription, it is probably true that Sukhothai was prosperous and well-governed. Its economy was self-sufficient, small-scale, and agricultural. The Thai people's basic diet was the same as that of many other people in Southeast Asia, consisting of rice and fish as staple foods. Both, according to King Ramkhamhaeng's inscription (see Sukhothai Stones..) were plentiful; Sukhothai may have been self-sufficient as far as food was concerned, but its prosperity also depended on commerce. During the Sukhothai period glazed ceramic wares known as "sangkhalok" were produced in great quantities at the kilns of Sukhothai and Si Satchanalai and exported regularly to other countries in the South China Sea area, specimens having been found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Sukhothai also traded with China through the traditional Chinese tributary system: the Thai king was content to send tribute to the Chinese emperor and be classified as a vassal, in return for permission to sell Thai goods and buy Chinese products. Although animistic beliefs remained potent in Sukhothai, King Ramkhamhaeng and his successors were all devout Buddhist rulers who made merit on a large scale. The major cities of the Sukhothai kingdom were therefore full of monasteries, many of which were splendid examples of Thai Buddhist architecture. Sukhothai adopted the Ceylonese school of Theravada Buddhism, beginning with King Ramkhamhaeng's invitation to Ceylonese monks to come over and purify Buddhism in his kingdom. This Ceylonese influence manifested itself not only in matters of doctrine but also in religious architecture. The bell-shaped stupa, so familiar in Thai religious architecture, was derived from Ceylonese models. Sukhothai style Buddha images are distinctive for their elegance and stylized beauty, and Sukhothai's artists introduced the graceful form of the "walking Buddha" into Buddhist sculpture. Sukhothai's cultural importance in Thai history also derives from the fact that the Thai script evolved into a definite form during King Ramkhamhaeng's time, taking as its models the ancient Mon and Khmer scripts. Indeed, this remarkable king is credited with having invented the Thai script. King Si Inthrathit and King Ramkhamhaeng were both warrior kings and extended their territories far and wide. Their successors, however, could not maintain such a far-flung empire. Some of these later kings were more remarkable for their religious piety and extensive building activities than for their warlike exploits. An example of this type of Buddhist ruler was King Mahathammaracha Lithai, believed to have been the compiler of the Tribhumikatha, an early Thai book on the Buddhist universe or cosmos. The political decline of Sukhothai was, however, not wholly owing to deficiencies in leadership. Rather it resulted from the emergence of strong Thai states further south, whose political and economic power began to challenge Sukhothai during the latter half of the 14th century. These southern states, especially Ayutthaya, were able to deny Sukhothai access to the area. The Sukhothai kingdom did not die a quick death. Its decline lasted from the mid-14th until the 15th century. In 1378, the Ayutthaya King Borommaracha I subdued Sukhothai's frontier city of Chakangrao "Kamphaengphet", and henceforth Sukhothai became a tributary state of Ayutthaya. Sukhothai later attempted to break loose from Ayutthaya but with no real success, until in the 15th century it was incorporated into the Ayutthaya kingdom as a province. The focus of Thai history and politics now moved to the central plains of present-day Thailand, where Ayutthaya was establishing itself as a centralized state, its power outstripping not only Sukhothai but also other neighbouring states such as Suphannaphum and Lawo Lopburi. Religious zeal produced extraordinary achievements in the art and architecture that were inspired by the traditions of the Khmer, Mon, Lo, Indian and Sinhalese but blended them in ways that made the results unmistakably Thai.

AYUTTHAYA The new kingdom of Ayutthaya, (Siam) a raising young Thai state on the Chao Phraya River. It ruled for four hundred years and by the time of its destruction by an envious and jealous invading army from Burma by King Alaungpaya's son Hsinbyushin in 1767, had become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia, with a population of more than a million people and thousands of imposing temples and palaces. In 1351 a Thai prince named U Thong ('Golden Cradle') founded the city of Ayutthaya on a strategic site at the confluence of the Pasak and the Chao Phraya Rivers and was anointed king of a new Thai state, taking the regal name of Ramathibodi. Under a succession of able and for the most part warlike rulers, Ayutthaya rose rapidly to become the most powerful state in central Thailand. Sukhothai was reduced to vassalage in 1378 and finally annexed in 1438, while Angkor was conquered in 143I - 32, and the Khmers forced to abandon it as their capital soon after. By the end of the I7th century it had become so rich and powerful that it was considered by European writers to be, with China and the Indian state of Vijayanagar, one of the three greatest kingdoms in Asia and was often described as the 'Venice of the East'. The government of the kingdom was to a great extent modeled on that of Khmer Angkor, and in the early years of Ayutthaya's rise to ascendancy many of the court officials were drawn from the Khmerised aristocracy of Lop Buri and other former outposts of the Angkor empire. It was they who introduced at the court of Ayutthaya the special vocabulary based on Khmer and Sanskrit which is still in use today. The Kingdom of Ayutthaya 1350-1767 For 417 years the kingdom of Ayutthaya was the dominant power in the fertile Menam or Chao Phraya Basin. Its capital was Ayutthaya, an island-city situated at the confluence of three rivers, the Chao Phraya, the Pasak, and the Lopburi, which grew into one of Asia's most renowned metropolises, inviting comparison with great European cities such as Paris. The city must indeed have looked majestic, filled as it was with hundreds of monasteries and criss-crossed with several canals and waterways which served as roads. An ancient community had existed in the Ayutthaya area well before 1350, the year of its official "founding" by King Ramathibodi I (Uthong). The huge Buddha image at Wat Phananchoeng, just outside the island-city, was cast over twenty years before King Ramathibodi I moved his residence to the city area in 1350. It is easy to see why the Ayutthaya area was settled prior to this date since the site offered a variety of geographical and economic advantages. Not only is Ayutthaya at the confluence of three rivers, plus some canals, but its proximity to the sea also gave its inhabitants an irresistible stimulus to engage in maritime trade. The rice fields in the immediate environs flooded each year during the rainy season, rendering the city virtually impregnable for several months annually. These fields, of course, had an even more vital function, that of feeding a relatively large population in the Ayutthaya region. Rice grown in these plants yielded a surplus large enough to be exported regularly to various countries in Asia. Ayutthaya's first king, Ramathibodi I, was both a warrior and a lawmaker. Some old laws codified in 1805 by the first Bangkok king date from this much earlier reign. King Ramathibodi I and his immediate successors expanded Ayutthaya's territory, e specially northward towards Sukhothai and eastward towards the Khmer capital of Angkor. By the 15th century, Ayutthaya had established a firm hegemony over most of the northern and central Thai states, though attempts to conquer Lanna failed. Ayutthaya also captured Angkor on at least one occasion but was unable to hold on to it for long. The Ayutthaya kingdom thus changed, during the 15th century, from being a small state primus inter pares among similar states in central Thailand into an increasingly centralized kingdom wielding tight control over a core area of territory, as well as having looser authority over a string of tributary states. The greater size of Ayutthaya's territory, as compared with that of Sukhothai, meant that the method of government could not remain the same as during the days of King Ramkhamhaeng. The paternalistic and benevolent Buddhist kingship of Sukhothai would not have worked in Ayutthaya. The king of the latter therefore created a complex administrative system allied to a hierarchical social system. This administrative system dating from the reign of King Trailok, or Borommatrailokanat(1448-1488), was to evolve into the modern Thai bureaucracy. The Ayutthaya bureaucracy contained a hierarchy of ranked and titled officials, all of whom had varying amounts of "honor marks" (sakdina). Thai society during the Ayutthaya period also became strictly hierarchical. There were, roughly, three classes of people, with the king at the very apex of the structure. At the bottom of the social scale, and the most numerous, were the commoners (freemen or phrai) and the slaves. Above the commoners were the officials or "nobles" (khunnang), while at the top of the scale were the princes (chao). The one classless sector of Thai society was the Buddhist monkshood, or sangha, into which all classes of Thai men could be ordained. The monkshood was the institution which could weld together all the different social classes, the Buddhist monasteries being the center of all Thai communities both urban and agricultural. The Ayutthaya kings were not only Buddhist kings who ruled according to the dhamma (dharma), but they were also devaraja, god-kings whose sacred power was associated with the Hindu, gods Indra and Vishnu. To many Western observers, the kings of Ayutthaya were treated as if they were gods.

Reactionary forces In December 1938, Luang Phibunsongkhram became Prime Minister of Thailand. He was an admirer of Hitler and Mussolini, and his period of rule, which lasted until 1944, was marked by authoritarianism and strident nationalism. Within a month of taking office, he arrested 40 of his real or imagined opponents, among them members of the royal family and nobility, deputies of the National Assembly and rival army officers, on charges of conspiring against the government. Of these 18 were executed after a series of unashamedly political trials. In the first year of his government, Phibun also imposed on the Chinese a series of discriminatory laws and a greatly increased burden of taxation. In 1939, the name of Siam was changed to Thailand on the grounds that Siam was a foreign name forced upon the country by foreigners, whereas, the name Thailand signified that the country belonged to the Thais rather than to the economically dominant Chinese.

After the fall of France in 1940, Phibun seized the opportunity of avenging the humiliating defeat that the Thais had received at the hands of the French in 1893 and invaded Laos and Cambodia. With Japanese mediation, he imposed a settlement by which substantial areas of Lao and Cambodian territory, including the Cambodian province of Siem Reap, which contains Angkor and which he renamed Phibunsongkhram, were ceded to Thailand. In December 1941, at the same time as they attacked Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invaded Thailand at several points along the east coast and in the peninsula. The Thais at first resisted, but soon capitulated. Meanwhile, the British sent a force to Songkhla to attempt to stop the Japanese, but were held up by Thai border police; the Japanese continued their march south and captured Singapore. In January 1942, the Thai government concluded a military alliance with Japan and declared war on Britain and the United States. However, the Thai minister in Washington, Seni Pramoj, a cousin of the king, refused to deliver the declaration of war to the US government and in collaboration with the Americans set up a resistance movement called Seri Thai (Free Thai), while Pridi Phanomyong, who had been appointed regent for the absent king, also began secretly to organize resistance in Thailand.

At the end of the war Pridi repudiated the Japanese alliance, and in January 1946 an election was held, which resulted in the election of Pridi and the Seri Thai. A new constitution was drafted, and at the end of 1957 King Ananda returned to Thailand from Switzerland. Within six months of his return, the young king was found dead in the Grand Palace shot through the head with a pistol. Three palace servants were tried and executed, but the king's death has never been explained. Pridi was held responsible, either directly or indirectly, for the tragedy, resigned and went abroad, and the present king, Ananda's brother Bhumibol Adulyadej came to the throne as Rama IX.

JUBILEE CELEBRATION FIT FOR A KING Throughout 1996, the entire nation of Thailand is celebrated one of its most notable events in its modern history - the Golden Jubilee of His majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej's ascension to the throne as ninth ruler of the Chakri Dynasty, making him the longest reigning monarch this century. The man who has earned such remarkable devotion seemed far from the throne at the time of his birth on December the 5th 1927 in Cambridge Massachusetts, where his father, Prince Mahidol was studying medicine at Harvard University.

As head of the armed forces, he is the focus of attention each December at the Trooping of the Colors held at the Royal Plaza near the statue of his grandfather, King Chuckalongkorn, during which the royal guards pledge allegiance to him.

Perhaps the grandest of the all is the Royal Barge Procession in which scores of carved vessels each manned by a team of chanting oarsman in ancient costumes parade along the Chao Phraya river. Dating back to the Ayutthaya period, this is performed only on exceptional occasions like the celebration of the Chakri Dynasty's Bi-centennial in 1982 and the king's 60th birthday in 1989. Another was be held in 1996 to make the Golden Jubilee, when a new barge in more than 75 years will join the fleet. Rather more somber but less impressive are the royal cremations, traditionally held at Sanam Luang. The most recent was that of His majesty's mother, officially known as her Royal Highness the Princess Mother whose death last

July prompted a seven month period of national mourning For this event a gilded Royal Crematorium of Merumas, was constructed at Sanam Luang, representing the heavenly abode of the gods Vishnu and Indra. The princess Mother's remains, in a golden urn, were solemnly brought from the grand Palace in an ornate chariot created during the reign of the first Chakri kings some 200 years ago. Over 50 years of his eventful reign, King Bhumipol Adulyadej has given it a new vitality at once traditional and creatively modern that reflects the hopes and aspirations of his people.

Thai Traditionals

The Traditional of Wai Khru

Wai Khru translates into English meaning "Pay Respect to Teachers." There are four forms of the ceremony: Initiation as a Trainee Fighter Annual Homage-Pay Ceremony Initiation as a Teacher Dance or pre-contest rituals

Anyone who wishes to really understand the central concepts of Muay Thai, a knowledge of at least some of this martial art's unique and rich traditions, it is absolutely necessary to understand Wai Khru. Those who are interested in becoming professional fighters or trainers, more than knowledge alone, the precepts and ethics involved have to become an integral part of their daily lives. Although these traditions are undoubtedly devout and imbued with a spirit of religiosity, they are nevertheless independent of any specific creed and therefore are very much accessible to all.

The Concept of Wai Khru

One of the most important traditions of Muay Thai is Wai Khru (Paying Respect to Teachers) and the philosophy which it encapsulates. Wai Khru is an ancient custom which is closely bound to the fundamental Thai concept that provides of knowledge are all Khru: parents are everybody's original teachers. Between teachers; parents, educators, trainers, or mentors, the student will build a special relationship that is believed to exist, one which will endure and leave a lasting impression. Likewise, the bond between those who study under the same teacher is regarded as being parallel to kinship, so that such students refer to each other as pee nong, brothers and sisters. When students seek knowledge from their teacher, they first offer symbols of respect such as flowers, garlands, incense sticks and candles. If these seem overly religious and more suited to temple offerings, then bear in mind that monks also teachers while in their own turn being disciples of Buddha: just two more manifestations of the core of teacher-student bond.

In order to become fully fledged Muay Thai Fighter, a person has to pass through a series of ceremonies of "rites of passage" which all come under the generic heading of Wai Khru.

First comes the Initiation as a Trainee Fighter Ceremony, in which the khru muay (Muay Thai Teacher) not only accepts young fighters as his student's, but in return pledges to teach them to the best of his ability. After fighters have been accepted by a teacher, they must demonstrate good conduct, diligence, endurance and other comparable virtues, in addition to training as hard as they can and following implicitly all the teacher's rules.

During their long apprenticeship, fighters will experience many times the second type of Wai Khru ritual, the Annual Homage-Paying Ceremony. This is an annual ceremony, held so that fighters can pay respect to their teachers and to the souls of teachers who have long since passed away and culminates in a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage, the third form of Wai Khru.

After training has been underway for sometime, they will be sent to take part in a contest, preceded by a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage as a public declaration of their allegiance to their teacher. It is only when fighters have passed all these three milestones that they are entitled to regard themselves as real Muay Thai Fighters.

Whether or not fighters can advance to the rank of teacher themselves is a decision which lies in the hands of their own teacher and the process can take a considerable time. The fighters must first have taken part in numerous contests, proved themselves to have advanced practical skills and have done the equivalent of "Teaching Training" in both Muay Thai theory and practice, as well as having the right attitude and character. In addition, age plays a part because in Oriental cultures, age and wisdom advance hand in hand. Generally speaking, thirty and over is considered a suitable age for being elevated to the position of Khru Muay.

It is only when fighters have satisfied their teacher on all these count's that they can participate in the fought Wai Khru ritual, the Initiation as a Teacher Ceremony, which bestows on them the rank of Khru Muay and which once again involves a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage.

For all forms of Wai Khru rituals except the Ritual Dance of Homage, fighters have a choice of position while they are paying homage. They can: Kneel sitting back on their heels Half sit half kneel in the "Mermaid Pose"

The important factor is that the fighter's heads must be lowered, symbolizing their respect and kind heart of friendship.

Why Wai?

To anyone who is unfamiliar with the Thai Culture may well be thinking "What is and why do people Wai?"

Wai dates back to India. It involves rising and putting together the palms of the hands and extended fingers. It is a gesture which, accompanied by a verbal salutation or not, conveys a range of sentiments, from a simple "hello" or "Goodbye" to a request, expression of gratitude, sign of friendship, or an apology.

Initiation as a Trainee Fighter

Before a teacher accepts a new student, he first spent a great deal of time considering the proposition, trying to ascertain whether or not the person was really worthy of becoming his student. Some fighters even initially had to act as servants to their prospective teachers until such time as the teachers were convinced of their suitability and good character. This process sometimes took a year and/or several years.

When a teacher agrees to accept a new student, the initiation ceremony is held, usually on a Thursday, which is traditionally regarded as Wan Khru (teacher's day). As they make a formal request to be accepted, the students present the customary symbols of respect to their prospective teacher (Kreung Sakkara Buchaa Khru). Unlike the set requirements for Buwong Suwong, there is some leeway for personal choice, although candles, incense sticks and flowers are invariably included. Another customary offering is a symbolic amount of money.

Students pledge in front of the teacher that they will be diligent and hardworking, and that they will respect and obey the teacher, following his rulings to the letter. The teacher, for his part, officially accepts the students and promises to instruct them to the utmost of his abilities.

Annual Homage-Paying Ceremony

This ceremony is held annually throughout Thailand in schools, universities or whereever else learning, of whatever sort, takes place. Where Muay Thai is concerned, it is held either on Muay Thai Day (March 17th) or any other traditionally propitious day, requires the trainee fighters to show their respect for and gratitude to their teachers.

Teachers and students alike gather together to arrange the Annual Homeage-Pay Ceremony, inviting as many past teachers as possible to attend. The ceremony involves many traditional Thai Emblems of honor and respect and commences with all those assembled paying respect to the souls of teachers who have passed away. The ceremony then progresses to the students honoring all the teachers present, who mark sacred symbols on the fighters foreheads with powder in order to bestow prosperity and success upon them, a custom known as Jerm. The ceremony involves the performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage by the fighters as a mark of respect to their teachers, while both teachers and students make sacred vows.

Muay Thai students who have all the nessary qualifications are elevated to the rank of teachers themselves. The teacher has first to consider which students are sufficiently knowledgeable and technically skillful to be worthy of promotions to the ranks of instructor. After the secession has been made, the Krob Khru ceremony is held to publicly announce and promote the chosen students who then become teachers in their own right, entitled to pass on the skills and traditions of Muay Thai to students of their own. As in Kuen Khryu, the teachers-elect offer the traditional symbols of respect to their teachers, who then makes the official proclamations:

Today is propitious day, and this hour of good omen. You have proved yourself to be a person of virtue and knowledge, skilled in the art of Muay Thai, to the extent that you are now worthy of becoming a teacher yourself. I therefore appoint you a newly-created Muay Thai Teacher at this Krob Khru ceremony, capable of instructing others in this noble art. Always remember your duty to preserve the traditions and art of Muay Thai. Be a person of good conduct and apply your knowledge and abilities in such a way as to benefit both you and the community.

While the teacher utters these words, the Muay Thai fighter's kneel on the floor before hime, their hands pressed together in the Panom Mue Wai Position at their breasts, both their bodies and faces bending down, all signs of the utmost respect they have for their teachers.

When the Khru Muay has completed the citation, the fighters, bearing in mind their gratitude to and love for their teacher respond in a suitably reverential manner:

I, your disciple, recollect the deep obligation I have to the Thai ancestors who evolved the art of Muay Thai and have passed it down as precious legacy through countless generations. I also bear in mind the obligation I have to my teacher, who has trained me in the skills of this art, and who now considers me worthy of becoming a teacher myself. I vow to follow in their entirely all of his teachings and to conduct myself with honor, using my knowledge and skills, for ever after.

When the fighters have completed their response, they prostrated themselves three times before their teacher, and then kneel in a posture of obeisance, hands pressed together in the Panom Mue Pose , while the teacher places a Mongkon on their heads. When the students have received the Mongkon, they back away from their teacher on their knees to a suitable distance. The musicians then start to play any the fighters perform the Ritual Dance of Homage in the style, which they have learned from their teacher. When the Ritual Dance is completed, the fighters approach their teacher, again on their knees, hands once more in the Panom Mue Pose, while the teacher removes the Mongkon from their heads, after which, the fighters once again prostrate themselves three times before their teacher and receive the Mongkon in their own hands, to be treasured thereafter as a legacy from their teachers. It is believed that this mongkon is now endowed with sacred properties and can be worn only by its owner, except if they give their express permission for another to do so.

Pre-Contest Rituals

Before any Muay Thai contest can commence, a series of traditional rituals has to be undertaken:

Approaching the Ring Rites-Kuen Suu Weitee Ritual Dance of Homage-Wia Khru Ram Muay Removal of the Head Circlet-Pitee Tod Mongkon

We will review these in your training.

Krabi Krabong-Thai Martial Arts

KRABI KRABONG is the Original Martial Art of Thailand. In ancient times, Krabi Krabong was a system of attack and defense devised by idle warriors to practice and test their skills, as well as to keep themselves fit and competent for battle. On the battlefield, those honed techniques became whirlwinds of destruction. Krabi Krabong though is not an antiquated discipline whose only contemporary value is as a form of entertainment, it is a living martial art. Though in his teaching Por Kruh places a great deal of emphasis on the performance aspect of the art; when he speaks of Krabi Krabong he dwells on its great utility. Modern weaponry has changed the face of war, making large scale conflict with swords and spears a thing of the past. Yet the weapons of Krabi Krabong are for the most part silent ones and as such still warrant themselves a place in contemporary warfare. Though the system may look deceptively simple, one must remember that it was a combat oriented art. Students begin training by learning the empty hand techniques of the original bare knuckle Muay Thai. Through line drills once taught to the military, the students learns the basic kicks, punches, knees and elbows common to Muay Thai. He will then progress through the original full length Wai Kruh and Ram Muay and be schooled in the binding of the hands with rope. What is essential about training is that the empty hand techniques will later be inserted into the weapon fighting. The techniques learned must be strengthened considerably so he can deploy them rapidly and with precision during a fast exchange. In addition, empty hand against weapons will also be taught as the practitioner's skill level progresses. These basics will prepare the practitioner to begin training in the first of the three weapons taught: the Daab, Daab Song Mue and the Krabong.

Thai Termonology

HelloSa wadee

Goodbye La kon

Good morningAroon sa wadee

Good eveningSayan sa wadee

Good nightRa tree sa wadee

My name is Chan shue

Thanks, very muchKhob chai mark

You are welcomeKhob ton rub tharn

You are welcomeTharn sa bi dee rhuee

I speak EnglishChan pood dai tae pasa Anglish

I can't speak ThaiChan ma chark saha rat

Please speak more slowlyProde pood hai sah kwa nee

I don't understandChan mai khao chai

Can you help me?Shuay chan noi doi mai?

I am from the U.S.?Chan ma chark saha rat

How do you say?Tharn wa yarng rai?

What time is it?We la tao rai?

Counting One Nueng Two Sorng ThreeSarm FourSee FiveHa Six Hok SevenChed EightPaed NineKao TenSib ElevenSib-ed Twelve Sib-sorng

Gym Terminology Boxing teacherKroo Muay Teacher accepts new studentKhuen Kroo Respect to teacherWai Kroo PromoteJad AnkletAenken Block Bat To kickDtae To hit Dtee ThrowTing To box/boxingDtoi Shadow boxingDtoi Lom To thrashFaad To duckLop To dodge/evadePang nga Left/to leftSaai Right/to rightKwaa CampKai Boxing CampKai Muay Boxing StadiumSanam Muay Professional boxingMuay acheep Novice boutGawn welaa International boxingMuay sakon Main bout Koo ek RingWeh tee Ring ropesSangwien Weight categoryRun RatingAndap JumpKradot RefereeGamagan Break (referee)Yaek Judginggaan dadsin To judge/decideDadsin ChampionChamp BoxerNak Muay FightChok Red cornerFaidaeng Blue cornerFainamnerng Boxer's shortsGangkeng Muay GlovesNuam Fight musicDontree Muay Groin guardGrajaab WeightNamnak PunchingGarsawb Ring of Charms Kruang ruang Ceremonial headbandMongkon

Hand techniques



To hitDtee

Jab Yaeb

To punchDtee mat

To elbowDtee sawk

Hook punchHok

Straight punch Mat drong

Upper cutMat at

Kicking techniques

Turning kickChaoraked faad

Knee kickDtae kao

Kick with footDtae tao

Roundhouse Dtae wiang

Over arm knee kickKao kong

Jumping knee kickKao lov

Frontal knee kickKao drong

Jumping kickKradot dtae

Push with sole footTeep

Foot thrust to rear Teep dan lang

Heel pushTeep dueh son

Forward foot pushTeep drong



Top of the headGrammon srisa

Forehead Na paag



ChinLook kang

Adam's appleLook gradueak




Neck areaTaitoi

Floating ribChaikrong


Region under the heartDaihauchai

Solar plexusLimpee


Lower stomachTong noi

Kidneys Dtai





ShinNa kaeng

Foot Tae

InstepLang tao

Terminology for Class Training

Sok Ti Horizontal Elbow

Sok Tad Low Horizontal Elbow

Sok Tong Downward Elbow

Sok Cheing Upward Diagonal Elbow

Sok Hud Upward Elbow

Sok Klab Spinning Elbow

Sok Ku Twin forearms

Sok Sab Downward Diagonal Elbow

Koa Knee Strike

Tae Foot Strike

Neung One (lead leg or hand)

Song Two (rear leg or hand)

Sam Switch feet (using the front leg)

Thai Flag

The national flag of Thailand has 3 colours:

red, which stands for the blood spilt to maintain Thailand's independence, or often more simply described as representing Thai people, white, which stands for Buddhism, the predominant religion of the country and blue, which stands for the Monarchy of Thailand.

More on Thailand and it's History, Economy, Travel and Trade


How to wrap hands



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90 percent of our members are not interested in competition, therefore everyone learns proper Muay Thai techniques and training as if they were preparing for competition, however without the contact. For the other 10 percent, we offer the same training with light contact. Everyone trains together like a big family. In Muay Thai, all ego’s are left at the door. Classes are taught in Thai or English. Muay Thai will burn body fat and tone your muscles. Get into the best shape of your life while learning the art and science of Muay Thai.

Basic Thai for tourist

Hello = Sawa dee Thank you (man says) = Kob Khun Krap Thank you (woman says) = Kob Khun Ka How are you? = Khun sabai di mai? I am fine thanks = (man says) Pom sabai di krap. I am fine thanks= (woman says) Chan sabai di ka. Basically women say "ka" at the end of a sentence while men say "krap". You're welcome = Yin dee krap / ka Wait = Roh sakru I= pom (man) I= chan (woman) Come = ma Come from = ma jak I come from Australia = Pom ma jak pratet Australia (man)/ Chan ma jak pratet Australia (woman) I love Thailand = Pom/chan rak Meuang Thai. I love you= pom/chan rak khun

The word leu = past tense meaning it has happened already. The word is used at the end of the sentence to say something already happened.

I have come= ma leu Go = pai Gone already = pai leu Go where = pai nai Go soon = pai diauni room= hong water= nam Toilet = hong nam Where is the toilet? = hong nam yu nai? to enter= kao heart= jai to understand = kao jai (literally: to enter the heart) don't understand = mai kao jai

Eat = gin Drink = deun Food = ahan Candies= kanom Have eaten already? = gin leu mai krap/ka? Rice = kao to eat= kin kao (literally: eat rice) I am hungry = pom/chan heeu kao Are you hungry? = Khun heeu kao mai? Tasty = aroy I have eaten already thanks = Pom/chan kin leu krap/ka I am full thank you = Pom/chan im leu krap/ka

I dont know = Mai ru want = ao don't want = mai ao now = ton ni today = wan ni tonight = keun ni this morning = chao ni tomorrow = prung ni yesterday = Meua wan hour= mong what time is it? = Ton ni gi mong?

water = nam hard= keng ice = nam keng (hard water) hot water = nam ron cold water = nam yen waterfall = nam toc rain = fon raining = fon toc shower = ab nam maybe / perhaps = Bang ti play = len speak = pud funny = sanuk I know = pom/chan ru I don't know = pom/ chan mai ru everything = took sing large = yai small = lek fast = reu, slow = cha

crazy =ba you are crazy = khun ba very/ a lot= mak you are very crazy = khun ba mak stupid = ting tong you are stupid = khun ting tong

have = mi I have = pom/chan mi I don't have = pom/chan mai mi you have = khun mi you don't have = khun mai mi can not hear you = mai dai yin khun I can hear you = pom/chan dai yin khun

work = tam ngan I want = this can be said many ways: pom/ chan ao; pom/ chan tong karn; pom/ chan yak I think = pom kid wa why = tam mai I am sick = pom/ chan mai sabai good= di heart= jai happy = di jai (literally good heart) I am happy = pom/ chan mi cuam suk; or pom. chan sabai di I am not happy = pom/ chan mai sabai di

broken= sia I am sad = pom/ chan sia jai (literally I have a broken heart) I am sorry = pom/ chan koh tot I am confused = pom/chan sap son never mind = mai pen rai a lot / very = mak hurt / pain = jeb I am full = im leu I forget = Pom/ chan leum leu where is = yu nai over there = ti nun here = ti ni what= arai when = meua arai friend = peuang good friend = peuang di problem = pang ha I have a problem = pom/chan mi pang ha

afraid = klua frightened / scared = pom/chan klua smells bad = min good = di very good = di mak bad = mai di weather= akas hot weather = akas ron cold wind = lom yen strong wind = lom reng bathroom / toilet = hong nam shower = ab nam

to look = du to see = hen again = ik krang to tell a lie = pud go hok shit= ki lies a lot = pud ki mak (literally speaks shit a lot) to promise = hai sanya sorry = ko tot to sleep = non/ lap to wake up = teun eyes= ta to close your eyes (go to sleep)= lap ta dreams= fan; good night= lap fan di

Boxing vocabulary: boxing = muay Thai boxer = nak muay warrior = nak su to box= som muay elbow = fan sok; punch = chok front kick = teep to win = chanak; to lose: peh good luck = chok di gloves: nuam hand wraps: pad meu mouth guard: fang yang

A Few Simple Tips: To make a question just add mai at the end. To make the negative add mai at the beginning.

Are you hungry? = khun heeu kao mai? Are you happy ? = khun di jai mai? Do you have a boy friend ? = khun mi fen leu mai? I don't understand = mai kao jai (literally means "doesn't enter the heart") no thanks = mai ao krap/ka I don't know = mai ru krap/ka I don't like it = mai chob krap/ka

eyes = ta lips = pak to love= rak face= na pretty = na rak (literally lovely face) beautiful = sway hansome = loh breasts = nom kiss = jup like = chob You are very beautiful = khun sway mak You are very pretty = khun na rak mak

What is your name? = khun cheu arai? You have a beautiful smile = khun mi yim sway Happy to meet you = pom mi cuam suk ti dai pop khun See you again = leu pop khun Do you have a boy friend? = khun mi fen leu mai? I like you = pom/chan chob khun What are you thinking? = khun kid arai? I am shy = pom ki ai You look good = khun sway di You look beautiful = khun sway mak I will love you a long time = pom/chan rak khun nan leu Come watch a movie with me = pai du nang kap pom/chan mai? Come eat with me = pai kin kao kap pom/chan mai?

Bad Words / Swear words in Thai Language stupid = ting tong pickle brain = samong dong dumb/ brainless = mai mi samong bad person = jai dam (literally black heart) hot headed = jai ron (literally hot heart) thief = kamoy

Numbers: (1) = neung (2) = song (3) = sam (4) = si (5) = ha (6) = hok (7) = chet (8) = pet (9) = kao (10) = sip (11) = sip et (12) = sip song (13) = sip sam (14) = sip si (15) = sip ha (20) = yee sip

(21) = yee sip et (22) = yee sip song (23) = yee sip sam (24) = yee sip si (25) = yee sip ha (30) = sam sip (40) = si sip (50) = ha sip (60) = hok sip (70) = chet sip (80) = pet sip (90) = kao sip (100) = neung roi (150) = neung roi ha sip (500) = ha roi 1000) = neung pan 1500) = neung pan ha roi (2000) = si pan (5000) = ha pan

Telling Time in Thai

2 am = ti song 3 am = ti sam 4 am = ti si 5 am = ti ha 6 am = hok mong chao 7 am = chet mong chao 8 am = pet mong chao 9 am = kao mong chao 10 am = sip mong chao 11 am = sip et mong mid day = tiang

1 pm = bai neung 2 pm = bai song 3 pm = bai sam 4 pm = si mong yen 5 pm = ha mong yen 6 pm = hok mong yen 7 pm = neung tum 8 pm = song tum 9 pm = sam tum 10 pm = si tum 11 pm = ha tum midnight = tiang kheun