Sunday, January 8, 2012

Muay Thai (Thai boxing) - Koh Samui

I got me a free muay thai lesson!!

Muay thai, the national thai sport, is a martial art which is also known as the "art of eight limbs" or the "science of eight links" as it incorporates the use of strikes and blows from hands and feet, as well as elbows and knees.  Hence eight limbs as opposed to only feet or hands and feet used by most other fighting styles!

What I looked like, in my head!

While at the Gecko Club, I met a girl, Vivi, who was being trained by one of the muay thai masters here in Thailand and she offered to give me a quick lesson! :)

Yes, I totally got my arse kicked by a girl!  :)

It was actually really hard.  Not that I'm the best fighter in the world. I'm not.  Actually, the last time I was in a fight I got taken out in one punch and ended up with two stitches in my face. (Seriously, I did).  Well, actually, he was twice my size and I wasn't even looking at him when he hit me. So you couldn't call it a fight as much as a cheep shot from someone who didn't think I was funny when I'm drunk.  Honestly, I'm hilarious when I'm drunk.  Anybody who doesn't think I'm funny when I'm drunk is a douche.  He was obviously a douche. I mean, he hit someone half his size when they weren't even looking.  Douche. I hope he see's this.  He's some 'roided up idiot from Sydney who wears shirts too small for him and he doesn't have a neck.  I bet he has a small willy too...from all his roids!  HAHAHA  He's a douche with no neck and a small willy!!

Really, I am SO funny when drunk, I promise. :)  But wow, I'm digressing.

The stance was the hardest thing to get my head around.  You need to put your chin against your shoulder and hunch like an old man... for the whole time... (I'm actually not standing correctly in the photographs below).  It all got a bit too confusing after about 15 minutes and my masseuse arrived... and I get massages better than I throw punches, so I did that instead.

 And this is how you punch...

"Like this?"  "Yes, but punch like you mean it!!" 

"Like this???"


The most popular folklore regarding muay boran is that of Nai Khanomtom.
At the time of the fall of the ancient Siam capital of Ayutthaya in 1767, the invading Burmese troops rounded up thousands of Thais and took them to Burma as prisoners. Among them were a large number of Thai kickboxers, who were taken to the city of Ava.
In 1774, in the Burmese city of Rangoon, the Burmese King Hsinbyushin (known in Thai as "King Mangra") decided to organize a seven-day, seven-night religious festival in honor of Buddha's relics. The festivities included many forms of entertainment, such as the costume plays called likay, comedies and farces, and sword-fighting matches. At one point, King Hsinbyushin wanted to see how muay boran would compare to the Burmese art lethwei. Nai Khanomtom was selected to fight against the Burmese champion. The boxing ring was set up in front of the throne and Nai Khanomtom did a traditional Wai Kru pre-fight dance, to pay his respects to his teachers and ancestors, as well as the spectators, dancing around his opponent. This amazed and perplexed the Burmese people, who thought it was black magic. When the fight began, Nai Khanomtom charged out, using punches, kicks, elbows, and knees to pummel his opponent until he collapsed.
However the Burmese referee said the Burmese champion was too distracted by the dance, and declared the knockout invalid. The King then asked if Nai Khanomtom would fight nine other Burmese champions to prove himself. He agreed and fought them all, one after the other with no rest periods in between. His last opponent was a great kickboxing teacher from Rakhine. Nai Khanomtom mangled him by his kicks and no one else dared to challenge him.
King Mangra was so impressed that he allegedly remarked, "Every part of the Thai is blessed with venom. Even with his bare hands, he can fell nine or ten opponents. But his Lord was incompetent and lost the country to the enemy. If he would have been any good, there was no way the City of Ayutthaya would ever have fallen."
King Mangra granted Nai Khanomtom freedom along with either riches or two beautiful Burmese wives. Nai Khanomtom chose the wives as he said that money was easier to find. He then departed with his wives for Siam. Other variations of this story had him also winning the release of his fellow Thai prisoners. His feat is celebrated every March 17 as Boxer's Day or National Muay Boran Day in his honor and that of muay boran's.
Today, some have wrongly attributed the legend of Nai Khanomtom to King Naresuan, who spent his youth as a royal hostage in Burma while Ayutthaya was a Burmese vassal. However, Nai Khanomtom and King Naresuan were almost two centuries apart.
Until next time,


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