Ancient Muay Thai - Muay Boran
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Muay Boran means Thai Boxing old-style.
Muay Boran literally means ancient boxing, or boxing old-style. It is a traditional form of Muay Thai still taught in Thailand.
As Muay Thai boxing became standardised and internationalised, absorbing many elements of western boxing some looked back fondly to the days of fewer rules and Muay Thai Kad Chuia (bound string fist fighting). Muay Boran is essentially an effort to preserve the boxing techniques from Muay Thai history before the introduction of formalised rules and gloves in the 1930s. Muay Boran is the predecessor to modern day Muay Thai.
Muay Kaad Chuek - String gloves boxing.
During the Ayuthaya era came the introduction of Muay Kaad Chuek. That is the use of unrefined hemp wrappings to protect the fingers and wrists. A length of around 20 metres was enough to bind one hand. The use of Muay Kaad Chuia quickly spread, as a bound fist is tougher, stronger and better protected against injury than an unbound one. It is said that before a contest fighters immersed their fists in water. This would cause the binding to harden when it dried, making it capable of producing serious injury. Some people go further and claim that fighters dipped their hands in glue and ground glass. Such a contest would certainly have made a gory sight! To this day an annual Muay Kaad Chuia contest with Laos is held in Nong Khai near the NE border with Laos, on the Thai side of the Mekong River. A Muay Kaad Chuia contest with Burma is staged in the Mae Sot, western Thailand, during the Sonkran (Thai New Year) festivities (April 12-14). Boxers fight until knockout. If both competitors remain standing at the end of the bout a match is declared a draw.

The Battlefield.
Historically, the purpose of Muay Thai was to help a warrior survive a battle and is the bare hand side of the Thai warriors namely Krabi krabong. It's style is efficient in that it maximizes the damage the body's natural weapons can impact on an opponent. Muay Boran emphasizes combinations of powerful elbow and knee techniques thrown at full force and speed, the idea being to completely overcome one's adversary as quickly as possible.

Learning Muay Boran.
Muay Boran is highly ritualised and the training is a long and involved process. Muay Boran students practice and perfect techniques before being allowed to progress to the next level. At the heart of Muay Boran is the Yang Sam Khun (three strides walk) which is the basis of all footwork. Pairings are done in the traditional style, not by weight, and all parts of the body, including the groin, are potential targets. Some Muay Boran techniques are not effective in the modern arena, as Muay Thai practitioners have found new ways to protect themselves. Many other ancient techniques are now forbidden in Muay Thai for safety reasons. Even in Thailand it is difficult to find school's that teach Muay Boran. Most camps and gyms prefer to focus on modern Muay Thai, which is more easily exploitable as a form of income. Some schools outside of Thailand who claim to offer Muay Boran instruction simply teach Muay Thai and sell it under the name of Muay Boran. paul Whitrod learnt this unique art from Colonel Nattapong Buayam is a 64 year old instructor of the art of Muay Thai Kad Chuia (old string boxing) in the west this is known as Muay Boran, but another name is Muay Thai Kad Chuia amonst other names given. Also he is an instructor for the Buddhai Sawan in Krabi Krabong. He served with the Thai Army and has a rank of Colonel. Trained in Special cadet Chulachomklao Royal Military. Air Borne (special warfare centre). He has also trained the Army in Krabi Krabong, Muay Thai, for more than 20 years.

Muay Boran Exhibitions.
At present in Thailand there is resurgence of interest in this traditional style of fighting. And you can see the link that runs between all the South Esat Asian arts. At Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, which is famous for professional Muay Thai, there are now regular exhibitions of Muay Boran. And the biggest promoters in Thailand, Song Chai Promotions, are planning to organise a Muay Boran competition, fighting under the old rules.

Our Development of Muay Different forms of Muay (boxing) developed concurrently in the various regions of SE Asia. Thailand?s neighbours, Burma, Laos and Cambodia all practice there own legitimate forms of Muay which are similar to Thailand's celebrated Muay Thai, though their are differences. The sport in these countries is less developed in terms of competitions and training opportunities than in Thailand, but the fighting forms all have an ancient tradition. A Muay Burma contest and a Muay Laos contest are held every year in Thailand near to the respective borders at Mae Sot and Nong Kai.