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The Truth of Muay Boran

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  • The Truth of Muay Boran

    Dear All,

    I am new to this forum - but have seen there is some past interest re Muay Boran (MB) - and that is a very good thing. Modern Muay Thai (MMT)(Lumpini, K1, USMTA) is a far cry from the true noble art of Muay Thai. Having taken some time to study, here are some notable differences:

    - MB is much lower, keeps a slight bent in the knees (avoid kneecap busting), springy stance ready to pounce
    - Every defense is an offense. Within every offence is also an defence.
    - Footwork is no longer evident in MMT. I'm not talking about jumping up and down here, but rather slides, short hops, diagonal twists, low crouches etc. Even if you were to view old tapes of Muay Thai, not many boxers knew of the footwork.
    - The missing link between sword (krabi krabong) and muay. The sword is an extension of the hand.

    I hope not to offend anyone, but I say this with full sincerness - please do not get fooled by any Thai / Western masters who claim to have the 6 deadly secrets or any super big belt. There are no belts in Muay Thai. To my knowledge, there is NO qualified Muay Boran teacher outside Thailand. And no - Ong Bak is NOT Muay Boran. The took Muay Boran and mixed it with gymnastics into some Jackie Chan stuff. Muay Boran that I refer to is NOT Muay Thai on stage 20 yrs ago, but rather Muay Korat, Muay Chaiya, Ta Sao+, and Muay Lopburi. These styles still exist, but are taught only to a handful of selected students. Ever since death occurred with the hemp bound fist fighting, and Muay boran was banned from the public. Hence, the Lumpini Muay 20 yrs ago is NOT Muay Boran.

    Finally, I also want to say this. The magic of Muay Boran is NOT in the Look Mai (high kicks, elbow turns, etc) but rather in the Mae Mai. There is only 1 Mae Mai - from which this turns into endless variations. Do not judge a teacher by how many Look Mai he knows, but how strong his Mae Mai is.

  • #2
    Please explain

    I am new to studying martail arts. Please explain what is Mae mai. Do you know any sources of informationm that I could go to learn more about the arts that you mentioned? Thank you.


    • #3
      regardless, even the watered down muay thai they teach here in the us is still pretty effective as it is, as are its training methods. also, most muay thai people here incorporate western boxing into their muay thai so it gives it a boost. however, the us looks like its coming up in the world of muay thai, as us fighters have gone to thailand and beaten thais and done well in other tournaments.

      btw, some of what u mentioned about the stances and movements in muay boran seem like a mix of western boxing and muay thai, with the crouches, slightly bent knees, great mobilitity, and counter attacks.


      • #4
        Hey Boran Man:
        The "truth" has obviously alluded you and your misguided attempts at revealing any reality. I dont know what your agenda is or where you learned your secrets but you should go back to your teacher and learn what the truth really is.

        Secondly, the thing about the thais holding all these "secrets" is just that. We will live in a functional world and function is the bottom line of a bare knuckle fight is to be able to fight.

        Thirdly, if you understand Muay Boran you know its a recycled format used by the education department. If you want to learn look mai or mae mai, try the authentic article from the lineage of kru kiet, kru thonglor or kru bua to name a few teachers and systems. Have you learned the "true" system yourself becasue it doesnt sound like you have. Sounds like you are a mouthpiece from the people trying to bottle and sell Muay Boran to the west like a coca cola product.

        Fourthly, who did you get your great Muay Boran knowledge from that depart these great revelations from? Who are your teachers? Who is your krabi krabong teacher?

        I come to thailand to train and fight. If you want to meet up so you can show me functionally in real time, one on one, how good your look mai/mae mai is, then lets hook up and see? PM personally and we'll continue the conversation there and set up times and dates. I dont want to disrupt people who might actually listen to your nonsense.

        If you want to dance around then go to a dance school, fighting is fighting and the look mai/mae mai supports that. Anyone who trained in thailand knows that. Old bare knuckle fighters were about form and function putting it out there, if you can stand up to ring muay thai even in a open fight put it out there and prove it. Go up to burma vs thailand and fight bare knuckle. Prove it! There are foreigners who have trained with the real masters not the dancers and can fight. You can put your money on it. everything you said is theoretical and we can debate it all day to no end.

        People tend to crash these forums making these proclaimations then cant back it up and rapidly disappear.


        • #5

          Dear All,

          Truly sorry if I have created any tension. I have no hidden agendas. My only intention is to shed light on the truth of Muay Boran. I am not an expert, only a student. What I have written is based on my understanding, research, and conversations with a number of Muay Boran teachers - which there are not many left. I am fully aware of Kru Bua and Kru Tong Lor. I have met their students and descendants.

          I love the art of Muay Thai, and do not want to see it degraded.

          That said, I am not saying Modern Muay Thai sucks. It has strong roots in Muay Boran and over time has evolved into what I consider one of the strongest systems. Time and again, Modern Muay Thai has proved itself effective. I have full respect for it. What I am trying to say, however, is that it is different from Muay Boran. It is an evoloution from the art, but not the art itself. To try to do alot of look mai and say it is Muay Boran is not correct. If the mae mai is not there, everything is off - timing, stance, position, etc.

          And of course, I am happy that Westerners are practicing Muay Thai. I believe in Globalization - and sharing. Apparently, I've done some studying in the US, it is only fair for us to share Muay Thai knowledge with Westereners. What I want to make clear, however, is that there is a GROWING number of BOTH Thais and Westerners who claim to have some 6 deadly secrets of Muay Thai. That is not true. Please let us respect the art. To have learned Modern Muay Thai is a great thing - it is already extremely effective in its own right. But to try to market one'self and start wearing gold slashes and hats and claim secrets is total bull. If you want to market yourself as having learned Muay Boran, please do it right. Go learn it.

          As for Western Boxing, it is a great art and sport. I like to watch it and study it. I cannot remember sayign anything bad about it. A great Western Boxer can beat and less competent Muay Thai fighter - no doubt. The stances in Muay Boran (low stance) and Western Boxing are both rationale and similar in ways. But I think both Thais and Westerners are smart enough to figure it on their own without having to copy one another.

          Think of Muay Boran as like Ju Jit Su - created for the battle fields. Is it necessarily better than Judo, it depends on who the practitioner is. I am just saying that Judo and Ju Jit Su are different.

          And no - I am not into violence or dancing. I like to practice Muay Boran, because I am amazed at what it has to offer. That's for me. Everyone has their own path.

          Let's all tone down together. My hope is to spread the truth. But if it's getting overly violent here, I see no point. If we can all talk nicely and learn together, I will be to share more of what I learned, saw, and heard. But if violence is what you want, this is not my place.


          • #6
            mae mai


            Mae mai translates as master tricks, goto on the very bottom of the page it has a description of Mae Mai and a few examples.


            • #7
              Let's tone down the violence? What violence? I asked you if you could physically prove your theories...thats violence. You are a practitioner of a fighitng art. I aksed if you could make the special secret look mai/mae mai work? I know people who can including one foreigner.

              You are the one telling us facts you researched..but didnt research in depth or well enough or are being brainwashed by teachers who are teaching something other than the truth

              As far as foriegners go, do you home work and research. Kru keit since you know who is had a foreign student who he trained and went on to learn the system. Kru tong had a foreing student who he gave his notebook to full of every technique of the system and that person went on to learn the system several times over with many of kiets and tongs students after translating the entire notebook as well as keits book. He has written intelligent articles and has also trained in krabi krabong, ring muay thai, healing and massage and recently sent his writings were sent to the King of thailand on recommednation from a general. your assumptions and research are pretty bad or its coming from teachers who are ignoring facts they know but want to conceal in an effort to control and sell to the west.

              I appreciate, respect and train in the old styles but there are foreigners who have been doing it a long, long time. Lets stop all the racism and stupidity with the Thais. Its a science that can be understood. You'd probably tell me I dont know Muay Thai either though I trained in thailand and fought and won in thailand? True its your cultural heritage or whatever. Like I said I am relocating to thailand to live and train and continue to fight hoppefully I will train in the old arts including krabi krabong and expand my knowledge for the next few years.

              If your are comments are directed at foreigners like Marco De Cesaris and Master Woody and the thing they call Muay Boran, we know they are fakes here in America and most people just ignore them or at least I hope they do.
              We know Ong Bak is a movie and Tony Jaa is a stuntman turned actor. We know what the old styles are. The six deadly secrets from Panya's book, nobody pays attention to that I know of. So there I answered your questions directly. Dont think because you read the boards that thats everyone. Go to the serious people who train and research here in the US and abroad and you will intense, well written research that exposes the truth

              Like I said if you want details of any of the above, PM a private message click my name and we'll take this in detail further. You are obviously missing alot of facts I researched myself and others have researched for years and years well beyond me.

              I'm not going to argue this further. You have my contact info if you need it. The floor is yours, give your true Thai research and enlighten us with your indepth knowledge of the "truth" and the "secret"

              Who are you? Who do you train with? You didnt answer the questions. You have one post on this board and its full of the "true knowledge" you want to spread to the Americans of course you are going to be taken to the task.

              If I am out of line, the admins can PM me and I'll remove anything offensive or troublesome to them.

              George Stando


              • #8
                Thank you

                Dear All,

                Thank you for your understading. Once again, as mentioned this is not meant to create tension or insult anyone. Sorry if I have offended anyone in the process.

                I am happy to now realize that students in the US realize the real Moran frrom those who claim. That is my only intention. Re Panya's book, it is a widely known fact amongst Thai boxers that he never studied with Ajarn Ketr as claimed. Needless to say - there are no 6 deadly secrets. And George - to refute you - I never claimed to have any secret Mae Mais - the only Mae Mai I know of is the Yang Sam Khum - you might well recognize this as the posture where one brings his leg up adn his hands in a full guard position (position of Nai Kanom+ Tom) - so there you have it. I am NOT claiming any secrets.

                i will write more - need to go first. Take care.


                • #9
                  Boran Man:
                  Fair enough. I understand where you are coming from.

                  The reason for my biting remarks were there are Thais that know the foreigners studied for a very long time but fail to acknowledge them which is not a good thing. The Thais want to market the system to the west so they dont want it known that there are those who have been doing it a very long time. The Thais are not always honest in their dealings with the farang and thats my own direct experience.

                  But that aside you should experience ring muay thai so you can feel the differences between the two arts and that in itself will help you to better express the differences.

                  Also anyother research you care to share with us, I am certainly open to hearing about.

                  Sorry for my tone but on webboards we are never sure what the intent of the people are.



                  • #11
                    In the world of martial arts, Muay Boran stands as a testament to tradition and prowess. Its origins steeped in history, Muay Boran unveils the truth behind Thailand's ancient combat techniques. As practitioners engage in the art's intricate forms and techniques, they uncover a narrative of resilience and discipline passed down through generations. However, amidst its mystique lies a blend of fact and folklore, akin to the illusions woven by a Halloween magician. Separating reality from myth becomes a quest for enthusiasts, unveiling the essence of Muay Boran—a fusion of physical skill, cultural heritage, and a touch of enigmatic charm.