How Muay Chaiya is different from Modern Thai Boxing
Muay Chaiya was created in the ancient battlefields, when warriors still fought using sharp weapons and, in the event of being disarmed,body parts.As such, it is based on time-tested techniques and principles that were aimed at
1) ending engagements in the swiftest and surest manner
2) using minimal energy and
3) ensuring that the learnt practitioner was least, if at all, hurt.
That certainly is not the case in Modern Muay Thai where boxers can be seen “splashing water at each other” (a phrase used to describethe useless and painful exchange of kicks and punches to entertain the crowd) with the end result of potential traumatic body injuries. As the core principle of Muay Chaiya states; before you learn how to inflict pain on others, learn how to protect yourself.
The Muay Thai one sees today at the weekly Lumpini Boxing Stadium matches and a host of other celebrated kickboxing events is a far cry from the true noble art of Muay Thai. The true ancient art of Muay Thai encompasses the full range of striking, grappling (not simply clinching), throwing, breaking, and smashing – each with its own infinite variations. Unlike today, where one can prepare for 6-8 months at a local Muay Thai camp learning the basic blocks and kicks and then enter competition, true old-style Muay Thai practitioners had to go through at least 2-3 years of footwork and stance preparation before being accepted by as true student. The purpose is two-fold: 1) to test the student’s patience and diligence and 2) to ensure the student has fully grasped the ancient Muay Thai footwork, of which Modern Muay Thai’s has no resemblance, before moving on. It can be said that one’s skills can be judged solely by their footwork.
The footwork skills one attains from Muay Chaiya allows one to cope with an opponents force in any way one wishes – deflecting, parrying, neutralizing, pushing back, or just simply stepping away. However, the footwork is not the only gem of Muay Chaiya. All body weapons within the Muay Chaiya system are truly functional, simple, yet flexible enough that a skilled practitioner can apply an infinite number of variations. The grappling, throwing, locking, and smashing techniques are unlike those of other arts. A complete system in itself, Muay Chaiya allows its practitioners to change from striking to grappling to smashing seamlessly.