- Please find below useful Thai phrases and details

 of the history of Muay Thai-

Muaythai History



The Sport v The Art

Muaythai used to be referred to as 'Pahuyuth' ('multi-faceted fighting style') and was originally a no-rules contest between fighters where the winner was the one left standing. Fights would be held at almost any suitable location; jungle clearings, courtyards, a village square or any area of flat ground, contained within a circle sometimes drawn on the ground or marked with a rope. Boxers would fight with their forearms strapped in rope and their fists bound with strips of raw cotton. Muaythai is said to have developed some one to two thousand years ago as an effective way for Siamese soldiers to train during peacetime without using edged weapons. Legend also has it that the Thais often couldn't afford swords anyway, having to resort to unarmed combat in battle. As a spectator sport it has been recorded at least as far back as the middle ages. Nonetheless, aspects of Muay thai and the unique clinch-work or stand-up grappling used today would be noticeable in the fights staged for the pleasure of the Siamese kings in the 17th Century. Only the head-butt was banned as a striking technique - most others were perfectly legal, bar striking a grounded opponent. In 1929, with the introduction of weight divisions, timed rounds and gloves as opposed to hemp rope or leather thongs wound around the hands2 brought about the advent of the sport of muaythai as most people know it today. Modern fights are fought over five three-minute rounds with two-minute breaks between rounds, a referee and three judges awarding points for effective strikes in a similar scoring system to western boxing. However, these developments in safety meant many Thai traditionalists felt their sport has been ruined. Even today in Thailand punches rarely score and are not viewed as true 'weapons' by the local purists.

 
It's not widely known that the sport of muaythai is a smaller part of a whole; the Thai fighting system has developed many components from its 'no holds barred' past and most people wouldn't be aware that there are areas of training that also cover weapons and groundwork more akin to the likes of ju jitsu and kempo. These little-known facets are referred to as 'ling-lom' and, coupled with the powerful striking techniques of muaythai boxing, make for a very effective system of self-defence.


Muaythai Techniques


One of the main differences between muaythai kicks and other martial arts forms is that muaythai fighters strike with the shin instead of the foot or instep. The reason behind this is that the foot contains many bones, nearly all of which are relatively small compared to the shin, which makes it a delicate limb; if an opponent blocks a kick with the foot it is far more likely to be injured than the shin-bone. Not that the shin can't break - it can and does, and there are examples of shin-strikes leading to very nasty breaks; but with the right training and conditioning, a shin-strike can carry a force akin to that of being hit by a baseball bat.


Muaythai kicks also tend to be 'long-leg' kicks. Most other forms kick by raising a bent (chambered) leg and kicking out in a flicking motion before returning the leg to 'chamber'. In muaythai the leg is kept as straight as possible, using the weight of the leg and twist of the hips and body to strike through an opponent, a technique some kickboxers call a 'whip' kick. Kicks can be thrown to all areas of the body, with neck-strikes attaining the highest score, although kicks to the knees, thighs and ribs, especially to the softer inside of the upper thigh, are often used to wear an opponent down. Elbows are allowed, as are knee strikes, along with punches, and these can be thrown to any part of the body (with the exception of the groin). Even the use of the shoulder to strike can be effectively utilised in a 'clinch'. Punching in Muaythai isn't considered a true strike, especially to the purists, and so many Thai fighters are poor punchers. With the advent of mixed martial arts and the inclusion of western boxing practices, punching as an effective strike in muaythai is improving. However, punching is still used mainly as a feint for a more powerful attack, or a way to close down the distance to the opponent and bring them into close quarters grappling or a 'clinch', where fighters battle for control of the head by holding a opponent in a vice-like grip with fingers laced behind the neck. Caught in this position, knee strikes can often be punishing as knees and elbows to the head are legal techniques. A fighter in a clinch can also be thrown (without the use of the hips) though trips and sweeps are not allowed, as is hitting a downed opponent. Spiritual Muaythai


Muaythai is steeped in historical ritual and ceremony, a spiritual aspect to the martial art few people realise exist. To the layman muaythai is just a violent sport. However, from a superstitious past and culture that it has inherited the pre-fight ritual dance, the ram-muay or wai-kru. In a muaythai contest, before each bout both boxers perform this pre-fight ritual dance, a graceful display that is a vital part of the original spirit of muaythai, showing gratitude and respect for the skills learned by the boxer. All bouts are also accompanied by a unique type of music called pi muay, which is used to help focus the mind in the meditative pre-fight stage and drive the fighters on to the conclusion.


Women and Muaythai

Women have been participating in muaythai in the ring for a long, long time, well before the controversy of western women climbing into the boxing ring to fight. Despite recent outrages over women boxers, women regularly compete in muaythai events in the UK without evoking the same level of anger, which seems odd considering the common misconception of muaythai as being a brutal and violent sport. Muaythai is more than just a competitive sport, with only 10% of practitioners in the Western world ever stepping into the ring. Instead of the fighters who train professionally in Thailand, elsewhere many simply train for the benefits of increased fitness and self-confidence muaythai can offer as others would train in boxing or football or simply running. The Wai-Kru or Ram Muay Before the competition of muaythai, Thai swords (krabi-krabong) or any other ancient weapons' martial arts, every competitor must perform the wai-kru ritual and perform the boxing dance, which hails from ancient contests. Wai-kru was originally carried out to exorcise any evil spirits that may be lurking in the ring, but was also a way to pay homage and respect to the fighter's trainer, the judges and officials present and of course the opponent. The style of the dance is unique to each boxing 'camp' or group of gyms and often went alongside the camp colours and individual fighting style, generally reflecting the teaching practices and ethos of the camp's chief instructor, or kru. Often the dance would be personal to a fighter and many fighters in Thailand develop their own routines, particularly the part of the Ram-Muay where the boxer makes a highly stylised representation of using weapons of some sort to kill his opponent. Apparently a boxer in Bangkok recently caused outrage when he ritualistically acted out his ram muay using an Uzi machine gun. Usually fighters who danced the same style wouldn't box each other since they would know they had the same master. Today the dance is a good way to warm up before a fight, helping to relax and prepare the body and mind before combat. Krabi-Krabong Krabi-krabong is a traditional Thai martial art still practised in Thailand, focusing on handheld weapons as well as empty hand techniques, specifically the krabi (sword), plong (quarterstaff), ngao (staff with blade in the end), Daab song meu (a pair of swords held in each hand) and Mae Sun-Sawk (a pair of clubs). For most Thais, krabi-krabong is a ritual display paraded during festivals or at tourist venues, but the art is still solemnly taught according to a 400-year-old tradition handed down from Ayutthaya's Wat PutthaiSwan. The king's elite bodyguard are trained in krabi-krabong and to many Thais it is perceived as a 'purer' tradition. As was the case in muaythai matches of 70 years ago, modern krabi-krabong matches are held within a marked circle, beginning with a wai kru or ram muay ceremony and accompanied throughout by pi muay. Muaythai techniques and judo-like throws are employed in conjunction with weapons techniques. Although sharpened weapons are used, the fighters refrain from striking their opponents, the winner decided on the basis of stamina and the level of technical skill displayed. Injuries do not usually stop a match, although an injured fighter may surrender.

 

Muay Thai Phrases

Andap

Ratings

Baak

Mouth

Bangkok

Capital of Thailand

Bat

Block

Chaikrong

Floating ribs

Champ

Champion

Chiang Mai

Provincial capital in the North. Seond largest city in Thailand

Chok

Fight

Choraked faad haang

Turn kick, literally 'crocodile thrashes its tail'

Dadsin

To judge, to decide

Daihuachai

Region under the heart, a vital point.

Dermpan

A form of betting.

Dontree Muay

The music played during a match

Dtaa

Eyes

Dtaai

To die

Dtae

To kick

Dtae Kao

Knee kick

Dtae Tao

Kick with foot

Dtae Wiang

Round kick

Dtai

Kidneys, a vital point.

Dtai Kao

Knee kick from side

Dtee

To hit

Dtee Mat

To hit with the fist

Dtee Sawk

To hit with the elbow

Dtoi

To box, boxing

Dtoi Lom

Shadow boxing, literally to box with the wind or air.

Faad

To thrash, wipe, swipe

Faidaeng

The red corner

Fainamnerng

The blue corner

Gamagan

Referee

Gaan Dadsin

Judging

Gangkeng Muay

Boxer's trunks

Gawn Welaa

Literally before time. "Gawn welaa" bouts, reserved for novices, are held before the program starts.

Grajab

Groin guard

Grammon Srisa

Top of head, a vital point

Grasawb

Bag, punching bag

Hua

Head

Huajai

Heart

Hook

Hook, word borrowed from English.

Jad

Promote

Jamook

Nose

Kaa

Leg

Kaen

Arm

Kai

Camp

Kai Muay

Boxing camp

Kagangai

Jawbone, a vital point

Kamab

Temples, vital points.

Kao

Knee

Kao Kong

Over-arm knee kick

Kao Loy

Jumping knee kick

Kao Drong

Frontal knee kick

Khuen Kroo

The ceremony during which a teacher accepts a new student.

Koo Ek

Main bout on a card, literally the "number one pair".

Kradot

Jump

Dradot Dtae

Jump kick

Druang Rang

Bands worn around biceps

Kroo Muay

Boxing teacher

Kwaa

Right, to the right

Lang Tao

Instep

Limpee

Solar Plexus, a vital point

Mat

Fist

Mat At

Uppercut

Mat Drong

Straight punch

Mao Mat

"Punch drunk"

Mongkon

The headband worn during pre-fight ceremony

Muay Acheep

Professional boxing

Muay Thai

Thai-style boxing

Muay Sakon

International-style boxing

Na Kaeng

Shin

Nak Muay

Boer

Namnak

Weight

Na Paang

Forehead

Nuam

Gloves

Pang-nga

To dodge, evade

Paa Pan Mue

Bandages worn under gloves

Pee Liang

Seconds

Raigaan Muay

Boxing program

Ram Muay

Boxing dance, part of the pre-fight ritual

Run

Weight category

Saai

Left, to the left

Sanam Muay

Boxing stadium

Sawing

Swing, the word comes from the English "swing"

Sawk

Elbow

Sangwien

Ring Ropes

Sawk Chieng

Diagonal Elbow

Sawk Hug

Levering Elbow

Sawk Klab

Reverse Elbow

Sawk Ku

Double Elbow

Sawk Sob

Chopping Elbow

Sawk Tad

Jab Elbow

Sawk Tong

Smashing Down Elbow

Taitai

Nap, a vital point

Tao

Foot

Teep

Push or thrust with the underside of the foot

Teep Dan Lang

Foot thrust to the rear

Teep Duen Son

Heel push

Teep Drong

Straight forward foot push

Ting

Throw

Tong

Stomach

Tong Noi

Lower stomach, a vital point

Uppercut

Uppercut, borrowed from English

Wai Kroo

Obeisance to the teacher, part of the pre-fight ritual.

Wehtee

The ring, a stage

Wong

Band

Wong Muay

The orchestra that plays during matches

Yaeb

Jab, borrowed from English

Yaek

Break, used by referee in the ring to separate fighters.

Yang gan fan

Mouth guard

Yang Sam Kung

Three step dance, part of the Ram Muay

Yok

Round

Yud

Stop, used by referee


 

Commonly Used Phrases



Sa wadee

Hello

La kon

Goodbye

Aroon sa wadee

Good morning

Sayan sa wadee  

Good evening

Ra tree sa wadee

Goo d night

Chan shue   

My name is

Khob chai mark

Thanks, very much

Khob ton rub tharn  

You are welcome

Tharn sa bi dee rhuee

You are welcome

Chan mai khao chai

I don't understand

Shuay chan noi doi ma?

Can you help me?

Chan ma chark saha rat

I am from the U.S.

Tharn wa yarng rai?

How do you say?

We la tao r ai?

What time is it?

Chan ma chark saha rat

I can't speak Thai

Chan pood dai tae pasa Anglish

I speak English

Prode pood hai sah kwa nee

Please speak more slowly


 

Basic Numbers


 

Nueng

One

Sorng

Two

Sarm

Three

Se e

Four

Ha 

Five

Hok

Six

Ched

Seven

Paed   

Eight

Kao

Nine

Sib  

Ten