Muay Boran

Muay Boran

Muay Boran

The Martial Art From The Battlefields

Muay Boran

With the rise in popularity of Mixed Martial Arts Tournaments, It’s no surprise that Muay Thai has become a well-known combat art. With the additional use of the Knees and Elbows, the MMA fights have become all the more entertaining! However, what does come as a surprise is the gaining popularity of Muay Boran, not just in Thailand, but in various corners of the rest of the world too!

If you, too, have heard of Muay Boran and are curious to learn more about this ancient martial art, then you’re in the right place! This article will throw light on what Muay Boran is, its origin, and its link to Muay Thai.

WHAT IS MUAY BORAN?

Before the 1930s, there existed many variations of the Thai combat style. All of these different variations were collectively known as Muay Boran. After the 1930s, over time, the different combat styles began to be regulated as a combat sport. This later formed into the Muay Thai that we know of today. Muay Thai translates to Thai Boxing, whereas Muay Boran translates to Ancient Boxing!

Muay Boran or Muay Thai Boran was no sport. It was an unarmed combat style to be used on the battlefield and not in the ring with a referee. There are no fighting rules on a battlefield that exists in the ring, and pretty much anything goes. For this reason, you will find many deadly Muay Boran moves that are, for obvious reasons, not allowed in a ring match!

Muay Thai, on the other hand, although quite deadly, is still the watered-down version of the original combat style of the battlefields! In Muay Thai, you won’t find the many forbidden styles of Muay Boran whose purpose was to kill the enemy.

Many moves, such as going for the groin or striking the throat, which is considered dirty moves in Muay Thai, are permitted in Muay Boran. There are no dirty moves in battle, remember? To get a better picture of MUay Boran, let us take a look at its origins.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MUAY BORAN

The origins of Muay Boran can be traced back to the Ayuthaya Kingdom, which is now known as Thailand. During the war of the 18th century, The Burmese army invaded and captured the capital. Among those captured were many Thai boxers.

King Mangra of Burma held a week-long festival to celebrate their victory over Thailand and honour the Buddha. As part of the festival, the Burmese decided to hold fighting matches. They were, of course, riding high on confidence with their recent victory!

However, there was something the Burmese did not take into consideration. And that was losing the fighting match to an opponent from the losing Thai side. And that is where the legendary hero of the Thai people – Nai Khanomtom enters the picture. The legendary Thai fighter started with a Wai Kru performance which was a traditional dance done pre-fight. This itself is said to have captivated the Burmese audience.

As the legend goes, much to the disappointment of the Burmese, Nai Khanomtom defeated Ten Burmese fighters one after the other, including their champion. Watching this magnificent performance by the Thai fighter, the Burmese king was very impressed and decided to grant the Nai Khanomtom and his fellow captives their freedom.

The fighting style used by Nai Khanomtom was Muay Boran. Or that is how the legend goes, and the full-truth, as is in such cases, remains a mystery. However, since the modern-day fighting style is said to have been evolved from this Ancient Boxing art, let’s take a look at what’s common between them and what sets them apart.

MUAY BORAN Vs MUAY THAI

Similarities:

There are good reasons to assume why the latter evolved from the former. Both combat styles use the eight pairs of limbs: Fists, Feet, Knees & Elbows. You also find many similarities in the core fundamentals of the two styles. Here are some of the similarities:

  • Performing Wai-Kru, a traditional pre-fight dance ritual
  • The fighters of both styles wrap their knuckles using twisted hemp rope known as “chuak. “
  • Many combo-moves utilising the various punches like uppercuts, jabs, crosses etc
  • Heavy usage of the various kicks such as the roundhouse kick, Diagonal Kick, Axe Kick, Push Kick and Front Kick
  • Using the knee for close rand attacks with techniques like Straight, Diagonal or Horizontal Knee strike, Knee Bomb etc
  • Using the Clinch to execute strikes and locks
  • Targetting the joints and pressure points

DIFFERENCES:

Although we said earlier that both these combat styles use eight pairs of limbs, Muay Boran also uses the head as a weapon. Since Muay Boran was initially meant for the battlefield and not the ring, one could think of it as the modern-day Muay Thai, with much fewer rules!

Like mentioned before, there are no cheap shots in Muay Boran. You can headbutt, attack the groin, throat and even the back of the head. However, apart from these, there are also fundamental differences in the fighting styles of Muay Boran & Muay Thai. These include:

  • Muay Thai fighters use a lesser compact stance with their fists on either side of the head’s centerline. On the other hand, Muay Boran has a much more compact stance, with their fists aligned with the head’s centerline.
  • This compact style of Muay Boran helps the fighters to deflect strikes from the opponent much more quickly. The close stance also helps to turn defence into a grappling move while protecting their own vitals.
  • Compared to Muay Thai, the Muay Boran style also takes a lower and much wider stance. This low stance helps to protect vulnerable areas like the groin.
  • Since there are no cheap shots in Muay Boran, the fighters must be prepared to defend themselves against such attacks. Their lower and wider stance also helps with such defence.
  • Unlike Muay Thai, Muay Boran emphasises attacking opponents’ limbs to render them immobile – a fatal move for the opponent in battle!
  • Muay Boran promotes flashy attacks such as flying elbows and flying knees meant to take down an opponent. Such attacks often use a wider swing which packs a lot more power in it.
  • Although such attacks also leave them open in a few vulnerable spots, the aim is to take down the opponent as quickly as possible. Thus, unlike Muay Thai, where you study the opponent in the initial rounds, you go for the kill right from the start. Because in battle, you cannot take your own sweet time on a single enemy!

Those were some of the similarities and differences between the Muay Thai and Muay Boran. However, since Muay Boran was a collective of Thai Boxing practised in different regions all over Thailand, there are many variations to this style. Here are some of them.

MUAY BORAN VARIATIONS:

  • MUAY THASAO: Thasao translates to “monkey feet”. It is called so because of its fluid movements.
  • MUAY LOPBURI: This is the Thai Boxing style used in central Thailand and focuses on the efficient use of punches and kicks.
  • MUAY KORAT: This combat style from East Thailand prefers heavy attacks like the Buffalo Punch.
  • MUAY CHAIYA: The Thai Boxing style from South Thailand. It also utilises a weapon system called Krabi Krabong and uses many hard elbow and knee strikes.

CONCLUSION

Now you should have a good idea of what is Muay Boran and its link to the much more popular Muay Thai. Of course, since Muay Boran was meant for the battlefield, it is still evolving to fit in with the present-day ideals. The World Muay Boran Federation (WMBF) helps to spread awareness of the history and culture of this traditional Thai combat art.

If you came upon Muay Boran as part of your research on Muay Thai, then hopefully, this article has been helpful. You can also check out this article on the Benefits Of Muay Thai to see how learning this combat sport can also help improve your physical and mental fitness. And if you still have any doubts, drop in at Sinbi Muay Thai, and we’ll be glad to help you out!

The Stress Bucket

The Stress Bucket

The Stress Bucket Model

A Handy Tool To Recover Faster From Hard Training

Stress Bucket

Are you a fitness enthusiast looking to train hard? Or perhaps if you’ve travelled to Phuket, then maybe it’s not just the beach on your mind. Since you’re in Thailand, want to give Muay Thai a go? A finely chiselled beach body is a great reward for some hard training, isn’t it? Not to curb your enthusiasm, but if you’re not careful, you might end up harming your body instead of making it fitter. The Stress Bucket Model is a vital tool to prevent just that!

“Recovering from training-related stress is just as important as the Training itself!”

Don’t you think you need to worry too much about releasing accumulated stress? Then just a look around the popular Muay Thai Gyms. Even we at Sinbi Muay Thai see our fair share of over-enthusiastic travellers wanting to master Muay Thai in the short time that they are here. Unfortunately, despite their Trainer’s advice, these folks don’t take stress release all that seriously only to end up burnt out and suffer from overtraining.

Of course, like any good gym, we keep a lookout for any Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining. However, stress can be accumulated from multiple sources and not just from training. For example, some of these folks also tend to party hard after training hard! And then there’s the stress from the jet lag, work pressure, domestic issues, girlfriend problems, and so on.

Can Stress Eventually Pile Up?

Is too much stress even a real thing? That’s just for weaklings – It’s all in the head, right? Well, only partly. Firstly, mental stress is a real thing, and it’s not bullshit. And secondly, it’s not just mental stress. With bad lifestyle habits along with hard training, you’ll be collecting plenty of physical stress as well.

Now we understand where you’re coming from. You’ve probably seen all those seasoned Muay Thai boxers on youtube or perhaps at a dojo. You see them go at it like crazy. Training hard all day, 6 or even 7 days a week and yet never breaking down! Just looking at their training is enough to make you feel dizzy. So how come all those Muay Thai fighters are not affected by the stress they accumulate?

While the amateur succumbs after crossing the limit, the professional knows to recover before pushing themselves to their limit. So you see, it’s neither magic nor rocket science. To put it simply, it’s just common sense! Stress Management is the key here. For one, professional boxers don’t just start with an arduous training routine.

It’s a gradual process from simpler to more challenging training as they increase their strength, stamina etc. And second, the professionals know their limits and take measures to recover adequately between training sessions while increasing their stress tolerance levels over time.

Stress Bucket Model

Don’t Leave Any Stress Unchecked!

Are you wondering what all this holding back we’re talking about here is? Well, don’t be! Amateurs often tend to make many common fitness mistakes that end up causing them more harm than good from going to the gym. Even if you do perform all exercises correctly, not paying attention to the stress caused can be detrimental to your health in the long run.

And the stress from working out is not the only stress your body has to deal with. In addition to all the other stress you accumulate through your other lifestyle habits such as drinking, smoking, loading up on junk food, not getting proper sleep etc. Even the mental stress from pending dues, office pressure, marital issues etc., eventually cause physical harm. And that is where the Stress Bucket Model can come in handy to keep all your stress in check.

The picture above illustrates how the Stress Bucket Model works. Think of your body as that bucket shown above. All sorts of stress come in from the inlet and slowly starts filling up the bucket. What do you suppose will happen, If nothing is done? That’s right – the bucket will overflow with stress. Think of it overflowing like the bucket bursting. And remember, that bucket represents your body!

The Stress Bucket Model To Recover!

And what do you do when the stress keeps piling up? Well, the answer is there in the Stress Bucket Model. See that little tap on the bucket? The smart move is to open the tap from time to time, releasing some or all of the collected stress. This way, you prevent the bucket, i.e. your body, from bursting while becoming ready again to handle any stress.

When your body deals with stress, it releases cortisol, a catabolic hormone the body uses to go into fight or flight mode. And this is true while training as well. Although it is a necessary and valuable hormone, when too much of it gets accumulated in your body, it can cause serious health issues. And that is why it is just as essential to release excess stress and help your body shift into an anabolic state where it recovers.

Now you don’t need to take the model shown above very literally. We mean that if the situation requires it, you can have more than one tap on your bucket! That means having multiple stress release mechanisms in place. That is, after all, the secret behind the extreme training routine of those Muay Thai boxers you’ve seen. So, if you’re beginning to see the importance of stress release, here are 6 Effective ways to combat excess stress.

Full Recovery Is The Key To Maximising Training Gains!

Now, remember not to get too excited and start a full-blown training session just because you saw the Thai Boxers go at it like crazy. And especially if you’re on vacation here. All those different parties and drinking sessions could be too much for your body to handle, along with tough training sessions.

Use the Stress Bucket Model and employ the smarter way to get fit. Of course, a good trainer will keep an eye on you to make sure you don’t push yourself beyond the limit. They will also help you with recovery techniques such as Foam Rolling. These are, of course, just a few of the reasons that make getting a Personal Trainer worth it!

Now that you have a better understanding of how stress can affect your body and your training results, you can efficiently use the Stress Bucket Model. And if you still have any doubts about getting the max out of your training, then visit us at Sinbi Muay Thai – we’ll be glad to help you get the best training in Thailand.

Benefits of Muay Thai

Benefits of Muay Thai

Benefits of Muay Thai

The 8 benefits of Muay Thai That Takes Your Fitness Level Up A Few Notches!

Have you flown to Thailand with not just the beaches in mind but also learning some martial arts? Perhaps seeing videos of Pro fighters executing fantastic Muay Thai moves got you all excited. I can’t blame you! It is pretty remarkable how those fighters execute those deadly attacks and combo moves so well. But if you’re here to learn, looking cool is just one more perk compared to other great benefits of Muay Thai.

Muay Thai, the official martial arts, is deep-rooted in Thai culture. Its roots lie in a much older form of martial art called Muay Boran, the fighting art used on the battlefield by Thai soldiers. Since then, the times have changed, and it is no longer the age of war. Flowing with the time, the martial arts too adopted its techniques to be more sports-oriented and is the Muay Thai as we know it today.

Since there are plenty of Martial arts out there, how do you choose one that’s best for you? Is your goal to have great physical fitness and mental focus along with excellent fighting and defensive skills? Then continue reading to find out what makes Muay Thai stand out from the rest.

Difference Between Muay Thai & Other Martial Arts

All martial arts pay attention to and address the various attack and defensive areas by developing their unique techniques. To master & execute these techniques develops your physical fitness and abilities. A certain amount of mental wellness and clarity is required no matter which martial arts you practice. Some put more emphasis on this compared to others.

So what makes Muay Thai different? The core difference is in using 4 pairs of limbs rather than the standard 2 pairs of limbs. This is because most martial arts focus on building your combat skills using fists and feet. On the other hand, Muay Thai makes equal use of 2 more pairs, i.e. your knees and elbows.

The addition of the knees and elbows allow you to use even close-range attacks along with the long and mid-range attacks. And if it gets too close for comfort, you can even execute a clinch, a sort of grappling move in Muay Thai. The Thai boxing art also requires you to perform many consecutive strikes and combo moves. This requires a solid physical foundation and conditioning and super mental focus, taking your fitness to a whole new level—the training needed to achieve these leads to the benefits of Muay Thai as mentioned below.

 8 BENEFITS OF MUAY THAI

#1 Strengthen Your Cardiovascular System

Before you even get started, better get it in your head that Muay Thai training will be tough. Long before you even get started with the actual combat training, you’ll need to bring your fitness level up. And since Muay Thai moves involve many consecutive attacks, the first thing you need to strengthen is your cardiovascular system.

You will start with what seems like an endless routine of jumping ropes, running, kicking and many more. That is, of course, just the warm-up. You should guess that if that were hard, the actual training would be much harder. Such gruelling training aims to ensure you can pull of those combo moves and consecutive attacks correctly and without harming yourself! And so, vigorous cardio is one of the benefits of Muay Thai that you gain.

#2: Strengthen Your Lower Body

Ever notice the calves of Muay Thai fighters? That’s right! Strong legs & sexy calves are another one of the benefits of Muay Thai. And that is because the legs play a vital role in executing many of the Muay Thai moves. That is why this martial arts put extra emphasis on your footwork and conditioning your legs.

By practising the many Muay Thai kicks repeatedly and the various related exercise routines, you will end up strengthening the musculature of your entire lower body. This helps you pack a lot of power behind your kicks, turning your legs into a weapon!

#3: Increase Hip-Mobility

Excellent mobility is a vital requirement for combat. However, it is also an essential factor in physical fitness. But, still, it is pretty common to see even the so-called ‘fitness enthusiasts’ not paying enough attention to mobility. Their fitness routine is often focussing only on 1-2 planes of movement.

Muay Thai, however, with its many knee and elbow movements, ensures you are well trained in all 3 planes of motion. As a result, improved hip mobility becomes another one of the benefits of Muay Thai that you get.

#4: Gain Solid Balance

Many injuries are caused as a result of poor balance. In combat, poor balance can be the difference between victory and defeat. Even when it comes to physical health, poor balance is a sign of poor fitness!

Now, of course, as a student of Muay Thai, poor balance is unacceptable. You need a rock-solid balance if you want your Muay Thai moves to be effective and not end up injuring yourself. And sure enough, the Thai Boxing training routine will ensure you develop a solid balance by practising all the various kicks and related exercises over and over again!

#5: Get Strong Core Muscles

Practising all those kicks and moves with consecutive strikes over and over again not only improves your balance, but over time, it vastly increases your endurance level as well. And this, in turn, is a result of you gaining strong core muscles. Those kicks, rotational movements, grappling techniques and even defensive moves help to improve your core strength.

Now you probably understand the importance of core strength from the point of view of fitness and attacking power. But it is also a pretty helpful attribute to have while defending yourself as well. And so, packing a solid punch and taking one is one of the many benefits of Muay Thai.

#6: Get Super Fast Reflexes

Well, it’s good that you got strong core muscles and can take a punch or two. And you will undoubtedly find yourself in a situation, hopefully, just in training, where the punches and kicks keep coming, especially against good Muay Thai fighters, which will be the case at Sinbi Muay Thai, where you get to train with the best.

But, the objective of learning combat training is to avoid taking any hit. And by undergoing such rigorous training containing a flurry of punches and kicks, you will soon improve your reflexes. Moreover, by being dedicated to your training, you can develop superhuman reflexes. And so, avoiding getting hit and other injuries, using great reflexes is an excellent benefit of Muay Thai.

 #7: Reduce Stress & Remove Anxiety

Stress has become an unavoidable consequence of the lifestyle most people follow nowadays. But, of course, you cannot avoid stress, such as work pressure or maybe trouble at home. Add to this the physical stress that your body will have to endure as a result of physical training!

However, there are measures you can take to keep your stress levels under check. For one, using the stress bucket model can help you manage stress and figure out ways to reduce it. One such method is through Muay Thai training. Having a go at the punching bag, throwing a few kicks and even sparring can help reduce your stress level and anxiety.

#8: Improve Focus & Mental Clarity

We get the excitement with which people get into Muay Thai training. However, to properly learn and execute its various moves, you need to maintain complete focus. With Muay Thai, you will learn to clear your head of any noise and maintain high concentration levels. With such practice, you will develop a high level of mental clarity and focus that will be helpful not just in combat situations but also in daily life.

So now you know about some of the top benefits of Muay Thai. And as you know by now, Muay Thai helps improve not just your physical but mental health as well. It’s not easy, we warn you! But if you stick to it, under the guidance of a good trainer, all the hard work will be worth it. This is what you can expect when you train at Sinbi Muay Thai. And for what it’s worth, you look pretty cool to pull off those Muay Thai moves along with a strong body and mind!

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