The secret whispering when putting on and taking off the Mongkon

07 Jul

This article is for the fighters and trainers out there that respects the traditions and culture of true Muay thai and is passionate about learning more about them.

I’m pretty sure all of you out there know that the thaiboxer have to wear a Mongkon when they enter the ring to fight, most of you probably also know why, and the meaning of wearing the Mongkon. For those who doesn’t it’s a symbol to give protection from injuries during the fight (to keep it short). For those of you that has had a closer experience of fighting in Thailand you also know that when the Mongkon is put on and off, the Kru or the person taking it on or off usually bend their head down, close their eyes and mumbles a bunch of word. For some of you the question of what they actually are saying might have risen. So what is it they actually are saying?

I myself experienced the tradtion of putting on and off the Mongkon, hearing my Kru mumble something in thai and then it was time to fight. I came back to my home country and wanted to follow this tradition when the fighter I was coaching was having his fight. I put on and off the Mongkon and improvised a few words that felt appropriate (fight good, keep the guard up, believe in yourself, etc..). But it always made me wonder what It was really ment for me to say, which words were spoken by the people behind this tradition?.

Well, I have now learnt about this and I want to share this with all of you that are interested in learning more about Muay thai-culture.

The answer is a buddhist chant, a form of musical vers comparable to a Christian psalm or a religious citation from some other religion. I won’t go to deep into chant’s here, and if you want to go deeper into chants you can follow this Wikipedia link. The chant is a verbal tool ment to give protection, there is numerous chant’s against all kind’s of evil and suffering, there is chants more appropriate for Muay thai and other appropriate for other areas. Most Kru’s, have their own favorite they pronounce for their boxer, which is why you will never hear the same chant from different trainers, or whoever put’s on and off the Mongkon. The chant is pronounced both when the Mongkon gets on the head as well as off.

Down belove is a example of a chant that my own trainer uses. The words that the chant consists of don’t really mean anything, atleast you wont find them in a thai dicitionary. How they are made up I will leave for yourself to find out. But different chants have different meaning, probably made up by the mon that wrote them.

Feel free to learn this chant and use it next time you put on and off the Mongkon of your boxer.

 

Text:
Ee ti pi saw wie ze ze ie
ie ze ze poot tha na mae ie
ie mae na poot tha dtang saw ie
ie saw dtang poot tha pi ti ie

Insights: Kru Meechai tells about why Muay thai is more than just kicking and punching

11 Apr

For some people most Muay thai fights might look similar, two people that are kicking and punching each other until the round bell rings or one of them goes down. But a sport that has been around since ancient times and is practiced during a fighters full lifetime  have been enriched by its practitioner to be more than just simple kicking and punching. As with all other sports there are different tactics, strategies and plans on how to win a fight. Muay thai is today so refined as a martial art that it comes to a point when it is no longer a question of what fighter has the better physic or who has trained the hardest. When two dedicated fighters meet, they will both be physically prepared to endure 5 rounds with no problem, what determines the outcome will be other aspects of the game. Aspects such as who is best on what they are doing, and there are many ways of doing Muay thai on. Meechai explains some of the general “fighting styles” that can be talked about in Muay thai.

The Muay khao style of fighting
Khao means knee in thai language and a boxer that fights Muay khao is fighting aggressively, moving forward and puts pressure on his opponent through the fight. A Muay khao likes to close the distance to his opponent and fight with his knees as main weapon. As an example of a fighter that masters the Muay khao style Meechai shows me Samransak, one of the strongest Muay khao fighter ever been, according to Meechai.

In this video Samransak (blue) is fighting Chamukpet (red) Samransak vs Chamukpet 

Toby kaewsamrit a Muay khao

The Muay mat style of fighting
A Muay mat is an aggressive fighter with an allround use of techniques but that favors punches and knees while moving forward. Less clinch-seeking than the Muay khao but still as aggressive. Meechai shows me Lakhin (in blue) a real powerful striker that in this video takes on Samson, which is a legendary Muay khao fighter. A good example of a Muay mat (Lakhin) vs a Muay khao fighter (Samson). Make sure to wathc part 2 as well, thats when the real war takes on.

—-> Lakhin vs Samson

The Femeu style of fighting
A Muay femeu is a technical and more defensive than aggressive boxer, one that is light on the feet, avoids getting hit, and throws quick counterattacks. A femeu prefers to fight on a longer distance enabling him to use kicks, tieps and the jab as main weapons. The first fighter that comes to Meechai’s mind is the legendary Samart Payakaroon, famous for his technical and smart fighting style, exemplifying the femeu style.

In this fight Samart (in red) takes on Samransak, a good example of a Femeu vs Muay khao/Muay mat, —> Samart vs Samransak

The Muay tiep style of fighting
Even though the tiep is one of the favorite weapons for a Femeu the technique has given name to its own style, “Muay tiep”, which is a femeu fighter that really likes to throws the tiep a lot. Meechai shows me this video of Silapathai (in blue), which style reminds me of Samart, in this fight he faces Lakhin and you can see Lakhins frustration over the constant tieping, another good example of a Femeu vs a Muay khao/mat fighter. I lost count after fifty tieps, have a look yourself..

—> Silapathai vs Lakhin

Meechai teeping

Other styles
Other styles that you might have heard about is Muay sok (sok = elbow) a technical fighter that likes to throw the elbow a lot. Muay bouk, a constant forward moving fighter and Muay Pbhlam, a fighter that’s strong in the clinch. The more you learn about Muay thai the more you realize that it is far from just simply, kicking and punching the most or the hardest, to win the fight. While the genetics of a fighter much determines his capability for what style of fighting he will master the best, it is important to take all style’s into consideration and realize that there is more than one way to beat an opponent, and that without adaption you will not get far.

/By Kriss

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