Krabi Krabong

Krabi Krabong A.I.M. Academy Senior Instructor, Kacey Chong training in Krabi Krabong at the Buddhai Sawan Institute of Swordfighting (Ayutthaya, Thailand) / Photo Source: A.I.M. Academy

Summary

Krabi Krabong is a martial art that originated in Thailand. It is an art of defending oneself through the use of a curved sword. Krabi Krabong’s philosophy came to life when Siam warriors fought for the welfare of Thailand during the Burmese war. Krabi Krabong makes use of weapons most of the time but this martial art also uses kicking and empty-hand techniques to defeat an opponent.

 
 

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

The term Krabi Krabong stemmed from the weapons used in this art of self-defense: Krabi, the curved sword and Krabong, the staff. Despite its name which clearly states that the art makes use of weapons, Krabi Krabong makes use of weapon-less techniques as well which are mostly kick-based.

BEGINNINGS

During the 16th century, the Burmese ruled over some parts of Thailand, then Siam, which eventually ignited a war between the two nations. Even though Krabi Krabong was founded 400 years ago, it was only during the Burmese war the art was developed. Ancient Siamese warriors employed the techniques to defend their land over the Burmese invasion. It is said that the development incorporated Muay Boran, Siam’s ancient boxing, but there is uncertainty to the story. The development of Krabi Krabong made use of kicking techniques and empty hand techniques to defeat the opponent by targeting pressure points, and making use of holds, locks, and throws.

PRESENT DAY

Because Thailand is known to be respectful of its culture, history, and tradition, Krabi Krabong is still very much honored by locals up to this day. In the aim to keep the tradition of the land’s ancient martial art, Krabi Krabong rituals always take part in Thailand’s most prominent festivals. The participation of Krabi Krabong’s rituals in festivals is the country’s way of showing unfaltering respect, honor, and gratitude to Siam warriors who defended the land over the Burmese invasion. Today, Krabi Krabong enthusiasts are taught both the traditional techniques, the ones used centuries ago and also the modern styles that are influenced by various martial arts.

FOLKLORE

In Thailand, the monks served as the teachers and masters of the town. Young boys were sent to the temples not just to learn about Buddhism but to study different disciplines such as languages and astrology. There was a building in the Buddhaisawan Temple in Ayutthaya where students were taught by monks how to sword-fight. It is not certain where these monks came from but it is believed that the kingdom of Lanna in northern Thailand was the monks’ hometown.

Elephants played an important role in Siam warfare. To be chosen as the throne’s successor, two sons of Int'araja I fought with elephants. Making use of the back of the elephants, archers were able to defend by shooting arrows to their enemies or engage in hand-to-hand battle with the opponent. After the gunpowder was introduced in the 15th-century, the elephants were given a new role wherein they carried tanks and cannons on their backs.

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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Thailand
TIME OF ORIGIN: Developed by ancient Siamese warriors
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COUNTRY: Thailand
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FOUNDED: Developed by ancient Siamese warriors
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Practices

PHILOSOPHY

Human beings are born to fight for survival, and that is what the philosophy of Krabi Krabong is all about. It is a living martial art with underlying emotion attached to it: the fast destruction of the opponent in order to win and survive. This emotion originated from the way ancient Siam warriors defended their homeland against invaders.  Therefore, the core philosophy of Krabi Krabong is to fight the opponents and to destruct their motives in the fastest, most effective manner.  This entails combined efforts of the mind and to quickly create tactics that will defeat the enemy. It is due to this aspect that Krabi Krabong is highly honored and Krabi Krabong warriors are highly respected for their ferocity and fighting spirit.  This Thai martial art upholds power, simplicity and speed—a perfect combination to incapacitate an opponent.

TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

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RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

Krabi Krabong has elaborate rules and procedures to follow. Before it starts, warriors pay obeisance which shows how the ancient Krabi Krabong practitioners paid obeisance to the King. After this, the warriors will have a sword dance which depicts the epic Ramayana. The sword dance is divided into two: the Double Sword Dance that consists of 12 steps and the Single Sword Dance that consists of 3 steps. In Krabi Krabong matches is performed within a marked circle and there is a music playing in the background all throughout the match. The warriors are judged according to their skill, stamina and technical know-how.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

Krabi Krabong rituals and routines have graced some movies such as Legend of Suriyothai. Krabi Krabong was showcased in the movie’s battle scene and its weapons, techniques and context are highlighted all throughout the film. Legend of Suriyothai was filmed in Thailand and talked about the battle between Siam warriors and Burmese invaders. In Hollywood, Roger Moore used Krabi Krabong’s rituals and techniques in one of the James Bond movies.

Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

Links coming soon

References

REFERENCES

  1. http://www.siamyout.com/krabi-krabong.html (rules)
  2. http://www.jkd.gr/krabikrabong.html (rules)
  3. http://maelstromcore.com/?p=3034 (movies)
  4. http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/index.php?topic=622.5;wap2  (movies)
  5. http://ensomartialarts.com/krabi-krabong/ (philosophy)

COLLABORATORS

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Contact

CONTACT

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