As Muay Thai became standardised and internationalised absorbing many
elements of Western Boxing many looked back fondly to the days of Muay Kaad
chuek. Muay Boran is a traditional form of Muay Thai still taught in
Thailand and never was real fight in the ring.
highly ritualised and training is a very long and involved process. Muay
Boran students practice techniques for a long time before being allowed to
progress to the next step. At the heart of Muay Boran is the Yaang Sam Khun
(three strides). Muay Boran is both highly entertaining and effective.
Pairings are done in the traditional style, not by weight, and all parts of
the body are potential targets.
Muay Kaad Chuek
During the Ayuthaya era came the introduction of Muay Kaad Chuek. That is
the use of unrefined hemp wrappings to protect the fingers and wrists. A
length of around 20 metres was enough to bind one hand. The use of Muay Kaad
Chuek quickly spread, as a bound fist is tougher, stronger and better
protected against injury than an unbound one. It is said that before a
contest fighters immersed their fists in water. This would cause the binding
to harden when it dried, making it capable of producing serious injury. Some
people go further and claim that fighters dipped their hands in glue and
ground glass. Such a contest would certainly have made a gory sight! To this
day an annual Muay Kaad Chuek contest with Laos is held in Nong Khai near
the NE border with Laos, on the Thai side of the Mekong River. A Muay Kaad
Chuek contest with Burma is staged in the Mae Sot, western Thailand, during
the Sonkran festivities (April 12-14). Matches are fought in a circular ring
and go for five rounds. The first four rounds last three minutes. The fifth
round has no time limit; boxers fight until first blood or knockout.