Published: June 8th 2012June 8th 2012
Coming here meant fitness to me and I didn’t really research or look into the backgrounds of Muay Thai apart from watching the occasional Tony Jaa film! Muay Thai and its heritage and history dates back over 2000 years and there are over 140 different types. I’d like to talk about parts of Muay Thai that make this brutal sport also interesting and very respectful.
The Wai Khru is a traditional dance that dates back several centuries. It is a dance that fighters carry out before engaging in the ring, it is meant to honour the fighter’s trainer, Muay Thai and the country. The student dance’s around the ring going from corner to corner approaching and touching the post with a bow and prayer to respect their opponent and the spirits. I have read somewhere that the Thai people are known for being superstitious and carry bones of their ancestors in their headdress to ward of evil spirits and bad luck before getting in the ring. We learn the Wai Khru every Thursday and it is so much fun to do. It also gives us a little break from training!
Muay Thai was first made on the battle field and is considered the most brutal martial art, most of the time ending with much blood, bruises to the legs, ribs elbows and pretty much anywhere a strike comes into contact with. It was taken off the battlefield and started being used as a sport in the 15th
century and small competitions started to appear around the country. It wasn’t the average sport for most people because of the brutality and someone would always be seriously hurt. That started to change in 1930 and it was turned into an official sport and rules and regulations were created and it was introduced to the sport world in the early 20th
century. Now so many people consider this sport as part of their life. I find it so amazing how something so ancient is still being used today and is a vital part in so many lives. It is used as a fitness programme (Muay Aerobic) it is used as a martial art (Muay Thai) and as self defence (Muay Boran). I find it brutal and enchanting. The strength that is used and the being able to train your body in this way will make you confident and help you to believe in yourself. It makes you feel like stone but yet warm and caring and know that martial arts isn’t to just hurt people it is to help people including yourself. If you can have the patience, the will and the courage to do this then it will never let you regret it. Although the belly isn’t disappearing as fast as I hoped I can definitely feel the difference in my mind and core. I feel like I am a part of a culture that is something meaningful to so many people and I have never felt that. Not with being British or having a queen or anything. I feel connected to this place by every move I make and I love it so much. Every drip of sweat, every bruise I get, every pain I feel I believe is worth it because deep in my soul I know I am only going to get better. I am making someone proud. I am doing this to better my life and help others around me to better there’s. I took a trip to a temple on the top of a mountain today with some friends and was blessed by the monks and as they were blessing me I had this feeling of warmth and happiness even though when I got back there was a storm, the power went out and so did the water., I didn’t care. If you go to Thailand and stay mainly away from the populated areas and try to get in touch with their culture instead of their women you can learn so much about yourself, find yourself, find the reason that makes you different, your problems and how to solve them. This trip has been a major learning curve for me and I will never be the same Benjamin john Perkins-Taylor again. I love this place and will never forget the confidence it has given me to be able finally know what I am on this planet for and what I can do to help others. That is what life is about, helping others but before that you must learn to help yourself. I still have a lot of hard work to do on the structure of my soul, I am not ready to do my job yet....but I will be. I have seen elephants on my travels and it very much hurt to see them being kept so differently to the way I saw them in Africa. There are no wild elephants here and they feet are shackled and they are put to work as tourist attractions. If I had my way I would use bolt cutters and set them free off into the jungle but we are on an Island and there wouldn’t be many places to hide. I hope someday someone can truly do something for these intelligent and graceful creatures. I knew they were kept for tourism but not in the conditions I have seen. I wish I could talk to them. I wish I could send them back to the wild where they belong. My heart truly breaks my heart when I see the sadness in their eyes, looking at their feet shuffling from being chained and having way less than a meter on the chain for them to walk. I love elephants. I hope you enjoy reading this. Thank you.