MMA Striking & Muay Thai tonight 8pm
MMA & Muay Thai at TheFightLab
MMA tonight at TheFightLab
We have 2 fighters fighting C-class MMA next month, so fight prep starts tonight. We’re going to be working on a lot of takedown defence & closed guard submissions. Bring sparring kit. Beginners welcome.
Muay Thai is a standup form of combat & competition from Thailand. Muay Thai has a heavy focus of low kicks, elbows & standup grappling, referred to as clinch. Muay Thai is ideal for fitness, sport, self defence & weighloss. We train Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays at Urban Fitness & Combat in Lockwood, Huddersfield. Beginners welcome. £6
In the late eighteenth century, during one of the many wars between the Kingdom of Burma and the Siamese kingdom of Ayutthaya (in modern-day Thailand), a famed Thai boxer named Nai Khanomtom and several of his comrades were captured and held in Burma. After seven years of captivity, the Burmese king organized a festival. He wanted to see his Burmese boxers fared against the Thai boxers. Nai Khanomtom was chosen to represent the Thais against the Burmese champion. As is custom, Khanomtom opened the fight with his Wai Kru dance—this mystified the Burmese, who had never seen one before. He then brutally knocked out the Burmese champion. The Burmese thought the Wai Kru was some sort of black magic which had aided him, and the king ordered that he face more Burmese boxers. Man after man fell. The tenth Burmese boxer to face Khanomtom was a champion, but was mangled by Khanomtom’s kicks and was knocked out just as the previous nine had been. After seeing this, no Burmese fighter dared step into the ring with him. The Burmese king was impressed with Nai Khanomtom, and is believed to have said, “Every part of the Siamese is blessed with venom. Even with his bare hands, he can fell nine or ten opponents. But his Lord was incompetent and lost the country to the enemy. If he had been any good, there was no way the City of Ayutthaya would ever have fallen.” The Burmese king granted Nai Khanomtom his freedom along and his triumph is celebrated every year on March 17 in Thailand as National Muay Thai Day. However, the martial art that Khanomtom used was not called Muay Boran. There are several old styles that were developed in various regions of Thailand that are now lumped into the term Muay Boran (literally “Ancient Boxing”), such as Muay Chaiya, Muay Thasao, Muay Lopburi, and Muay Korat. But regardless on which regional variant it was, both have been driven to near-extinction due to the popularity of the stand up only ring sport we now know as Muay Thai (or, “Thai Boxing”).
Tattoos have always been a part of south Asian culture for protection or to record memorable moments, pains, successes, and loved ones. In Thailand many Buddhist monks have employed the “Sak Yant” tattoo method for religious purposes. People have been passing on the traditional method of thai tattoos for years, and it remains a huge part of Muay Thai.
Sak Yant tattoos are created for many reasons, the primary ones being religious and protective.
Within Muay Thai, it is said that these tattoos give the one superhuman strength, the ability to become quicker, and to protect them from evil spirits. There is much meaning behind these tattoos other than beautiful symmetry, and it’s important to recognise the significance of getting a sak yant in Thai culture.
The Ritual Behind Sak Yant
The meaning of Sak Yant is simple; “Sak” means tattoo and “Yant” means magical symbol. In order to receive the blessings that typically power the tattoos, you will have to receive it from an Ajarn, or teacher in the art.
The Ajarn will determine what design needs to be placed on your skin, and he will also determine where on your body it should be placed. There are exceptions to this case, but traditional Sak Yant gives these choices strictly to the person transferring magical power into a recipient’s body.
When beginning the tattoo, an Ajarn will read your soul, determining what should be put onto your skin next. Sometimes he will ask questions, and sometimes this process could take up to an hour of observation before an Ajarn will figure out the best Sak Yant for you. It is believed that the soul resides within the head, and tattoos will have more power the closer they are to the crown of your head.
Everyone knows that tattoos can be painful, and the traditional Thai method is no exception. The Ajarn will take a large bamboo or metal rod, dip it into ink, and begin taking quick, calculated stabs to the recipient’s skin.
There are additional ingredients that have being known to be put into the ink in order for it to have its magical properties. Studies show that different recipes hold different ingredients, and can range from charcoal, herbs, and even snake venom.
After the design is finished, the ajarn performs a chanted sutra then blows the prayer into the skin to activate the tattoo’s powers. This is said to create a powerful force, bringing down the energy of the ajarn, his teachers, and the teachings of Buddha into the body.
“The sak yant tradition is not simply animism and Buddhism practiced side by side, but rather an integrated system of magic in which neither can exist without the other.” – Joe Cummings, author of Sacred Tattoos of Thailand
It can be considered insulting to get a fake Sak Yant by a novice, or normal tattoo artist. The ink and the person doing the tattoo will not be able to bless your Sak Yant and it will be powerless. Misrepresentation of these symbols has landed some people in jail, leading the Thai cultural minister to threaten banning tourists from getting religious tattoos altogether.
There is also a series of rules that you must obey if you wish to keep the power of the tattoo inside your body. “the tradition is also deeply entwined in the Buddhist moral code that the designs can lose their powers if a wearer errs from their spiritual path.