While most of you are probably familiar with Muay Thai, you probably don’t have any clue as to what Krabi Krabong is. Although the combat system is taught to Thai children at an early age, it’s virtually a huge unknown to most people outside of Thailand.
So, what is Krabi Krabong, you ask? For starters, it’s a Thai martial art that’s widely considered as the “mother of Muay Thai”. However, unlike Muay Thai, it doesn’t utilize just the fists, elbows, knees or feet. Rather, the fighting style uses various weapons and body strikes to defeat an opponent. The fighting style is a huge part of Thai history and even today the Thai military and the Royal bodyguard of the King are trained in this fighting system.
Although it is much less famous compared to Muay Thai, Krabi Krabong is, by no means, less effective. In fact, Thais consider it as the crown jewel of Thai combat and most of the techniques utilized in Modern Muay Thai can trace back their origin from Krabi Krabong.
A fighting style that was developed from actual real combat experience, one could argue that Krabi Krabong is the most effective Thai martial art, as evidenced by how the Thai army had so much success defeating invaders with it.
Why Is It Called Krabi Krabong?
The term Krabi Krabong refers to the two main weapons used in the martial art. The Krabi is a type of single-edged sword. Meanwhile, the Krabong is a type of long pole. Apart from the two, there are other weapons used in this fighting system, including the following.
- A slashing sword. It is very common for fighters to use two at the same time, with one in each hand, for increased combat effectiveness.
- Loh, khehn and dahng. The many different types of shields used to defend against attacks.
- A long staff with a metal blade attached to the other end that’s used in combat for slashing and stabbing.
A Complete Fighting System
Krabi Krabong isn’t just all about weapons. The martial art also uses open hand strikes, elbows, knees punches, wrestling and even kicks, making it a complete fighting system.
Practitioners of this martial art are able to move like acrobats, which is why Krabi Krabong demonstrations are so entertaining to watch. Although the shows are choreographed, it’s important to remember that all the techniques are deadly. While practitioners make everything look so easy, it takes years of practice to become skilled at this ancient martial art.
Students who’re interested in learning Krabi Krabong will first learn basic techniques for each of the main weapons. Once they’ve improved, they’ll be taught the dances, which are similar to the forms or kata used in other martial arts. Once competent enough, students are then allowed to begin sparring with demonstration weapons. Later on, some are allowed to participate in demonstrations themselves.
If you’re interested in learning Krabi Krabong, there’s no better place to learn this martial art is none other than Thailand.