What is Muay Chaiya ?
Muay Chaiya is one of the well-known Ancient Thai Boxing systems (Muay Kad Chuek). It has been developed over hundreds of years, since the reign of King Rama III of the Ratanakosin Era. Muay Chaiya is an art with an apparent and traceable history.
While Muay Chaiya utilizes every part of the body as weapons, it is most well known for its tactics for elbows and knees. Its key posture, the “Yang San Khum”, is also the posture upon which the statue of Nai Khanom Tom is built.
What is the difference between Muay Chaiya and other forms of Thai Boxing?
There are a huge number of differences more than can be explained here. To the observer, it would seem almost as if a different art. The key differences being its low guard posture and usage of joint breaking, throwing, and smashing techniques. It was these same set of techniques which made Muay Chaiya so famous. The whole set of techniques are still being passed on generation to generation.
Beyond being a martial art, Muay Chaiya is also a means to preserve Ancient Thai Cultural Heritage.
How is Muay Chaiya trained ?
Muay Chaiya is trained beginning with a thorough preparation of the body for intense exercise. The warm-up postures are comprised of boxing postures and dynamic movements that systemize the body for use of body weapons. Body weapons (punching, kicking, striking, etc) does not start until one reaches level 3 because aggressive training without proper preparation will end in injuries and hinder the progress of training.
Muay Chaiya is built upon a number of martial tactics applicable to muay or weapons systems, for example “defending before responding”, “defending after responding”, and “defending while responding”. A decision to counter attack is therefore determined by oneself.
The benefits of Muay Chaiya include self-discipline, good health, and potential to advance to a spiritual development of the mind.
Is the training difficult? Is it strenuous?
It is difficult in because practicing Muay Chaiya requires patience and dedication.
But unlike modern boxing there is a defined system of postures, from which one can create an infinite number of variations. It builds on number specific exercises which condition the fighting muscles. It sculpts and tones the body – the result is a fit and functional body.
These exercises, however, are applicable to children and women provided the intensity is toned down. It can be practiced as a soft exercise, a stretching exercise, or a full blown fighting system.
Does it involve physical injuries ?
Muay Chaiya is an art of fighting. Therefore minor injuries are inevitable. But for beginners, they must focus on learning how to soften a weapon, minimizing injury.
How long is the training ?
After training in basic postures, a student is then trained in self-defense without attacking. The primary course usually takes about 4-6 months, depending on practice hours, attention, and determination.