TRAINING IN THAILAND
MUAY THAI SANGHA
Strikes are executed with every limb of the body. In every attack, fake, counter-attack or evasion, the Muay Thai Sangha fighter should maintain perfect balance with the center of gravity set firmly in the middle of the body. Muay Thai Sangha doesn’t emphasize muscular power, instead, the fighting arts style favors tendon strength and the proper use of body weight in each movement.
The Muay Thai Sangha system contains a number of offensive moves for each body weapon and a number of footwork exercises to develop good mobility. Offensive skills are taught only once a student can properly defend themselves.
The Muay Thai Sangha striking system not only incorporates Ancient Muay Thai and Muay Chaiya from Thailand but also blends elements from other fighting arts, including South-East Asian styles – Bokator from Cambodia and Silat from Indonesia – as a way of canceling out the weaknesses of any single style.
Grappling is another important component in the Muay Thai Sangha fighting arts arsenal. The techniques that we use in our training are based on principles found in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Silat. In certain grappling exercises, we also included short-range weapons.
Practicing weapons teaches one to understand the value of our environment and the tools that surround us. When we adopt something from beyond the body and apply it as a weapon, it becomes an extension of our being. The Muay Thai Sangha school trains with weapons for the purpose of understanding and developing this energetic connection.
The main weapons that are practiced at the school are single and double swords, the wooden staff, the knife and sometimes the spear with shield.
By training with different weapons, we become sensitive to the varied nature and abilities of our extended bodies. Developing our relationship with each weapon, we work to improve our coordination, sharpen our vision, accelerate our footwork, and gain a better understanding of distance and timing.
Originally our double swords program was a mixture of two different styles from the city of Sri Ayutthaya. But after many years of training, the double sword fighting style has evolved into a unique way of fighting called Sri Agastya Double Swords.
Our thai sword fighting curriculum accentuates three main aspects or fields of knowledge in fighting: the defensive, the offensive, and the energetic fields. The defensive and offensive aspects are separated in different training segments, each having a concrete set of techniques and footwork. And the energetic aspects are divided between the five elements.
The way we teach at the school is truly simple. It consists of practicing first the basic modules alone after the student will practice with a partner the basic attacks and defenses until he is ready to spar with other students. Once a student is efficiently able to defend themselves, they are considered ready to progress to the next module.
Every time the student learns a new module their sparring skills improve. It’s awesome to see how dramatically fighting abilities develop week by week.
The double sword fighting curriculum contains 12 modules that must be completed in order to master the daab double swords. The longer you train at the school the deeper your skills will grow. We spar every day, at the end of each class. As the double sword fighting skills improve, the students begin to train with metal swords. The most important objective is to train until we become efficient in protecting ourselves against any incoming attack from all wooden or metal weapons.
The wooden Staff or Krabong is the longest weapon in the Muay Thai Sangha’s arsenal. The greatest advantage of the weapon is its length and the biggest disadvantage is that it can be easily grabbed.
The krabong syllabus is strongly connected to the Double Swords curriculum. The students first study by themselves the basic modules under the teacher’s supervision, and later on they practice with the other students.The syllabus must be trained until attacking and defending oneself becomes natural under pressure, only then will the student will progress to the next module.
The curriculum is made up of 12 modules that must be completed in order to master the krabong. The longer you train at the gym the deeper your skills will grow. We spar every day, at the end of each class. The most important objective is to train until we become efficient in protecting ourselves against any incoming attack from all wooden or metal weapons.
Today the knife is perhaps the king of the streets. Knife attacks are difficult to anticipate due to their easy concealment and the sneakiness of the people who use them. Its small size, and ability to cause serious injuries without effort, make it public enemy number one. When it comes to dealing with the knife, different schools follow different approaches, and of course some styles are more realistic than others.
Our training contains different cooperative and non-cooperative partnered exercises, to sharpen our reflexes under differing degrees of pressure. The ultimate objective in these drills is to survive any knife attack, while taking as little damage as possible.
The first area is related to long range knife fighting. In the Muay Thai Sangha school this is referred to as: Knife Boxing.
The second area is related to cutting or defending oneself from a bladed opponent at short range. We call this: Close Quarter Cutting.
The third and final area is focused on incapacitating and disarming our opponent. This part of the curriculum is known as: Disarms and Takedowns.