……..First of all, you must begin by clearly understanding the difference between the natural instinct and a new instinct obtained through dedicated practice before anything else. Our natural instinct will contain anger, fear, bravery, etc. When we decide to apply those aforementioned attributes contained within our natural instinct in a fight, we will… inevitably & undoubtedly… be using our emotions or following our desires. The strongest side becomes the victor. Even if one becomes the winner, there will… inevitably… be wounds or injuries procured as a result of following one’s natural instinct alongside one’s emotions without having the right mindset.
……..Practicing until one has obtained a new instinct refers to a “revolution of various familiarities” or… in other words… the major alterations made to the many things that we’re used to doing in a certain way. To put it simply, it’s making a dramatic change of one’s old habits. For example… regarding the way that people usually walk… the arm & leg (same side of the body) will go in different directions. The same idea applies to the way most people deliver a kick. The arm & leg (same side of the kicking leg) will travel in opposite paths. This is our natural instinct. However… with regards to Muay Thai training… one must practice how to walk wherein the arm & leg (same side of the body) move together in synchronization with each other. One must practice how to kick wherein the arm & leg (same side of the body) travel in the same direction, for starters.
……..For those of you who are just starting out in Muay Thai, it is absolutely mandatory that you clearly understand it all. After you’ve done that, you should begin exercising the various muscle groups which form the basis for practicing the “MAA MAI” (Main Technique) or “Teacher’s Position” (guard).
……..Our bodies contain many different organs & other parts. But… the parts that we can use as weapons include the forearms, palms, fingers, fists, nails, elbows, shoulders, palm heels, ridge hands, back of the hands, knees, shins, insteps, soles of the feet, balls of the feet, tips of the toes, heels, ankle bones, edges of the feet, and… in some cases… we can even use the head to strike with. Or, we can also use the teeth with which to bite our opponents.
FOREARM is located along the lower part of the arm beginning from underneath the elbow and going down towards the wrist. Used for “FUN” (SLICING), “SUB” (CHOPPING), “GODE” (PRESSING), “BPUHD” (DEFLECTING or PARRYING), “BPERD” (OPENING), and “NEEB” (PINCHING).
PALM is located inside where one can find one’s handprints. Used for “PLUK” (PUSHING), “BPUHD” (DEFLECTING or PARRYING), “DTOPE” (SLAPPING), “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “GODE” (PRESSING), “RUD” (RESTRAINING), and “BEEB” (SQUEEZING).
FINGERS are the five fingers located on each hand. Used for “TIM” (POKING), “KWUK” (GOUCHING), “JUB” (CATCHING), “GODE” (PRESSING), “JIG” (SNATCHING), and “BEEB” (SQUEEZING).
FIST is formed when the five fingers of the hand are clenched together. Used for “DTOI” (PUNCHING), “TOOB” (HAMMERING), “GRAH-TOONG” (POUNDING), “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “KAKE” (KNUCKLING), “KOKE” (KNOCKING), “GODE” (PRESSING), “WIEANG” (SWINGING), and “DUN” (PUSHING).
ELBOW is formed when the arm is bent at an angle. Used for “GODE” (PRESSING), “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “NGUD” (PRYING), “TAANG” (PIERCING), “BPUK” (THRUSTING), “FUN” (SLICING), “SUB” (CHOPPING), “CHEUAN” (CUTTING), “WIEANG” (SWINGING), “RUB” (RECEIVING), and “WAHNG” (SETTING).
PALM HEEL is located near the inner part of the wrist where the handprints can be found. Used for “PLUK” (PUSHING) and “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING).
BACK OF THE HAND is the area where no handprints can be found. Used for “DTOPE” (SLAPPING), “BPUHD” (DEFLECTING or PARRYING), and “BPERD” (OPENING).
KNEE is formed when the upper & lower parts of the legs are pressed together firmly to form a sharp point. Used for “GODE” (PRESSING), “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “GRAH-TOONG” (POUNDING), “YUHD” (STUFFING), “YOHNE” (HURLING), “WIEANG” (SWINGING), and “RUB” (RECEIVING).
SHIN is situated from the ankle & goes up towards the lower part of the knee. Used for “WIEANG” (SWINGING) and “FAHD” (WHIPPING). Or “DTAE” (KICKING).
INSTEP is situated at the ankle & goes down towards the toenails. Used in conjunction with the “WIEANG KAANG” (SWING SHIN) and “S’BUD KAANG” (FLINGING SHIN) kicks.
SOLE OF THE FOOT is the part with which we use to stand with. Used for “YEUN” (STANDING), “TEEB” (PUSH KICKING), “YUN” (SUPPORTING), “YEAHB” (STEPPING), and “RUB” (RECEIVING).
BALL OF THE FOOT is situated underneath the sole of the foot near the toes. Used for “CHUD” (Chaiya style WHIP KICKING), “TEEB” (PUSH KICKING), “YUN” (SUPPORTING), “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), and “DTAE” (KICKING).
TIPS OF THE TOES are the extremities or endpoints of each individual toe. Used for “NEB” (JABBING), “JIG” (PECKING), and “KROOD” (SCRAPING).
HEEL is located underneath the foot starting from the sinew or tendon above the heel & going up until the area used for standing with. Used for “BPUK” (THRUSTING), “TEEB” (PUSH KICKING), “DTAE” (KICKING), “YEAHB” (STEPPING), “YUN” (SUPPORTING), “GRAH-DTOOG” (WHIPPING), “WIEANG” (SWINGING), and “GODE” (PRESSING).
ANKLE BONE is the area before the heel where the sinew or tendon above the heel can be found. Used for “BPUK” (THRUSTING) and “DTAE” (KICKING).
EDGE OF THE FOOT is situated starting from the joint of the little toe & reaching up towards the heel. Used for “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “YUN” (SUPPORTING), and “GODE” (PRESSING).
HEAD is the area situated along the sides and uppermost area of the skull near the external portions of the ears. Used for “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “KOKE” (KNOCKING), and “GODE” (PRESSING).
TEETH are the parts used for biting and chewing. Used for “GUD” (BITING).
NAILS (including the fingernails & toenails). Used for “JIG” (PECKING), “KROOD” (SCRAPING), and “TIM” (POKING).
SHOULDER is the shoulder area. Used for “DUN” (PUSHING) and “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING) the chin.
HIP is the pelvic bone. Used for “GRAH-TAAK” (STRIKING), “NOON” (REINFORCING) the swing, and “TUB” (OVERLYING).
……..No matter what style of Muay Thai we might be referring to, the most important thing is having a good understanding of the basics. I want you to think about how the word “basic” includes maintaining good balance or having a proper stance. We won’t talk about the fighting stances of other martial arts styles, though. We will only mention about the ones that exist within the true styles of ancient Muay Thai (or “Muay Thai Boran”) systems.
……..Standing properly is regarded as an extremely important concept. Let’s note the fact that… before most infants can walk, they’ll usually make attempts at merely standing up. When they’ve succeeded in being able to stand up, it often becomes easier to perform other actions from that point onwards. They’ll, eventually, be able to walk or run.
……..The very same concept of standing correctly or maintaining a proper stance applies to the art of Muay Thai as well. But, the difference lies in how we would normally stand according to our natural instinct. We must be very concise & take great care when constructing a new instinct with regards to standing properly and achieving very good balance.
……..The Muay Thai stance requires standing with the bodyweight eventually distributed on both legs ready to flinch or move the body at a moment’s notice. Now, I want you to think about all the things that you can do from there. But… before we do anything else… we have to bend our knees a little bit. Not too much & not too little.
……..I want everyone to think about the reason(s) why we must bend our legs. If we want to move while are legs are bent, then we can spring ourselves up by simply jumping at a moment’s notice. If… however… we don’t prepare ourselves by bending down before we decide to move, then we would have to bend down then spring upwards (or “GRAH-YODE”). And… If we want to advance & we don’t bend our legs, then our kneecaps will move around freely as we take a step forward with straight legs. If we get kicked or a push kick (or “TEEB”) is thrown, then it would invite the kind of danger that could allow our kneecap(s) to be torn or even dislocated. But… If we bend our legs at all times, then we can maintain a good level of safety when we make advancing steps since we have immobilized our kneecaps. They can be, more or less, hit or struck without the presence of danger.