Have you ever watched a Muay Thai match? We were lucky enough to be in Chang Mai several years ago to watch a major championship match. At least we were told it was a major championship match, we didn't know the first thing about Muay Thai Kickboxing then.
Cut to 6 Years later.
We find ourselves back in Thailand. This time during our visit, instead of being observers of kickboxing, we are taking part in a Muay Thai Kickboxing training camp at Rawai Muay Thai.
What we remember the most about that match six years ago is the ceremony that happened at the beginning of each match.
Music played and the fighters walked around the ring praying and pulsing to the beat. We didn't do the research then as to what it was all about. We knew that the people of Thailand are very spiritual and that they must be doing a prayer before each match.
Now that we are back and have started taking more interest in the cultures and traditions of the places that we visit, we have learned that the prayer is actually called Wai Kru and it is performed before each match to pay respect to their teachers. It is to pay respect to the trainers and fighters that have come before them and are long gone and to pay respect to their teachers.
Wai Kru means respect to the teacher.
An Example of Fighter Performing Wai Kru at the beginning of a fight: Courtesy of DanielCorvino
Anyone is allowed to perform the Wai Kru. It doesn't break any rules or disrespect for a foreigner to learn Wai Kru and it is compulsory to perform the ritual by each boxer before each fight. Hence, we learn the Wai Kru at the gym.
Every Thursday the final portion of the class is to break into groups and head to a ring to follow an instructor leading us through the Wai Kru ceremony. As a former dancer in Music Theater, I loved the part of class. Not so for Dave. Choreographed dancing is not his strong skill.
But following choreography used to be my specialty. So this was easy. I listened to the beat, and followed along. For the first time here at Rawai Muay Thai I heard the words, “Good, Good.” I was finally doing something right!
I can see how not only this routine pays respect to the teacher, it is also a perfect way to meditate and focus before the fight.
- The Fighter circles the ring, bowing in prayer to each corner.
- He then moves to the centre of the ring where he circles three times and then bows on his knees to each of the four sides of the ring.
- All this is done to the music with other hand gestures and positions.
- After the centre ring, we walk to each side of the ring crossing at the centre in steps of three with the fourth being a leg raise and rotate. This takes us to the edge of the ring where we circle our arms to the front, curling our hands in a twirling motion before putting them to our heads in prayer.
- We end with a pulsating walk to our own corner with a final bow and another to the the centre before starting to fight.
We are pleased with the end of the day. Yay, we finished a half hour early and get to relax.
Are you Kidding me?
No way, There's no getting out of this gym early. If you caught on to the Wai Kru too quickly, you are heading to the bags for more work.
- 100 Side Kicks!
- 100 Front Kicks!
- 100 Situps!
Okay, now you can rest.
More posts on Muay Thai Training:
- Muay Thai Week 2, Will We make it?
- Hot and Sweaty at Rawai Muay Thai
- Muay Thai, It's Getting Harder
- Kickboxing With Rawai Muay Thai
Bungalows At Rawai Muay Thai on the Premises
Delux with Air conditioning:
- Weekly Rate: 5000 Baht ($166 Can/US) that is only $23 per day
- Daily Rate: 1000 Baht ($33 Can/US)
Shared Twin Rooms – Fan Only
- Weekly Rate: 1500 Baht ($50 Can/US) per person that is $7 per day
- Daily Rate: 300 Baht ($10 Can/US) per person
- 3000 Baht ($100 US/Can) per week- $14 per day.
- 500 Baht ($16 US/Can) per day
- up to 3 group classes per day.
- Classes are two hours in length.
- Unlimited use of weights, and training machines.
1 USD and CAD = 30 Baht