Why Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a martial art known as “The Art of Eight Limbs” from the use of hands, elbows, knees and kicks. It has been a part of Thai history and heritage for many centuries. Originally developed for use on the battlefield, it quickly became a favorite form of entertainment during peacetime, as fighters from different villages challenged each other. From the sport’s earliest times, Thai boxers emphasized a total commitment of mind, body and soul. This indomitable will to win is still evident in the stadiums of Thailand today.


Muay Thai became a ring sport as unified rules were adopted in the early 20th century. Boxing gloves replaced the rope bindings on the fighters’ hands, and the first stadiums were built. In recent years Muay Thai has swept across the world. It is recognized as the most effective and entertaining striking art in the ring, as well as being a highly effective form of self-defense and fitness.


Unlike many martial arts the incidence of injuries is very low in Muay Thai as there is so much focus on relaxing and using correct technique and learning how to use the body to generate power without excessive effort. Also, the family atmosphere, camaraderie and inherent respect in a Muay Thai gym make it a safe yet challenging martial art for everyone.


An average class has been shown to burn over 1000 calories while developing functional strength, balance, flexibility and agility – making Muay Thai an amazing form of exercise as well as a practical martial art. You can expect lots of sweat and lots of fun!

Wai Khru/Ram Muay


Wai Khru / Ram Muay is a ceremony performed by Muay Thai fighters before each and every competition in the ring. It is a dance ritual used to show respect to their teachers, parents and everything they hold sacred as well as a method of praying for victory and safety.


Wai Khru Ram Muay is an ancient ritual passed down from generation to generation. During ancient times, Siamese soldiers would perform this ceremony before going to war using their weapon of choice as a way to gather courage and healthy spirit.


Nowadays, it is performed in the ring of traditional Muay Thai bouts. Each individual camp possesses their own Wai Khru / Ram Muay.


The Mongkhon is an essential possession of every true Nak Muay (Thai Boxer). The Mongkhon is basically a round band worn around the head of the boxer to bring good luck, success and prosperity to him/her. Another tradition descended from ancient times; the Mongkhon originates from Siamese soldiers tying lucky bandanas around their heads before going into battle.


Long Ago, legend has it, some Khru (teachers) would use a live snake- preferably a poisonous one- to enhance the miraculous power of this custom. Supposedly, the snake would be forced to open it’s mouth and it’s tail would be rammed down it’s own throat, killing it and forming it into a circle. It would then be left to dry in the sun for seven days. Hemp-like material was woven around the dried-out snake to complete the Mongkhon.


The Khanomtom Muay Thai camp embraces and holds sacred the tradition of the Mongkhon. Never can it be purchased or borrowed. It can only be earned through dedicated practice, kinship and respect. Any Mongkhon brought in by any outside parties has absolutely no significance to a Khanomtom student or fighter. Every fighter from the camp uses only the provided Mongkhon for the camp. Once a Khanomtom Instructor is promoted and induced, he/she is awarded their own Mongkhon to serve as an heirloom to pass down to the next generation of Nak Muay.


The Mongkhon is placed on the head of the fighter by the teacher before each fight in the ring. It is removed after the Wai Khru / Ram Muay by the teacher as a small prayer is shared between fighter and teacher before the fight.


The Prajiat, much like the Mongkhon, is another essential element in Muay Thai culture. The Prajiat is a small band worn around the biceps of the fighter to increase confidence, avoid danger, injury or fatality. The Prajiat is kept on the fighter throughout the fight.


Traditionally, the Prajiat was composed of fabric from a dress and/or strands of hair belonging to the mother of the boxer.


These traditional customs of Muay Thai are taken into serious account by all authentic camps. Where some camps may see them as cultural byproducts of the art, others believe that spirits have blessed these items and by wearing the Mongkhon, the Prajiat and performing the Wai Khru / Ram Muay, it empowers them almost to the point of invicibility. Although these beliefs may seem untrue to most, embracing this optimism before each fight would certainly be beneficial.

Important Thai Terminology for Muay Thai
Note: You’ll often notice different English spellings for Thai words – the sound is the
important thing, so don’t worry too much about spellings.
That being said I’ve used the most common spelling forms I could find.


0 Suun
1 Nuung
2 Soong
3 Saam
4 Sii
5 Haa
6 Hok
7 Jet
8 Baht
9 Gaao
10 Sip

(Interesting note – if you have Thai friends you may notice sometimes when they
comment online the say, “555” – it’s Hahaha – because of the pronounciation of 5)
To count above 10 you add how many Sip (10) and the next corresponding number.
11 is an exception – Sip et not sip‐nuung

11 sip‐et
12 sip soong
13 sip saam
14 sip sii
15 sip haa
16 sip hok
17 sip jet
18 sip baht
19 sip gaao
20 Yii sip
21 Yii sip et
22 Yii sip soong
30 saamsip
31 saamsip et
32 saamsip soong
40 sii sip
50 haa sip
60 hok sip
70 jet sip
80 baht sip
90 gaao sip

To count in hundreds – add how many
rooi after the initial number.

100 nuung rooi
101 nuung rooi, nuung
110 nuung rooi, sip
200 soong rooi
999 gao rooi, gaao‐sip, gaao

Some Muay Thai Techniques


Round Kick – Dhe Dhad (often just say Dhe)
Diagonal Kick – Dhe Chiyang
Half shin/half knee kick – Dhe kreung keng kreung kow
Cutting round kick – Dhe Dtahd
Knee round kick – Kow Dhe
Jumping round kick – gra‐dode Dhe
Step up kick – Yiep Dhe
Crocodile Whips Tail – Dhe glab lang
Axe Heel Kick – Dhe Khouk
Foot thrust/jab ‐ teep
Straight Foot thrust – Teep Trong
Heel Push – Teep Deun Son
Sideways Foot Thrust – Teep Kang
Reverse (back) Foot Thrust – Teep Glab Lang
Jumping Foot‐Thrust Gra‐dode Teep


Straight punch ‐ Mud Dhrong
Jab – tad
Hook – Mud Wiyang San (often just use word hook)
Uppercut – Mud Seuy
Overhand – Mud Khouk
Jumping Punch – Gra‐dode Shok
Combination – Mud Phasom

Elbows (Sok)

Jab Elbow/thrusting – Sok Poong
Uppercut Elbow – Sok Ngahd
Crossing/Horizontal Elbow – Sok Dhad
Diagonal/Cutting Elbow – Sok Dtee
Down elbow (12‐6) – Sok Sob
Spear elbow – Sok Pung
Reverse/Spin Elbow – Sok Glab
Rising Reverse Elbow – Apidej Sok
Lever elbow – Sok Hud
Jump Elbow – Gra‐dode Sok
Flying Spear Elbow – PraRama Soon

Knees (Kow)

Straight Knee – Kow Trong
Curving Knee – Kow Kouwng
Diagonal Knee – Kow Chiyang
Horizontal Knee – Kow Dhad
Flying Knee – Kow Loy
Step up/scissor Knee – Kow Yiep

Useful Terminology Around the Gym/Ring

Kai Muay – Boxing Camp
Oon – warm up
Chuek Kra‐Doat – Jump Rope
Dtoi Lom – Shadow Boxing
Dtae gra‐sorb – Bag Work
Dtae‐bao – pad rounds
Grasawb – Punching Bag
Wehtee – Boxing Ring
Len chern – technical sparring
Chok ‐ Fight
Pang nga– to dodge/evade
Bat – Block
Buok – Shin Block
Dtee – to hit
Kwaa – Right Side
Saai – Left Side
Forward – Rook
Backward – Toi
Stop‐ Yut
Quick – Leo

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