Krabi-krabong: curve sword-wooden staff
Krabi-Krabong (curve sword-wooden staff) is the weapons system of Thailand. In Krabi-Krabong a variety of different weapons are used. The most famous by far is the double sword fighting style (daab song muu). Krabi-Krabong employs many other weapons in its arsenal of fighting (shields, forearm clubs, spears, knifes, throwing weapons and even farmers tools).
Wat Phuttai Sawan Temple in Ayutthaya 400 years ago was the main school to train soldiers and warriors. About 100 years ago. Pokru ajarn Ari Boonhuang and pokru ajarn Samai Mesamarn, decided to open a school to pass on the skills learned at the Buddhai Sawan school. Years later, pokru ajarn Ari moved to Lampang (to ampur Lee) where he taught students until he passes away. Behind, he left a dynasty of seven masters from which I had the opportunity to learn, in the north of Thailand. Kru Pedro would like to make it clear that some of the ajarn Ari students (now masters) have blended the paak klang or central style of ajarn Ari with the Northern Lanna style.
In the case of pokru Samai Mesaman he moved to Thonburi in the outskirts of Bangkok where he taught until he passed away. His family has carried his teachings for a number of years from which I also had the opportunity to study from, for a number of years. A few years ago the Mesaman family moved the school to the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the province of Ayutthaya.
The teaching methodology of the central style Krabi -Krabong of Buddhai Sawan is very simple and consisted in learning first the solo dance forms (first kneeling in the ground and after standing up), after you learn the basic forms with your partner. You must practice until you become good. After ajarn (master) will begin to feed you attacks or counter techniques blending them in a daily free flow sparring until you become proficient.
“The more hours you spend training, the better you become”. When ajarn sees that you have understood the main principles of the weapon, he will introduce you to the next one. When we learn the new weapon, we follow the same procedure of learning and the movements and the order are very similar. In this way, when you are learning a new weapon you are reviewing the past one.
The concepts and teaching methodology in the Lanna sword fighting in many ways are different from the central or paak klang style. The skills of Lanna are a blend of different styles from Burma, Thailand and south China when immigrants moved to north Thailand a long time ago. The movements are more circular, the swords are longer, thinner and light and the fighting strategy is based on using the least amount of power as possible.
The Weapons System of Thailand
Krabi- Krabong is closely related to Muay Boran (ancient Muay Thai). It is pure common sense that when a soldier will loose his weapon in battle he must use empty hand techniques to defend himself. Here is where the Muay Thai connection appears. In the past Krabi-Krabong and Muay Thai were taught together using a very similar kind of techniques. Following this methodology a soldier could be trained in a very short period of time, an essential key in times of war.
The Muay Thai Sangha School, teaches the defensive, offensive, and energetic aspects of some of the Krabi Krabong Thai weapons. The offensive aspects have been classified into 12 different modules.
Regular classes include weapons training every day during the mornings and are sometimes blended with grappling. Also once a year the school offers in February a full month of Krabi Krabong Double Swords Intensive Course.