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PAHUYUTH – Traditional Martial Arts and Self-Defense in Berlin

Pahuyuth is an ancient martial art and part of the traditional Free-Warrior knowledge – a unique cultural heritage that has grown over thousands of years and is passed on within the community of Pahuyuth. The roots of this martial art reach back more than 4500 years into the past which makes Pahuyuth one of the oldest fighting methods in the world.

Designed to enable a life of peace and freedom, Pahuyuth was used in countless wars and conflicts in Southeast Asia. Pahuyuth was the dreaded combat method of paramilitary Free-Warriors who refined the knowledge over generations and combined it with other fields of knowledge such as the Saiyasart and the knowledge of traditional Free-Warrior medicine.

The Free-Warriors of Pahuyuth always kept their independence and their free will. Outsiders regarded them as uncouth, disobedient and rebellious. However their fighting abilities were beyond any doubt. This made them powerful allies in times of war. In peacetime, however, they were often persecuted and executed.

This led to the formation of a secret society that spread throughout Southeast Asia and over the centuries withdrew more and more from the public eye. Over time the knowledge of the ancient Free-Warriors was almost completely forgotten. Nowadays only a handful of people practice and teach it to those who need it for a life in peace and freedom.

In order to preserve this unique body of knowledge and to preserve the cultural heritage of the ancient Free-Warriors for future generations, the Pahuyuth School (founded as Muai-Thai Studio) was founded 1975 in Berlin. Its purpose is the protection and preservation of traditional knowledge through education and information.

The Pahuyuth School is the only school in the world where Pahuyuth knowledge is taught and practiced to its full extend.

Pahuyuth free warriors bang racharn cutout old

Image: The Free-Warriors of Bang Rachan

PAHUYUTH

is the martial art of the free people.

It was born out of rebellion against violence, oppression and slavery.

It was developed to defend against superior enemies.

It is passed on in order to preserve a life of peace and freedom.

Pahuyuth-Warriors are free warriors, inwardly and outwardly.

The knowledge of the ancient Free-Warriors

Pahuyuth (pronounced Pah-hu-jutt) is an ancient martial art and part of the traditional Free-Warrior knowledge – a unique body of knowledge that has grown over millennia and has been passed on within the Pahuyuth community.

Pahuyuth Skilltree muai ling lom meed mai sawk daab grabong sabai martial art

In addition to martial arts, the traditional Free-Warrior knowledge also includes the Saiyasart and the traditional Free-Warrior medicine. All three areas of knowledge are closely intertwined and have always been in mutual interaction.

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Pahuyuth

Pahuyuth (martial arts) deals with the warlike aspects of existence and physical confrontation.

It consists of two disciplines of unarmed combat (MUAI, LING LOM) and five weapon combat disciplines (MEED, DAB, GRABONG, MAI SAWK, SABAI). Fragments of Pahuyuth can be found, for example, in the Thai national sport Muay Thai and many other Asian martial arts.

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Saiyasart

The Saiyasart (knowledge of Nothingness) deals with non-physical phenomena of all kinds.

These include forms of spirituality, meditation, magic and spiritual healing. Fragments of Saiyasart were adopted from Thai Buddhism (e.g. amulets and talismans) other components were outlawed as “black magic”. A modern spin-off of Saiyasart can be found in the Yaan Meditation.

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Naturopathy

The traditional Free-Warrior medicine deals with the support of natural self-healing and measures for prophylaxis.

It arose from the need to cure diseases and injuries far from civilization. It includes knowledge of massage techniques as well as medicinal herbs and medicinal plants. Fragments of this area of knowledge found their way into traditional Thai massage and other natural healing methods.

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The Pahuyuth Disciplines

Pahuyuth knowledge is based on knowledge of the natural conditions of the human body. It was forged from the combat experiences of countless Free-Warriors who have successfully survived innumerable wars and conflicts. It includes seven different martial arts disciplines, which can be learned individually and combined seamlessly with each other.

Pahuyuth fights with and without weapons. In principle, therefore, a distinction is first made between unarmed combat (LING LOM) and armed combat (AWUD). The weaponless Pahuyuth disciplines are divided into active (MUAI) and passive (LING LOM) combat.

The disciplines of armed combat are divided according to the physical characteristics of the object used as a weapon in hand-length (MEED, knife), forearm-length (MAI SAWK, shield), arm-length (DAAB, sword), body-length (GRABONG, quarterstaff) and flexible (SABAI, scarf).

MUAI

MUAI muay thai boran berlin logo

MUAI is a stand-up fighting using the four bodily weapons fist, foot, elbow and knee.

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LING LOM

LING LOM martial art traditional berlin logo

LING LOM is unarmed Pahuyuth using all capabilities and conditions of the human body.

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MEED

MEED knife fight fighting berlin logo

MEED (knife) is armed combat with hand-long objects and knives.

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MAI SAWK

mai sawk grarock shield fighting berlin logo copy

MAI SAWK (Shield) is armed combat with forearm-long objects and shields.

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DAAB

DAAB sword thai martial arts fighting berlin logo

DAB (sword) is armed combat with arm-length items as improvised weapons and (Thai) swords.

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GRABONG

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GRABONG (Stock) is armed combat with body-long objects and quarterstaves.

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SABAI

SABAI scarf fighting berlin logo

SABAI (cloth) is armed combat with flexible objects and scarfs.

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Self-defense

SELF DEFENSE berlin logo

We do not see self-defense as an independent Pahuyuth discipline, but as a multidisciplinary competence and valuable basic attitude that we teach to all our students.

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The mediation concept of Pahuyuth

The Pahuyuth Qualification System is a unique training and mediation concept that enables martial arts training in the physical as well as the spiritual sense. Due to the special historical background of Pahuyuth and its connection with Saiyasart and Naturopathy, Pahuyuth was never only about fighting, violence and warfare.

The ancient Pahuyuth teachers knew that the study of the seven disciplines of Pahuyuth not only allows to create a unique guerrilla fighting style. In addition, it can lead to a special form of self-discovery, self-knowledge and personality development. In order to promote these developments, they established a teaching concept that enables a holistic martial arts training in the physical as well as the spiritual sense. The Pahuyuth teaching concept therefore includes physical and psychological learning aspects.

In addition to the dual mediation principle, the combat Knowledge of the Pahuyuth was divided into three consecutive learning phases. The first section is called probationary stage (Lugsidt), the second is called student stage learning level and the third is called teacher stage.

A further subdivision of these sections according to the respective learning content led to the development of the Pahuyuth belt system. It allows classification into yellow belt (probationary), green belt (beginner level), white belt (appropriation level), black belt (application level), blue belt and red belt (teacher stage), as well as belt exams.

The belt levels serve as visible indicators for the minimum level of knowledge of its respective wearer. However, the colours of the belts do not establish a hierarchy, nor do they serve as a badge of rank or status symbol. This would be contrary to the freedom and equality principles of the Free-Warriors.

The Pahuyuth teaching system allows for a cross-disciplinary, individual learning path. By adding elements from Saiyasart and the traditional Free-Warrior Medicine, further skills and skillsets can be developed. Pahuyuth-Warriors are free, individual and souvereign in the development of their fighting style and in the choice of their means.

Pahuyuth may be a traditional martial art. However, the learning of Pahuyuth is explicitly not about striving for the most detailed imitation of traditional techniques, but about an individual appropriation of the knowledge of combat under current conditions. The goal of this teaching method is not to train an absolute fighter who knows only the truth of his teacher, but always in the development of an individually qualified Free-Warrior.

Pahuyuth dual mediation principle holistic development

The Pahuyuth’s dual mediation concept allows for holistic martial arts training.

Pahuyuth placement principle qualification system

The Pahuyuth teaching concept therefore includes physical and psychological learning aspects.

Pahuyuth belt levels qualification learning path

Pahuyuth has a unique belt system based on individual qualifications.

Pahuyuth Skilltree muai ling lom meed mai sawk daab grabong sabai martial art

The seven disciplines of the Pahuyuth can be learned individually and combined seamlessly.

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The history of Pahuyuth in three chapters

Chapter 1: The ancient Free-Warriors – from the First Resistance to the Retreat

Pahuyuth martial art self-defense bangrajarn free-capper featured

The first mention of Pahuyuth dates back to about 2500 BC. when the early Tai (Thai) resisted the occupation by the Chinese, discovering the basics of martial arts, Saiyasart and Naturopathy.

In the course of their migration to the south, the Thais took the Pahuyuth with them to the territory of present-day Thailand. However, the knowledge of the ancient Free-Warriors was never limited to the Thai people only.

Since time immemorial, there have always been members of different ethnicities and origins among the Free-Warriors. It was not uncommon for escaped slaves, serfs or deserters to be taken into the ranks of the Free-Warriors, giving them a chance to live in peace and freedom.

Common to all Free-Warriors was their tendency to distance themselves the state. As paramilitary forces, they were always there to defend the country against invaders. However, they were almost never part of the regular military or aspired to political offices.

Much more they preferred to make their living as nameless mercenaries (hence the term “free warriors” or “Free-Warriors”) or intinerant healers. Some lived secluded in the wilderness (Ruesi) or retired as monks in temples.

Chapter 2: Into the Underground – the Retreat of the Free-Warriors

Pahuyuth king tak sin featured

For centuries, the ancient Free-Warriors were instrumental in the historical development of Southeast Asia. Countless battles and campaigns were won with their help and the country was successfully defended against invaders time and time again.

With the execution of King Tak Sin in 1782 A.D., however, the era of the ancient Free-Warriors came to an abrupt end.

Fearing political persecution, the remaining Free-Warriors (Pahuyuth) withdrew from the public and went underground.

Western influences and the increasing number of European mercenaries with modern firearms in the country led many of the old teachers to believe that their knowledge would no longer be needed. Many of them took their secrets to the grave. Those who continued to teach did so in secret and far from the royal court.

Pahuyuth, the ancient martial art of the people, gradually disappeared from the light of the public and became a legend of the past. The existence of the ancient Free-Warriors and their significance for the fate of the country was erased from the history books.

Chapter 3: The Free-Warriors of Modernity – from the Reformation to the Present

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After Pahuyuth had existed exclusively in secret for more than 170 years, it had almost completely disappeared from the collective memory of Thais. Those who had heard of or met Pahuyuth at that time could not or did not want to talk about it.

In 1952, a convent of the few surviving Pahuyuth teachers decided that martial art should be reformed and preserved for future generations. This was the basis for today’s teaching concept of the Pahuyuth.

A generation of Free-Warriors later, in 1975, a Pahuyuth teacher moved from Thailand to Germany and founded a new school in Berlin that was accessible to everyone. Free from the cultural, social and political influences of Southeast Asia, a new generation of Pahuyuth Free-Warriors could emerge.

This was the beginning of the Pahuyuth School in Berlin (founded as Muai-Thai Studio), which still exists today. Its purpose is the protection and preservation of the traditional Free-Warrior knowledge through education and information.

The Pahuyuth School is the only school in the world where Pahuyuth knowledge is taught and practiced to its full extend.

Book recommendations

Pahuyuth die geschichte der thailaendischen kampfkunst buch featured 2020

Pahuyuth History Book

As traditional teachers, Plai Tamin and Smingplai report for the first time on the Pahuyuth as a complex and in-itself closed field of knowledge and present an introduction to its historical development.

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Pahuyuth compendium featured

The Pahuyuth Compendium

Pahuyuth is an ancient martial art. A compendium is a collection of writings or a short textbook. The Pahuyuth Compendium is the new technical handbook of the basic level (green belt) and an integral part of the Pahuyuth training and examination procedure since 2020 AD.

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The Pahuyuth School in Berlin

The Pahuyuth School was founded in 1975 as the “Muai-Thai Studio” in Berlin-West and was the first school in Germany to make then then unknown “Thai martial arts” public.

To this day, this school is regarded as an important pioneer for the development of Thai martial arts in Europe, as well as a benchmark setting pioneer and authority for traditional Thai martial arts.

The history of the school is as eventful as that of the ancient Free-Warriors. Always independent and free from the currents of its time, in recent decades there has been a large number of official and unofficial educational institutions in Berlin where the Free-Warriors of modernity came together to devote themselves to the exchange and transfer of knowledge.

Since 2012 the school is located in the premises of the Kampfkunstschule Neukölln.

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Pahuyuth muai thai studio zeitdokument bestaetigung der koeniglich thailaendischen botschaft vom 06 10 1976 featured
Pahuyuth muai thai studio berlin zeitdokument gutachten des senator for family youth and sport from 19 09 1977
Pahuyuth muai thai studio berlin zeitdokument royal Thaiembassy department for education questions 1980 featured

More knowledge – Blog posts

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Pahuyuth Stunts 2004 remastered in memoriam Website

More knowledge – Glossary posts

More Knowledge – Publications

VHX cover image RIECHEN complete
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traditional medicine naturopathy online learning course seminar
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VHX cover image SEE complete
VHX cover HOeREN complete
Yaan meditation info evening online

More knowledge – For members

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Pahuyuth muai thai studio zeitdokument bestaetigung der koeniglich thailaendischen botschaft vom 06 10 1976 featured