What is a technical variant?

A technical variant, variant or “child technique” (Look Mai or Loog Mai) is the term for techniques derived from basic techniques (Mae Mai). The amount of possible variants in all Pahuyuth disciplines strives in principle against infinity.


The technical variants included in the MUAI curriculum are based on the four bodily weapons fist, foot, elbow and knee. They comprise a total of 156 different techniques. No technical variants are specified in the LING LOM. Instead, they must be independently derived and developed by each student from the basic techniques.

A middle ground between these two extremes are the weapons disciplines of pahuyuth (MEED, MAI SAWK, DAAB, GRABONG, SABAI), in which some technical variants are specified by the curriculum. However, most of the techniques necessary for a qualification for white belt must be developed independently.

The basic techniques and technical variants for all seven Pahuyuth diziplines taught as part of the Pahuyuth training are listed in the Pahuyuth Compendium.

Look Mai in Other Fighting Styles

In contrast to the original understanding of the Pahuyuth about the conceptual structure and the mediation of combat techniques, often arbitrarily selected combinations of techniques (Mai Gon) are classified as variants (Look Mai) in Muay Thai or Muay Boran. The lack of a logical derivation and justification for this classification can be seen as an indication of a lack of expertise in the reconstruction of traditional fighting styles.

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Historic Document – Letter from the Royal Thai Embassy of Aug-18 1980

On this page we share a document from the eighties, in which the Department of Education of the Royal Thai Embassy