GRABONG – Traditional staff fighting

GRABONG (quarterstaff) is a traditional weapon-based martial art, that uses body long objects, such as staffs, quarterstaffs, spears or even broomsticks as improvised weapons.

Ever since southeast Asian wanderers and monks have used simple bamboo staffs to carry provisions and luggage – or to defend themselves against waylays and wild animals.

According to the legend “Zaiyuh” it was a monk named Tam Gam Jang, who repeatedly used a magical long staff, while traveling through the area of Nunjauw in order to bring Buddhist teachings to China.

But more likely is that Pahuyuth free warriors have used such staffs ever since to defend themselves against way layers and wild animals.

A typical free warrior GRABONG is an even, body long quarterstaff made from solid wood. Ancient war staffs were additionally coated with metal wire meshes or plated with metal in order to provide resistance against sword blades.

The specialty of GRABONG are the complex spinning techniques, that distinguishes this unique discipline from most other staff-fighting martial arts and allows to use long weapons in close-quarters or difficult terrain.

It is said, that a good GRABONG warrior can make a bulky long staff look as smooth and flexible as a rope.


A snake …

Grabong, not Krabong

After the execution of King Tak Sin in 1782 AD the ancient free warriors retreated from the public sphere. They went underground and took their knowledge about ancient Thai staff fighting (GRABONG) with them,

Decades later, during the reign of King Rama II. (1809-1826) members of the Royal Court developed a stage fighting style for noble people, supposed for “fun, sports and entertainment”. Its name was Krabi Krabong.

As a matter of fact Krabi Krabong has never been deployed in war (nor was it created for such a purpose), but it is often falsely advertised as an ancient combat martial art.

GRABONG on the other hand is an actual combat martial art. For this reason we spell it with a “G” instead of a “K”.

For more detailed information about Krabi Krabong and its history, check out our blog article about this topic.


The entry requirement for the discipline GRABONG is the Pahuyuth student status (green belt), which requires passing the entrance examination.

Admission to the entrance examination usually requires participation in the trial student course.

… knows no obstacles.