The origins of the LING LOM date back to the time of the Gleeh tribes (Gleeh Gauw Pienohng), which who lived around 2500 BC. in the Altai Mountains (today’s China). First described by the Chinese as a kind of „wraith fight“, it was later called LING LOM (monkey-air or air-monkey) due to its elusive character and unusual movements.
The name stuck and led to the widespread misconception that LING LOM was created by the imitation of animals or was related to Chinese fighting styles (monkeys Kung Fu, monkey fist, etc.). In fact, LING LOM is based exclusively on the natural abilities and conditions of the human body.
LING LOM has been used on the battlefields of Southeast Asia for many centuries. Legends tell of warriors who swept across the battlefield “like the wind” and even fought between the legs of war elephants. Around 1000 A.D., LING LOM became the origin of all Thai stand-up fighting methods. Traces of LING LOM can still be found today in many other Southeast Asian fighting styles.
LING LOM is considered one of the most difficult to learn combat disciplines of Pahuyuth. Beginners undergo a rigorous physical training and gradually acquire the traditional principles and concepts of the system teaching (Tah Kru). The result is a highly efficient adaptive fighting style that allows the user to adapt to the enemy combat system without having learned it himself.
The third system teaching is called defense knowledge. This includes all human-possible types of unarmed defense from and to any body position.
The fourth system teaching is the teaching of safety knowledge. It contains the principles of falling and rolling, as well as movement on the ground and self-rescue.
The fifth teaching is called the Grappling Technique. It includes knowledge of the biological and biomechanical functions of the human body and its limits.
The derivatives of the fifth system theory include, for example, grip techniques and throws, but also pressure point techniques that target nerves, tendons, bloodstreams and internal organs.
The fighting style of LING LOM
A LING LOM warrior uses his combat techniques according to the five system teachings and in the sense of the model of autodynamics. He acts formlessly, unpredictably and individually tailored to the opponents fighting style. He adapts to foreign fighting styles without having learned them beforehand and preferably uses elements that the opponent does not expect or know.
A LING LOM warrior creates situational conditions in his own favor, causes confusion and specifically attacks the biological weaknesses of the human body. The technique leading to victory is often aimed at irreversible mutilation, crippling, or killing the enemy.
Due to the elusive type of combat and the high destructive power, LING LOM is one of the most dangerous, unarmed combat systems in the world. Due to its structural openness and the unrestricted freedom of this combat system and a development that has has been going on for thousands of years, it can also be described as one of the oldest and potentially most developed hybrid systems in the world.
Fall and rolling techniques
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LING LOM – the mysterious martial art of the Thais
In this German-language article from the early 1980s, LING LOM is still described as a Thai martial art. This was done for the purposes of cultural and economic development. Consequently, the “infantry of the Thai kings” mentioned in this article does not refer to regular soldiers, but to Free-Warriors who were summoned as paramilitary special forces, mercenaries and command units to defend the country from invaders.
LING LOM vs. MUAI
While MUAI already allows enormous freedoms in relation to Muay Thai and fights with fists, feet, knees and elbows both standing and on the ground, LING LOM goes a step further and specifically attacks the weak points of the human body.
LING LOM remains formless. It adapts both enemy fighting styles and situational conditions in its own favor. Students of the LING LOM learn a variety of different principles from which they can choose freely and vary them as they please. So while a MUAI fighter can still recognized as such, no LING LOM practitioner is like the other.
Since they are completely free to choose their means and like to enrich themselves with ideas from foreign fighting styles, LING LOM can be described as one of the oldest and possibly most developed hybrid systems in the world.
Healing and destruction are like two sides of the same coin: The combat system of the LING LOM is based on knowledge of human anatomy and the functioning of the human body and its limitations.
The necessary knowledge originally comes from traditional Free-Warrior medicine, which can be recognized, by taking a look at the grip and pressure point techniques of the LING LOM for example. They were developed by reversing healing massage techniques.