MEED – Traditional Knife Fighting

MEED (knife) is traditional armed combat with forearm-long objects such as knifes, hatchets or scythes.

Only few things are known about ancient Thai knife fighters, since they used to remain in the shadows and often fought concealed in enemy territory.

Armed with simple tool or household knifes they infiltrated the enemy’s positions and defeated him from within.

The specialty of MEED is the exploitation of the opponent’s weapons by turning them against the attacker or using random objects from the surrounding as improvised weapons.

In civil life MEED practitioners are usually unarmed, which is also part of their traditional codex.


A knife is like the claws of a predator …

The Shadow Warriors of General Tak Sin

After the fall of the capital Ayutthaya in 1767 A.D., the Thai spread in several groups over the country.

Accused of desertion and treason, General Tak Sin and his remaining 400 men (including Pahuyuth free warriors) decided to reunite the five largest Thai groups.

The general himself was a good fighter and maintained close contacts to the Pahuyuth free warriors. Since his followship was very small, he had special units of about five to six men or as lone warriors set up.

These men and women were trained in different weapons, but always carried only small hand or tool knives with them to remain undiscovered. Only at direct enemy contact, they overwhelmed their opponents and disappeared again in the darkness. They also often had to use improvised weapons or instrumentalize the weapons of their enemies by turning them against them.

The Generals strategy of covert operations (which was very unusual for that time) proved to be successful. He and his warriors succeeded against the Burmese and reunited the Thai tribes. Around the turn of the year 1767 Pra Jauw Taksin founded the new capital Thonburi and was crowned king of the Thonburi era.

Through the admission and training of regular soldiers at that time (under Praya Jaggrie), the guerrilla tactics of the Pahuyuth free warriors and fragments of their knife fighting style (MEED) found their way into the later Thai military.

Even today it is still considered an ideal within the discipline of MEED to be familiar with all kinds of weapons, but not to carry one. The guiding principle for Pahuyuth knife fighters is: Weapons are brought along by the opponent.

Distinction from knife self-defence

Pahuyuth students who decide for the discipline MEED learn traditional knife fighting according to the traditions of the ancient Pahuyuth free warriors. Since this type of fighting was created for war purposes, it is only suitable for legal self-defence to a very limited extent.

Self-defence (also against knife attacks) is according to §32, paragraph 2 of the criminal code of the Federal Republic of Germany:

“…the defence which is necessary to avert a present illegal attack from oneself or another.”

From this it follows that the preemptive strikes recommended in some self-defence courses (no presence) or continued counter-attacks (no defence, no necessity, no averting), or even the use of one’s own knife (clearly no defense) in the vast majority of cases are probably to be classified as legally inadmissible, if not even as an independent criminal offence.

As representatives of a traditional knife fighting style, we dissociate ourselves from such practices and strictly separate traditional customs (martial arts) from knife self-defense, which in most countries and cases allows only one necessary defense for the purpose of averting a current illegal attack.

Further information on self-defence within the framework of the law can be found on our topic page.

Letting go – knife throwing

The art of knife throwing is one of the core competencies of every Pahuyuth knife fighter and has always been an integral part of training in the discipline of MIED. As with most other Pahuyuth disciplines, there are a few peculiarities that distinguish this martial art from others.

No throwing knives, no ninja stars.

Pahuyuth students practice knife throwing with pretty much everything knife-like, except balanced throwing knives or throwing stars (Shuriken, Bo-Shuriken, etc.), especially since the latter are expressly forbidden by law in Germany since April 2003.

Throwing knives also have the disadvantage that their centre of gravity is usually in the middle of the knife and they usually have a relatively high weight (sports throwing knives usually weigh over 200g). This gives these knives a very uniform and consistent flight behaviour, which the thrower can get used to relatively quickly.

bread and butter knife, screwdriver, nails

In order to maintain the necessary flexibility for Pahuyuth free warriors and to sustainably promote the abilities of our students, we only use inexpensive everyday objects such as discarded bread knives, steel nails, kitchen knives, screwdrivers, chisels, foxtail saws, Japan spatulas, etc. as throwing objects. Of course, axes, hatchets, camping axes or tomahawks can also be used if required.

We have captured some examples of knife throwing at Pahuyuth in the adjacent video.


The entry requirement for the discipline MIED 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.

… and not like the sting of a bee.