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 …


MEED Warriors traditionally live by the principles of improvisation and letting go, which are part of their unwritten codex. The specialty of MEED is to use the opponent‘s weapons and direct them against him or to use random objects from the environment as improvised weapons.

MEED warriors are not bound to a certain type of knife, axe, sickle or to their own weapons. They neither cultivate a special weapon culture nor do they carry any with them in everyday life. In civil life they are therefore usually not recognizable as MEED Warriors.

Pahuyuth kampfkunst mied messer messerkampf sichel beil axt traditionelle waffen

For long as a MEED warrior has not yet taken possession of a suitable object, he will choose a rather passive form of combat similar to LING LOM. If he already has obtained a weapon, he will not keep it for very long. During the fight he will try to switch between different weapons and even between weapon types to confuse his opponents.

Distractions and deceptions are an elementary part of this type of combat. The skill of an experienced MEED fighter in handling the blade is often compared to that of a conjurer who cheats his victim out of a fair chance to win or to a predator that reveals its claws only when it slays its prey.

Another special feature of MEED is the throwing technique, in which any knife-like objects are used as throwing weapons. It is historically handed down that Pahuyuth Free-Warriors made hand-length throwing spikes from branches or bamboo canes whose tips were charred to harden them. On contact with the enemy forces they were thrown at the opponents. Injuries caused in this way could be decisive for the course of the battle under certain circumstances.

Knife Handling

Knife techniques

Pahuyuth compendium meed knife techniques

MEED Students of the basic level (green belt) learn 146 basic techniques.

Pahuyuth compendium techniques handbook square

The Pahuyuth Compendium contains the 152 school techniques of MEED.

The Pahuyuth Compendium is the new technical handbook of the basic level.

It contains the basic techniques of MUAI, LING LOM, MEED, MAI SAWK, DAAB, GRABONG and SABAI.

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.


You are interested in knife fighting and want to learn MEED at the Pahuyuth School in Berlin?

Pahuyuth has a traditional training and teaching concept with belt steps. The aim of our teaching method is to provide a well-founded and safe martial arts education in the physical as well as the mental sense. At the same time we want to prevent that dangerous knowledge gets into the wrong hands and can cause damage.

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

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

Interested? Then visit our trial training page!

… and not like the sting of a bee.