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MUAI – The original Muay Thai Boran in Berlin

MUAI (also DTIE MUAI, MUAI DUEKDAMMBAN or “the original Muay Boran”) is traditional boxing using the four bodily weapons, fist, foot, elbow and knee.

In order to survive in times of peace, Pahuyuth Free-Warriors held improvisational fights with punches, kicks, elbows and knees from about 900 AD. This resulted in a new fighting method called MUAI, from which the Thai national sport Muay Thai (Thaiboxing) and other Southeast Asian fighting styles (e.g. Bokator, Pradal Serey, Lethwei, Muay Lao, etc.) were derived.

As a direct spin-off of LING LOM, MUAI proved to be extremely effective in hand-to-hand combat, which is why it was brought back into Pahuyuth by the Free-Warriors and is preserved in its original form until the present day. Due to its unique origin, MUAI can be called the “original Muay Boran” (ancient muay).

In the beginner level, MUAI is practiced with 8oz. boxing gloves. From the intermediate level onwards, they are left off and advanced students also include ground combat techniques from LING LOM.

By focusing on unregulated and limitless fighting with bare fists, MUAI is ideally suited for modern self-defense purposes and offers students a practical introduction into Pahuyuth.

Typology of MUAI

MUAI is an associated stand-up fighting system derived from LING LOM, which uses the four bodily weapons fist, foot, knee and elbow. The use of combat techniques in MUAI pursues the principle of thrusting and striking. Variants and combinations are formed for the four elements.

Since the MUAI is not a combat sport but hand-to-hand combat, there are no sports-related restrictions (e.B. competition rules, round times, fairness, etc.). Fighting against several opponents is just as much a part of the repertoire as fighting without gloves and handwraps (Bare-Knuckle). For the clearer distinction between sports boxing (“Muay”, “Muay Veti”, “Muay Thai”, etc.) and the combat discipline associated with PAHUYUTH, “MUAI” is written with an “i”.

The Bodily Weapons

The fist and foot techniques belong to the distance weapons of MUAI. The fist techniques are used straight, curved or mixed punches. They often but not exclusively target the opponent’s head or torso. The foot techniques are distinguished according to their angle of impact into ascending, parallel and descending. They can be used against any part of the opponent’s body.

Pahuyuth Muai Muay Thai Boran four bodily weapons science of eigth limbs

The elbow techniques are particularly suitable for defense against attacks and as a precise close-range weapon. They are executed in ascending, parallel, and descending direction.

Knees are also used for attack and defense. The stability of knee techniques is based on the principles of counter-traction, counter-rotation and balance. The ability to apply these principles determines the effect. As a close-range weapon, knee variants are divided into rising, parallel and falling.

The combat style of MUAI

The combat style of the MUAI is based on the combination of the four bodily weapons in relation to ones respective body position as well as in the sequence of attack and defense techniques. The stability of the fighter is considered as basic condition in order to be able to perform the fighting techniques optimally.

The strategy and tactics of MUAI are similar to a hunting game of predator and prey. With increasing competence and ability, the fighter’s focus shifts from simple decision-making to complete control of the course of the fight. He himself determines the nature and timing of the victory. The tactical approach can be compared to a chess game against an experienced opponent, where the willingness to take risks, being cautious and prudence are necessary.

Pahuyuth fist anatomy 1

The fist techniques are used straight, curved or mixed punches.

Pahuyuth foot anatomy musculus tibialis anterior

The foot techniques are distinguished according to their angle of impact into ascending, parallel and descending.

Pahuyuth elbow anatomy

The elbow techniques are particularly suitable for defense against attacks and as a precise close-range weapon. They are executed in ascending, parallel, and descending direction.

Pahuyuth knee anatomy

Knees are also used for attack and defense. The stability of knee techniques is based on the principles of counter-traction, counter-rotation and balance.

MUAI Techniques

Pahuyuth compendium muai techniques

MUAI students of the basic level (green belt) learn 200 basic techniques.

Technical Manual

Pahuyuth kompendium techniques handbook square

The Pahuyuth Compendium contains the 200 basic techniques of MUAI.

Book trailer

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The Pahuyuth Compendium is the new technical handbook for the basic level. It contains the basic techniques of MUAI, LING LOM, MEED, MAI SAWK, DAAB, GRABONG and SABAI.

MUAI Topics

MUAI and MUAY THAI

We are often asked what the differences to the Thai national sport Muay Thai (Thaiboxing or Muay Veti) or Thai kickboxing are. The main differences are:

  1. MUAI is not a sport. There are no rules.
  2. MUAI fights bare-handed.
  3. MUAI fights without shin guards and protectors.
  4. MUAI can include ground combat and grip techniques.
  5. MUAI fights against multiple opponents.
  6. MUAI has overlaps with armed combat (AWUD).
  7. MUAI has no Wai Kru Ram Muai choreography.
  8. MUAI is not designed for sporting competitions.

We have compiled the most important facts and further details on this topic in a blog post.

muai muay thai thaiboxing thai no sports featured

Bare-Knuckle – Fighting without gloves and handwraps

From the white belt level onwards, students deal with the situational application of MUAI techniques, their combinations and teaching their knowledge to younger students. Partner trainings from this level on are usually carried out without boxing gloves (bare knuckle). Elements from LING LOM, such as grips, throws and ground-fighting can also be integrated.

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MUAI – the original Muay Boran

The film ONG BAK, starring Tony Jaa, made traditional fighting styles from Thailand known worldwide. What only few people know: The so-called “old-fashioned Muay” (Muay Boran) is hardly older than the above-mentioned film from 2003 and has little in common with ancient martial arts.

Muay Boran was developed in the mid-1990s when MMA (mixed martial arts) began to drive Muay Thai out of the market. An economically oriented community of interests from Thailand then created a loose curriculum of techniques that were no longer allowed in sporting competitions (Muay Veti) and imaginative show techniques that date back to a time after the withdrawal of the ancient Free-Warriors.

For a better demarcation, the wearing of handwraps and ropes was made fashionable. They are said to have been used by ancient warriors on the battlefield. But this seems illogical if one considers that weapons (e.g. Thai swords)have always been used on historical battlefields. Weapons can hardly be expertly used with bandaged hands.

Muay Boran was and is a good business for many. Whether it has done Thai culture a favor lies in the eye of the beholder.

Unlike Muay Boran, MUAI as it is taught at the Pahuyuth School in Berlin can look back on more than a thousand years of history and development, which is why it can actually be classified as “ancient”. For this reason, MUAI is called “the original Muay Boran”.

muay thai boran kaempfer kaempferin thaiboxing culture

Branded Exoticism – in order to promote tourism, an image of Thai and Southeast Asian martial arts has been promoted that is as unrealistic as it is absurd.

MUAI Techniques for Beginners (free online video)

In this previously unpublished instructional video, a teacher shows the first 15 of the 45 basic techniques of Pahuyuth according to the 1984 curriculum.

The techniques and concepts shown in this video are, except for a few minor details, valid to this day and can be used in Pahuyuth, Muay Thai, Muay Boran and many other fighting styles (e.g. MMA, Kickboxing, Muay Chaiya, Muay Thasao, Muay Korat, Muay Lopburi, Muay Lao, Bokator, Pradal Serey, Lethwei and many more).

Pahuyuth martial arts techniques for beginners featured free online course

“Pack Boxing” – Fighting against multiple opponents

Whether on historical battlefields or in modern self-defense situations, one-on-one fights are rather the exception than the rule. In regularly held “pack boxing” sessions, MUAI students build up their skills and learn field-tested techniques and tactics for surviving life-threatening combat situations with multiple attackers.

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The traditional foot initiation

MUAI is traditionally trained without mouthguard, head protection, chest protection, mats or shin guards. Beginners of this discipline use 8oz. boxing gloves and, if necessary, abdominal protection.

MUAI students (green belt) train at the beginning of their careers only with fist or boxing techniques. Only when a certain level of knowledge is reached they are introduced into the art of kicking. This has always been done with the so-called “foot initiation”.

The foot initiation is a ritual in which the student to be initiated performs a partner training with all those who have already passed through this initiation. He or she is allowed to defend himself at will with fist and/or knee techniques.

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Although this unique experience is usually associated with extreme pain, this procedure rarely misses its goal. With professional execution, the foot initiation can help prepare the body and the psyche of the student for the use of kicking techniques.

Usually, this effect lasts a lifetime and replaces shin conditioning and shin guards.

The traditional foot initiation has been practiced in the Pahuyuth School Berlin for over forty years. So far, every single student has successfully passed through this procedure.

For practitioners of the discipline MUAI, it is generally considered a great honor and service of friendship to initiate another Free-Warrior in the foot initiation.

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802 Counter techniques for Muay Thai, Muay Boran and more (free)

MUAI techniques are traditionally distinguished into Pre-Teaching Techniques, Basic Techniques, Variants and Combinations.

As part of their training, MUAI students first learn the 200 basic techniques of MUAI (see Pahuyuth Compendium), which are individually adapted, further developed and refined. The amount of possible individual techniques resulting from this fundamentally strives against infinity.

In later levels, MUAI students learn to use these techniques against attacks with fist, foot, elbow and knee, among other things. This results in a multitude of individual counter-techniques, which are characterized by the personal fighting style of each and every MUAI-Warrior.

We have documented 802 of such counter-techniques as videos and make them available to everyone free of charge in subsequent blog post.

Muai muay thai boran 802 techniques featured

MUAI Videos

MUAI Posts

MUAI in the context of Pahuyuth

The value of the MUAI lies in the formation of comprehensive knowledge and practical experience in the use of the four bodily weapons. Due to its historical origin, MUAI cannot be directly attributed to the war-specific martial arts. However, the fighting techniques of MUAI can be seamlessly integrated into all other Pahuyuth disciplines.

An intensive study of the technical variants for fist, foot, elbow and knee can create a solid foundation for the development of the Pahuyuth weapon fighting disciplines and the basic fighting techniques of LING LOM. In the curriculum of MUAI many technical variants are already given. MUAI is the easiest of all Pahuyuth disciplines to learn.

Pahuyuth Skilltree muai ling lom meed mai sawk daab grabong sabai martial art

PAHUYUTH includes seven different martial arts disciplines that can be learned individually and combined seamlessly. Learn more about the other Pahuyuth disciplines on our topic pages.

Pahuyuth martial arts ling lom berlin ground combat melee grappling kaempfer fight FEATURED 2022

LING LOM is unarmed Pahuyuth using all capabilities and conditions of the human body.

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Pahuyuth Martial Arts meed Knife Military Knife Combat Knife Learn Combat FEATURED 2022

MEED (knife) is armed combat with hand-long objects and knives.

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Pahuyuth martial arts mai sawk shield fight pancawangan sakti tonfa berlin FEATURED 2022

MAI SAWK (Shield) is armed combat with forearm-long objects and shields.

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Pahuyuth martial arts dab daab daahb thai thai learn historic sword fighting berlin potsdam krabi krabong FEATURED 2022

DAB (sword) is armed combat with arm-length items as improvised weapons and (Thai) swords.

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Pahuyuth martial arts grabong staff staves combat long staff bo training exercises berlin FEATURED 2022

GRABONG (Stock) is armed combat with body-long objects and quarterstaves.

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Pahuyuth martial arts sabei scarf Keffiyeh Kufiya shemagh pali scarf fight kaempfen berlin FEATURED 2022

SABAI (cloth) is armed combat with flexible objects and scarfs.

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MUAI FAQ

Here we collect questions and answers about MUAI, Muay Thai, Muay Boran, Southeast Asian stand-up fighting and more. This section is under construction. If you have a specific question that has not yet been answered here, please send us an e-mail to [email protected].

In short, there is none. The two terms are synonymous and were coined in the seventies and eighties to give non-Thais an easy-to-understand generic term. In Thailand, they only say “Muay” (without Thai) or “Muay Veti” because there is no need for any additional linguistic demarcation or classification within the country of origin. Western boxing would again be called “Muay Sakon”.

About one hundred years. Muay Veti (also Muay, Muay Thai or Thai boxing) originated around 1910 (AD) when a Thai businessman began to import boxing gloves from the United Kingdom (UK) and organize fights. In the West there was already the so-called Muay Sakon (Western boxing or Queensberry boxing), whose rules certainly influenced those of the Muay Veti.

It all depends on what you plan to do with it:

If you want to fight in the ring, compete in a ritualized duel with others, celebrate sporting successes and strive for fame and honor or simply want to tell your friends that you do “Thaiboxing”, then you are better off with Muay Thai, because this training path is explicitly aimed at combat sports. In this case, we strongly recommend that you stick to an experienced Muay Thai trainer or visit a Muay Thai Gym.

If you are not or no longer interested in sports and competitions and you want to learn to defend yourself outside the ring or octagon, then the wider scope of techniques and applications of the MUAI could be quite useful for you. MUAI is about unregulated hand-to-hand combat or martial arts, which is why we do not promote sports or prepare for competitions.

Learn MUAI

You want to learn MUAI but don’t know where to start yet?

No problem! With the following steps, you can begin your training and lay the foundation for your MUAI training right here and right now – free of charge, without obligation and anonymously. Just train when and where you want, without registration, without devices and as long and as often as you want. Just start!

Pahuyuth martial arts train at home fitness 30 exercises featured
  • Step 1: Your first workout

    The 30 Exercises are our standard fitness training for beginners. Everyone has to get through this. We share this approximately one-hour workout for free on our website.

    We recommend that you take a look at the exercises and try to do them in order to get a first impression.

    Important: In order to start training with us it is not necessary to be able to perfom the 30 exercises perfectly in advance.

    ➔ To the 30 Exercises

Pahuyuth martial art instruction video video 1984 techniques for beginners online muai muay thai boran berlin 1984 featured
  • Step 2: Your first techniques

    You can also learn your first fifteen fighting techniques for beginners completely free of charge and even contact-free from home.

    Just watch our instructional video from 1984 and practice the techniques shown. For this you need neither previous knowledge nor a special talent. Just give it a try.

    Important: In order to start training with us, it is not necessary to be able to perform these techniques perfectly in advance.

    ➔ To the instructional video from 1984

Pahuyuth Anonymitaet anonymous
  • Step 3: Start becoming a "no one"

    Pahuyuth is a method of close combat that was developed and used by paramilitary special forces, mercenaries and commando units (aka “No one”).

    Following the ancient traditions, we place a certain value to data protection and privacy and maintain a so-called “tradition of discretion” as part of our training. This means that we do not use real names during our training, but so-called Warrior-Names.

    Your brain teaser task: Start becoming a “no one” by giving yourself a pseudonym or at least thinking about who or what you would like to be for yourself or others.

  • Step 4 (optional): Register

    If steps one to three sparked your interest and you want more of this, then register with your self-chosen warrior-name either at our trial training in Berlin (up to 3x free of charge) or for our worldwide online training (in German and English). Details on the respective training formats can be found on the topic pages linked below.

    Pro Tip: If you have any questions about the steps above, please email us at [email protected]

Trial training in Berlin

Here you will find further information about our live training in Berlin-Neukölln.

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Online training worldwide

Here you will find further information about our online training format.