MUAI – Traditional boxing (the original Muay Boran)

MUAI (also DTIE MUAI or MUAI DUEKDAMMBAN) is traditional boxing using the four bodily weapons of fist, foot, elbow and knee.

To make a living during times of peace, from approx. 900 AD Pahuyuth free warriors began to stage improvised fights employing punches, kicks and strikes of the elbows and knees. From this arose a new method of fighting called MUAI which later evolved to become the Thai national sport Muay Thai and other Southeast Asian fighting styles.

As a direct spinoff of LING LOM, MUAI proved itself as highly effective in hand-to-hand combat, which is why the ancient free warriors brought it back into Pahuyuth and maintained it in its original form. Due to its unique origin, MUAI can be described as „The original Muay Boran” (ancient Muay).

In the beginners level, MUAI is trained using 8 oz. boxing gloves. From the intermediate level these are left off and the advanced students include ground fighting techniques from LING LOM in their sparring.

Due to the focus on unregulated fighting with bare fists, MUAI is highly suited to modern self-defense purposes and offers students a practical introduction to Pahuyuth.

MUAI is like flowing water …


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

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

Since MUAI is not a sport, there are no sports-related restrictions (e.g. competition rules, round times, fairness, etc.). Fighting against multiple opponents is part of the repertoire as well as fighting without gloves and hand-wraps (bare knuckle).

„MUAI“ is usually written with an „i“ to distinguish between competitive sports („Muay“, „Muay Veti“, „Muay Thai“, etc.) and the martial arts discipline belonging to PAHUYUTH.

The fist and foot techniques are used as distance weapons. The fist techniques are executed as straight, curved or mixed techniques. They often but not exclusively aim at the head or the upper body of the opponent. The foot techniques are distinguished by their respective direction of movement during impact as ascending, parallel and descending. They can be used against any part of the opponent‘s body.

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

The knee techniques are also used for attack and defence. The stability of the knee techniques is based on the principles of pulling, counterrotation and balance. The ability to apply these principles determines the effect on the target. Knee variants are divided into ascending, parallel and descending.

The fighting style of MUAI is based on the combination of the four bodily weapons in relation to the respective body position as well as in the sequence of attack and defense techniques. The stability of the warrior is the required basic condition for an optimal execution of the fighting techniques.

Strategy and tactics of MUAI resemble a hunting game of predator and prey. With increasing competence and ability the focus shifts from simple decision hits to a complete control over the course of the fight. The warrior determines the type and timing of the victory himself. The tactical approach can be compared to a game of chess, played against an experienced opponent. It takes both, the willingness to take risks and necessary caution to succeed.

MUAI Techniques

Pahuyuth compendium muai techniques

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

Pahuyuth compendium techniques handbook square

The Pahuyuth Compendium contains the 200 school techniques of MUAI.

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.


We are often asked where the differences to the Thai national sport Muay Thai (Thai boxing or Muay Veti) or Thai kickboxing lie. We have summarized the most important facts on this topic in a seperate blog article.

No sports - The differences between MUAI and Muay Thai

MUAI – the original Muay Boran

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

Muay Boran as most people know it was developed in the mid-1990s when MMA (mixed-martial arts) began to displace Muay Thai from the market. An economically oriented interest group from Thailand then created a loose curriculum consisting of techniques that were no longer allowed in sports competitions (Muay Veti) and imaginative show techniques from a time after the withdrawal of the ancient Free-Warriors.

For better differentiation, the wearing of hand wraps and ropes became fashionable. Supposedly these were used by warriors on the battlefield. However, this seems illogical, considering that weapons (e.g. Thai swords) were used on historical battlefields, which can hardly be wielded professionally with bandaged hands.

Muay Boran was and is a good business for many. Whether the Thai culture was done a favour with it, is in the eye of the beholder.

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

muay thai boran fighter warrior warrioress thaiboxing culture

Branded Exoticism – in order to promote tourism, an inauthentic, unrealistic and absurd image of Thai but also of Southeast Asian martial arts has been propagated recently.

Bare-Knuckle – Fighting without gloves and hand wraps

“Packboxing” – 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 so-called “pack boxing”-sessions, MUAI students build their skills and learn field-tested techniques and tactics to survive life-threatening combat situations with multiple attackers.


MUAI is traditionally trained without mouthguards, headgear, chest protectors, mats or shin guards. Beginners of this discipline are 8oz. Boxing gloves and if necessary a groin guard are granted.

MUAI students (green belt) train in the initial phase exclusively with boxing techniques(fist). Only when they reach a certain level of knowledge are they introduced to the art of kicking. For this purpose we have always used the so-called “foot initiation”.

The foot initiation is a ritual in which the student to be initiated spars with one after the other with all those who have already gone through this initiation themselves. He or she is allowed to freely defend himself or herself with fist and foot techniques.

Although this unique experience is extremely painful in most cases, it rarely misses its target. When performed correctly, it helps to prepare the student’s body and mind for kicking techniques.

Usually this effect lasts a lifetime and there is no need for any form of shin conditioningor shin guards.

The traditional foot initiation has been practiced at the Pahuyuth School Berlin for more than forty years. So far every single one of our MUAI students has successfully gone through this procedure.

For practitioners of the discipline MUAI it is generally regarded as a great honour and service for friend to initiate a fellow free warrior in the foot initiation.

Muai (Muay Boran) Training in Berlin

You are interested in standup fighting and want to learn MUAI 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 MUAI 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!



Muai muay thai boran 255 techniques fist foot knee elbow featured 1
Muai muay thai boran techniques featured
No sports - The differences between MUAI and Muay Thai
Waih wai kru khru ram muay featured fighter featured