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.




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 blog post.

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 few know: The so-called “ancient Muay” (Muay Boran) is hardly older than the mentioned film from 2003 and has little in common with an ancient war martial art.

Muay Boran was created in the mid-1990s when MMA (mixed-martial arts) began to drive Muay Thai out of the market. An economically oriented interest group from Thailandthen created a loose curriculum from techniques that were no longer allowed in sportive competition (Muay Veti or Muay Thai) and imaginative show fighting techniques from the time after the retreat of the old free warriors.

For further differentiation the wearing of hand wraps and ropes became fashionable. They were supposed to have been used by ancient warriors on the battlefield. However, this seems illogical if one considers that combatants on historical battlefields usually carried war weapons (e.g. Thai swords) and one cannot wield them professionally with bandaged hands.

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

In contrast to the Muay Boran, the MUAI taught at the Pahuyuth School in Berlin is indeed “ancient” and looks back on a history and development of more than one thousand years. For this reason it can be called “The original Muay Boran”.


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.

Bare-Knuckle – Fighting without gloves and hand wraps


The entry requirement for the discipline MUAI 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.



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Muai muay thai boran techniques featured ENG
No sports - The differences between MUAI and Muay Thai