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

SABAI – Traditional Scarf Fighting

SABAI is traditional armed combat with flexible objects like whips, ropes, fishing nets and scarves, which are used as improvised weapons.

Simultaneously with the official recognition of the Lauw Tai Mung area by the Chinese (ca. 2000 BC), the ancestors of today’s Thai people adopted the Chinese custom of keeping a concubine. In higher social classes these women served to maintain political peace. They were sent to foreign cities or kingdoms as a pledge or proof of loyalty, in order to live there at court as respected concubines. They were not allowed to carry weapons. In case of an attack they were not allowed to flee, because an unauthorized escape would have brought shame on the family and would have resulted in the execution of up to seven relatives (→ Seven Generations). These women were almost always condemned to end up as defenseless victims.

Legend has it that the warrioresses of the Glie tribes had the idea to teach young women how to fight with clothes and scarves. It has also been handed down that court concubines trained this art secretly in the royal palace and passed on their knowledge of scarf fighting in the greatest secrecy.

Until the epoch of Nanjauw (ca. 600 AD) SABAI was almost unknown. Only through Kru Maeh Bua (teacher mother-water-rose) the knowledge about this kind of fighting could be collected, restructured and brought back to Pahuyuth.

Since then, SABAI is considered the most dangerous Pahuyuth discipline, especially when used in combination with LING LOM.

SABAI is traditionally passed on in honor of the many nameless women who have been victims of violence throughout history.

Typology of SABAI

SABAI is primarily a martial art by women for women. It is soft, supple and extremely deadly. The SABAI compensates for differences in physical strength and is therefore an excellent choice for defense against stronger opponents. Clothing, textiles and other soft objects are almost always available in everyday life. A scarf, a handbag loop, a jacket or a belt is rarely identified as a weapon by most people. Ignorant attackers therefore usually realize too late that they are dealing with an armed and capable person.

What is a Sabai?

The eponymous SABAI is a shoulder scarf, which is a traditional costume worn by women in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and in the coastal region of Sumatra. It descends from the Indian Sari. However, this does not imply any relation to Indian martial arts, because the concept of using flexible weapons was already known among the Gleeh-Warrioresses.

The term “Sbai” again comes from the Khmer and describes any kind of thin, soft textile. In the context of the Pahuyuth discipline of the same name, SABAI does not only mean shawls, but all kinds of flexible weapons. Traditionally, this also includes ropes, ropes, whips and fishing nets.

The fighting style of Sabai

The fighting style of the SABAI is primarily focused on defense. Above all, evasion or diversion techniques are used. Only rarely do SABAI-Warriors seek a direct confrontation. The goal of this defensive fighting method is the covert manipulation with the scarf, which often reveals its purpose only in the second or third movement. Aggressive attackers are lured into the trap and get caught in the scarf the more they resist.

It is said: A SABAI-Warrioress is a victim who ambuscades her attacker.

The offensive fighting power of the SABAI results from whip-like blows and the active use of pulley effects. Enemy body parts and weapons can be accelerated in any direction. In addition, there are knotting techniques that can restrict the attacker’s ability to move or even bring him to a standstill. Knowledge of human anatomy and its limits makes it possible to fix limbs or damage joints with a short jerk. Scarf attacks, that are directed against the neck-vertebrae or respiratory organs, usually end deadly.

An experienced SABAI-Warrior is never unarmed or defenseless. She knows how to defend herself with her own and improvised weapons against a single aggressor as well as against a group of armed and unarmed opponents. She masters fighting with flexible weapons standing and on the ground and can also use fist, foot, elbow and knee techniques. SABAI-Warriors are often also trained in LING LOM, which increases the dangerousness of their fighting style many times over.

Traditional clothing

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Traditional weapons

Pahuyuth martial art sabai martial art women self defense scarf rope whip fishing net traditional weapons

Scarf Handling

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Scarf Fighting Techniques

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SABAI students of the basic level (green belt) learn 156 school techniques.

Technical Manual

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The Pahuyuth Compendium contains the 156 school techniques of SABAI.

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.

Sabai Topics

SABAI – The secret martial art of concubines

At about the same time as the Chinese officially recognized the Lauw Tai Mung area (ca. 2000 BC), the Thai people adopted the Chinese custom of keeping a concubine.

Initially, these women served in the upper classes to maintain political peace by sending them to foreign cities or kingdoms as a pledge or proof of loyalty and were integrated into courts as respected concubines.

They were not allowed to carry weapons. In case of an attack they were not allowed to flee, because an unauthorized escape would have brought shame on the family and would have resulted in the execution of up to seven relatives (→ Seven Generations). These women were almost always condemned to end up as defenseless victims.

Legend has it that the women of the Gleeh tribes (early Thai) came up with the idea of teaching young women how to fight with simple clothes and scarves. It is also known that concubines trained this art secretly in the royal palace and passed it on in their circles in the greatest secrecy.

Until the epoch of Nanjauw (ca. 600 AD) SABAI was almost unknown. Only through Kru Maeh Boua (teacher mother-water-rose), the daughter of Kru Kun Plai, the knowledge about this fighting style could be collected, restructured and brought back to Pahuyuth.

Since then, SABAI is considered the most dangerous Pahuyuth discipline, especially when used in combination with LING LOM.

Pahuyuth sabei sabai cloth cloth martial arts martial art women women self-defense berlin fighter warrioress

SABAI – Effective self-protection and self-assertion for girls and women since 2000 B.C..

SABAI – a martial art by women for women

As in all Pahuyuth disciplines, most of the means and methods of the SABAI go far beyond the legally allowed level of self-defense.

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Nevertheless, a training in Pahuyuth scarf fighting can be the basis for a healthy self-assertion and competent self-defense for girls and women. A trained scarf fighter is never helpless and can easily defend herself against larger and armed attackers.

SABAI for men

Of course men may also learn SABAI. However, this is only possible under certain conditions. For example, it is common for male participants to have to acquire fictitious female names under which they are known during the scarf training. Under certain circumstances, for example, the wearing of lipstick can be made a condition for male participants.

This tradition may sound funny to outsiders. But whoever respects women so little and takes his male ego so seriously that he would be too bad for it, has no place in a female martial art like SABAI. Didactic measures like these help to prevent dangerous fighting knowledge from falling into the wrong hands.

Pahuyuth sabai training

Showing the ropes – equality is a matter of course at the Pahuyuth School.

SABAI Videos

SABAI Posts

SABAI in the context of Pahuyuth

The benefits of the SABEI derive in particular from the constant availability of garments or other soft objects.

Practitioners of the MUAI benefit from the addition of SABEI as a defensive combat method. For MEED-Warriors, overcoming SABAI is naturally one of the biggest challenges. Therefore, an additional training in scarf fighting is highly recommended for knife fighters. Members of the DAB or GRABONG can better assess flexible weapons by studying the SABAI. An example for this are flexible swords, as they were used by the Chinese among others. SABAI enables staff and sword fighters to assess threats and fight such weapons better.

A combination of SABAI and LING LOM is considered by far the most dangerous combination of two combat disciplines of the Pahuyuth.

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 muai muay thai boran berlin germany learn schools kaempfer FEATURED 2022

MUAI is a stand-up fighting using the four bodily weapons fist, foot, elbow and knee.

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

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SABAI FAQ

Here we collect questions and answers about SABEI, fighting or self-defense with Sarong, Malong, Shemagh, Keffiyeh, etc. and scarf fighting in general. 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].

No, absolutely not. Individuality, freedom and equality among people are among our core values. Our community has always been open to people of any origin, ethnicity, gender, religion or other characteristics. There is therefore no gender-specific access restriction for this discipline.

Learn SABEI

You are interested in topics such as Silat, Hapkido, Hojojutsu, US Army flexible weapon methods, Systema, Philippine martial arts, self-defense or flexible weapons in general?

You are already familiar with one or more of the above-mentioned fighting styles and search for a way to further your education?

You are an absolute beginner and want to learn to defend yourself with flexible weapons and textiles?

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

No problem! With the following steps, you can now immediately start your training and lay the foundation for your cloth fighting training – 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!

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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.