KHRU RITUAL (Paying respect to ones masters)
Wai Khru is a ritual during which individual Muay Thai fighters
pay respect to their masters or teachers, including those
who have passed on. This is an integral aspect of Muay Thai.
To become a fully-fledged Muay Thai fighter, an individual
is required to pass through a series of initiation rites.
The first of these being Kuen Khru the
Initiation as a Trainee Fighter Ceremony, in which the khru
muay (Muay Thai master or teacher) accepts young fighters
as his students and pledges to teach them to the best of his
ability.Wai Khru Prajam Pii or the Annual Homage-Paying Ceremony
is the second of these rituals. This culminates in Wai Khru
Ram Muay the Ritual Dance of Homage, which is performed
by the fighters as a mark of respect.
When an individual has been through these
three milestones initiation, training and participation
in contests, they are then considered to be a Muay Thai fighter.
Khrob Khru the Initiation as a Teacher
Ceremony is the fourth of the Wai Khru ritual. This bestows
on Muay Thai boxers the rank of khru muay and again involves
a performance of the Ritual Dance of Homage.
The Legend of Nai Khanom Tom Tribute to
a Muay Thai Folk Hero
Light and Sound presentation
Traditional Thai folk sports Cock-fighting and Muay Tap
Nai Khanom Tom Invocation Ritual and Opening ceremony for
the 4th World Thai Martial Arts Festival
Shopping and live demonstration of traditional Thai cottage
industry or OTOP products from each of the sub-districts
(tambon) in Khon Kaen
Exhibition booths promoting tourism related products and services,
spa products and services and aromatherapy
AN INTRODUCTION TO MUAY THAI THAI
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The Legend of Nai Khanom Tom
At the time of the fall of the ancient Siam capital of Ayutthaya
in 1767, the invading Burmese troops rounded up a group of
Thais and took them as prisoners. Among them were a large
number of Thai boxers, including Nai Khanom Tom (Mr Khanom
According to various accounts of this legend,
it is said that during a religious festival staged by the
Burmese King in honour of Lord Buddha, the king called for
a contest between ancient Thai Muay Boran versus the Burmese
art Lethwei to determine the more superior form of martial
Nai Khanom Tom was selected to fight against
the Burmese champion. Nai Khanom Tom began by performing the
traditional Wai Kru ritual to pay his respects to the Burmese
king and the spectators, as is customary practice.
The audience was mesmerized by the unusual
dance which left the Burmese boxer bewildered. When the
fight began, Nai Khanom Tom charged out, using punches, kicks,
elbows, and knees. Confused and stunned, the Burmese boxer
was defeated. The referee however stated that the Burmese
opponent was too distracted by the Wai Khru ritual, and ruled
that the knockout was not valid.
The King then asked Nai Khanom Tom to fight
another nine Burmese champions to prove himself. He agreed
and fought them all, one after the other with no rest periods
in between. Following this feat, no one else dared to challenge
him any further.
Impressed by his impressive performance,
the Burmese king granted Nai Khanom Tom freedom. To commemorate
Nai Khanom Toms extraordinary achievement, the Thai Martial
Arts Festival and Wai Khru Muay Thai Ceremony is staged annually
on March 17, and the day has been designated "Boxer's
Day" or "National Muay Thai Day".