Learning a martial art is important, whether it’s for fitness or self-defense, if it’s not taught correctly, or if the teacher is teaching the wrong thing, it can cause you immediate, or long term problems.
Something Old, Something New
Finding a place to find authentic old style Thai boxing, is hard enough in Thailand, let alone outside of Thailand.
This is partly due to the huge popularity of the modern ring style, and the small number of true teachers of styles such as Muay Chaiya. In fact, even in Thailand, these styles have all but died out, with only a few people able to pass on enough of the systems to be effective.
It is also due to the fact that, because of the depth of the subject, these systems take time to learn, practise and understand.
But, thanks to a growing number of people who have taken time in Thailand to learn, it is now possible to learn Muay Chaiya outside of Thailand.
Translated and restructured from original teachings, it is now possible to learn the great style of martial art as it was originally intended, in the modern context.
Learning From the best
Muay Chaiya has taken five generations to be refined to what it is today, a well rounded system, which works with the body’s natural movement. By moving in a natural manner, the body is able to execute a smooth flow of both defensive and offensive techniques that use your body weight to create power, not brute force which is found in many modern martial arts.
From the first lesson, you will learn the fundamental movements that you will use throughout your learning that will enable you to advance your learning in a structured manner, strengthen your body and improve your skills to suit your personal goals, whether it’s solely for fitness, as a singular form of self defense, or used in combination with another system.
Structured learning with no gradings
There are no ‘gradings’ within Muay Chaiya, but there is a structured path to learn and a clear progression to follow. Students learn with an understanding of the techniques and goals for their given level, with focus on improving in a balanced manner. It is up to the instructor to constantly assess their students, and when they are ready, they will be advanced to the next level.
In Muay Chaiya there are a set number of levels for both Students and Instructors:
- Advanced (can train as Instructor)
Once a student reaches advanced level, they can begin training as an Instructor, progressing through the same ranks as an Instructor starting at Basic level.
In short, you progress when you’re ready.
Once understood, the Muay Chaiya techniques, strategy and system is not overly complex, but it takes some time to gain this understanding. Luckily, the system is very well structured, with movements and techniques building up from the basics to a very high level, advanced ideas and strategy are mixed with the simple teachings and will become apparent when the student is ready.
Throughout the curriculum students will learn a mixture of techniques, but the underlying strategy is laid out as:
- Defense and Attack in combination
- Defense and attack in unison
- Defense and attack in unison into combination
This approach ensures that students acquire the necessary skills at each level, so that they are ready to properly learn, understand and execute the skills of the next level. This ongoing development is supported by a mix of exercises, drills and combinations taught in exactly the same way as you would find at Baan Chang Thai.
A problem with many martial arts systems (especially modern Muay Thai) is that it’s hard to be sure exactly what you’re getting from a teacher. It’s important as a potential student you find out as much about the teacher as possible, what their experience is and what they have learned (and from who).
In Muay Chaiya (from Baan Chang Thai) we make sure that all of our Kru’s (Teacher in Thai) and Instructors are experienced and will only certify them when they are ready to teach.
On top of this, the teacher’s history and experience is here to check, letting you make an informed decision, before you start learning with them.
Once an Instructor finishes his Intermediate level, he will be ready to teach in Baan Chang Thai (including sufficient skills in Thai language) and aim for his Kru certification.
In this way, we can ensure that Instructors and Teachers are of the highest quality.
Teachers and Instructors
Before you can teach something, you must be able to do it yourself, and Muay Chaiya is no exception to this. Once you reach a good level in something, teaching is the next level to your own learning (if you want!).
We distinguish between Instructors and Teachers:
Have a good understanding of the techniques and the system and can pass on what they have learnt. In Muay Chaiya, students who have reached the advanced level are considered ready to start teaching as an Instructor.
Have a much deeper understanding of the system as a whole and can demonstrate and explain the techniques as such. They have experience teaching at the highest level, under supervision. A Muay Chaiya Kru is some one who has taught at Baan Chang Thai in Bangkok under the supervision of Kru Lek, and is certified directly by him.
Places to learn