Historically, the purpose of Muay Thai was to help a warrior survive a battle. Its style is efficient in that it maximizes the damage the bodys natural weapons can impact on an opponent. Muay Boran emphasizes combinations of powerful elbow and knee techniques thrown at full force and speed, the idea being to completely overcome ones adversary as quickly as possible.
Learning Muay Boran
Muay Boran is highly ritualised and the training is a long and involved process. Muay Boran students practice and perfect techniques before being allowed to progress to the next level.
At the heart of Muay Boran is the Yang Sam Khun (three strides walk) which is the basis of all footwork.
Pairings are done in the traditional style, not by weight, and all parts of the body, including the groin, are potential targets. Some Muay Boran techniques are not effective in the modern arena, as Muay Thai practitioners have found new ways to protect themselves.
Many other ancient techniques are now forbidden in Muay Thai for safety reasons.
Even in Thailand it is difficult to find schools that teach Muay Boran. Most camps and gyms prefer to focus on modern Muay Thai, which is more easily exploitable as a form of income. Some schools outside of Thailand who claim to offer Muay Boran instruction simply teach Muay Thai and sell it under the name of Muay Boran.