Krabi Krabong

'Krabi-Krabong'
is a traditional Thai martial art still practised in Thailand. This tradition focuses on hand-held weapons techniques, specifically the 'krabii' (sword), 'plong' (quarter-staff), 'ngao' (halberd), 'daap sawng meu' (a pair of swords held in each hand) and 'mai sun-sawk' (a pair of clubs).

Although for most Thais krabi-krabong is a ritual artefact to be displayed during festivals or at tourist venues, the art is still solemnly taught according to a 400-year-old tradition handed down from Ayuthaya's Wat Phutthaisawan. The king's elite bodyguard are trained in krabi-krabong ; many Thai cultural observers perceive it as a 'purer' tradition than muay thai.

Like muay thai of 70 years ago, modern krabi-krabong matches are held within a marked circle, biginning with a 'wai khruu' ceremony and accompanied throughout by a musical ensemble. Thai boxing techniques and judo-like throws are employed in conjunction with weapons techniques. Although sharpened weapons are used, the contestants refrian from striking their opponents - the winner is decided on the basis of stamina and the technical skill displayed. Although an injured fighter may surrender, injuries do not automatically stop a match.

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