Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Saturday, September 10, 2011
After Ayutthaya had been overcome by the Burmese in 1767, the Siamese captives were taken to Burma as war prisoners. Among these captives was Nai Khanom Tom, a high-skilled muay fighter.
In 1774, the Burmese king, King Mangra visited Rangoon in the celebration for Ket Tat Pagoda. The king called for the fighting bouts to prove if muay Siam is more superior to muay Burma. Nai Khanom Tom was master enough to be chosen to participate in the contest among all the Siam captives.
The Burmese form of muay is dissimilar to Siamese muay. Primarily, it applied the fists for fighting and their outfits are traditional sarongs which can sometimes obstruct their leg movements. On the contrary, Siamese muay used many parts of the body for fighting including fists, elbows, knees and feet. The fighters wore paa-nung and their both hands were bound in the kaad chuek.
To the king's surprise, Nai Khanom Tom consecutively won over several Burmese fighters. King Mangra, thus, declared "Every part of this man is blessed with venom. Even empty-handed, he could defeat nine or ten opponents."
A statue of Nai Khanom Tom is built to commemorate him at the Provincial Sports Ground in Ayutthaya. Four sparring pairs, placed around the base of the statue, reflect the use of the fist, elbow, knee and foot. A plaque briefly shows the legend ofNai Khanom Tom.
According to the tradition, the 17th of March is regarded as "Muay Thai Day" because it is on this day when Nai Khanom Tom, the "Father of Muay Thai," conquered the Burmese.