Arjarn Samai Mashamana...            PAGE 4


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Written by Tony Moore in remembrance to Por Kruh Samai

During this time, Ayuddhaya was a centre for trade and commerce and the fighting arts were sadly neglected. The city was easy prey for the Burmese who supposed that if they captured Ayuddhaya and with it the Temple of Buddhai Swan, it would weaken the Siamese people because it was the Burmese belief that Buddhai Swan was the fighting spirit of Siam.

Fortunately this was not to be. They had done wrong to a student of Buddhai Swan; in this case, Phraya Taksin and the prophecy once again proved true, when King Taksin, rising from the ashes of the destroyed Ayuddhaya, built up his own army and routed the Burmese with great loss to the enemy. (Incidentally, during the same period a similar school existed in Burma named Samnak Daab Pra Kanee. This school no longer exists today.) On Two occasions, warriors from Buddhai Swan have played a major role in keeping Siam a free country.  Solid proof of the efficacy of the fighting system taught by Buddhai Swan.The name Buddhai Swan is something the Thai people are rightfully proud of.

Gradually throughout the next two centuries the Temple of Buddhai Swan fell into disrepair, until the birth of somebody destined to re-establish the school’s fame. No man could have been better suited to carry the name of Buddhai Swan forward into the 20th century than Por Kru Samai Mashamana who loved his King and country and his students who became part of his immediate family.

Nothing and nobody was more important than the preservation of the Siamese art of self-defence. Today the original Temple of Buddhai Swan is being excavated and many artifacts and treasures have been discovered at the site. A monument to the three kings who studied there stands proudly on the site as a reminder of the school’s glorious past. Arjarn Samai Mashamana (who was known to his students as Por Kru, meaning father-teacher) was born on 5th May 1914 in the Maharat District of Ayuddhaya.

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photo by L. Cotte III 1996

photo by T. Moore 1995

photo by T. Moore 1995

photo by T. Moore 1995

photo by T. Moore 1996


Copyright 1998-99  USMTA Inc.  All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004