The  tale of Prince Rama and his wife Sita, and of the struggles between good and evil.


In fact the footwork for Muay Thai which is called Yang Sarm Khun (Three stride movement) is taught by the telling of the story from the Ramakien. The story goes something like this:


One day Shiva (The Lord of the heavens) and his wife had a great party and everybody, all the angels and gods were having a good time. Lord Shiva noticed that one of his guards, a giant by the name of Tatawan had faithfully guarded the entrance to heaven.

Shiva asked Tatawan if there was anything he would like as a reward for his loyal service. Tatawan replied that he would like only a plot of land, three hundred square miles in area, where he could have complete omnipotence over all things, be they human, animal, naga, giant or god who strayed into his domain.

Shiva granted his wish but the giant became very conceited thinking he could do as he liked. He began to devour everything that strayed into his lands, even angels and lesser gods.

Fear began to grow in the heavens that the giant had become a devil and much too powerful. They wanted something doing to stop him and soon. So Lord Shiva heeding the complaints ordered one of the lesser gods to summon Lord Ram from the bottom of the ocean in order that he would rid the earth of this demon giant.

Now, whenever Rama was summoned, the result inevitably meant death for his opponent. Lord Rama, a great strategist, disguised himself as a Brahman (Holy man) and when the demon giant shouted with a thunderous voice "Why do you trespass in my domain? Are you not afraid I will consume you?"

Rama, pretending to shake with fear, replied in a trembling voice, My Lord, my only intention is to perform a rite according to the magic book of Brahman. I did not intend to intrude on your privacy. Oh please have mercy on me mighty one, when I have finished my rite I will die willingly but if I can just perform a ritual worthy of a good Brahman, I can die happy. All I need is a piece of ground which measures just three stride.

The demon giant unaware of a trick which is known in Muay Thai as Mai Muay Thai arrogantly said "This is my land. Lord Shiva gave it to me. I am the King of this land but I will give you some land so that you can perform your rite". The Brahman (Rama) asked "My Lord, once you give me this land, will you later take it back?" The demon replied "I am a Lord, the land will be yours to keep". 

Once the demon giant gave his vow, Rama returned to his normal almighty self, the whole earth shook, when Lord Rama performed three strides covering the whole of the giants territory.This movement is known as Yang Sarm Khun Kloom Daen Lak - taking back all the land. When the giant saw it was Lord Rama, he tried to flee but having nowhere to run was slain.


The belief for the boxer is that once you have perfected Yang Sarm Khun there is no escape for your opponent.

Other interesting facts: The Thai Boxer's Kruang Ruang (decorative armband worn by many Thai Boxers around the biceps) sometimes has a cloth amulet with a portrait of Hanuman and a sacred Khom script inside. In the Ramakien, if Hanuman was injured or killed he could be revived by the Wind god Pai passing over him. Spectators of Muay Tha bouts will always see that when the teacher removes the Monkol from the boxers head after the dance, he will blow gently over his head. This relates once again to the Ramakien and belief in the story of Pai the wind god awakening Hanuman. This is believed to provide protection for the boxer and give him the courage to win. Occasionally, this sacred cloth is fastened to the teachers Mongkol (Monkon, sacred headband) which is worn by the boxer whilst performing the Ram Muay Anybody who is lucky to witness true Muay Thai will soon realize that they are seeing a battle between good and evil, gods and demons, the story of the Ramakien unfolding before their eyes.

          Hanuman2.jpg (38571 bytes)       Sita1.jpg (25557 bytes)      battle-pic.JPG (23041 bytes)      Battle.jpg (37305 bytes)


Copyright 1999 USMTA Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004.