Arjong Tong




...After a long break from the training and seminar circuit, Arjarn Tong Trithara of Missouri is back on the scene with his first seminar in Hawaii....

There’s Tigers in Hawaii, and they live  in Oahu. That’s the  new  phrase going around the Islands.  Instructor Doug Owens,  a veteran of Muay Thai for many years now teaches the art  in Oahu. The Tigers held their first seminar on the  island on June 22nd  2008 in Hawaii at the Tiger Muay Thai camp.  Instructor Owens  brought no other than the great Arjarn Tong Trithara out  of  Springfield, Missouri and out of seclusion,  back on to the Muay Thai circuit.

 Arjarn Tong as  he  prefers to be called rather than Master, is a veteran  of the  art  and  has  fought and taught the art  for over 45 years. He was the founder of the Muay Thai Academy  in Missouri, formed and was president of the Muay Thai USA Association and was technical advisor to Fighter International Magazine. Arjarn Tong has  been around  a long  time,  knows everyone  who is anyone in the world of Muay Thai and is definitely no pushover  for his statue.

The seminar was fun said Instructor Owens who together with his wife  Naomi,  put the seminar together. The students really enjoyed themselves and went home tired but happy. They all said they would do it again and wished Arjarn Tong could have stay longer.  Arjarn Tong was flying through the training drills with our students, just like they were used to with Instructor Owens, and they liked getting instruction from an honored instructor as Arjarn Tong.  It was like a refreshment course, said Naomi Owens, as they were a little nervous about Arjarn Tong's thoughts on how husband Instructor Doug Owens instructed the students and how he applied his techniques. But was thrilled that Arjarn Tong approved of the techniques he was teaching.

Arjarn Tong hopes to go back to Hawaii in the near future when Instructor Owens is ready to promote another seminar, inviting more of the Muay Thai and  martial art students to come and join in.  All the students who took part  in the seminar received certificates from Arjarn Tong.

Unbeknown to many that Arjarn Tong in the Muay Thai  ring is also Master Tong  in the  Thai kitchen. Tong  is a ‘Master Chef’, who runs his own restaurants in Springfield Missouri. So when  they say that ‘Tong Can Cook’ is not just a  cliché it’s a fact!  If you happen to be in Springfield, MO  go visit Tong’s Thai Restaurant at 3454 S Campbell Ave.  Pop in and say  hi. No need to bring your chop sticks,  he’s got  plenty.

 Arjarn Tong will be traveling around the country to  promote the  ‘real’ facts of Muay Thai instruction,  which does ‘believe it or not’  include the  Ram Muay ritual dance etc. Your not a ‘Nak Muay’, a ‘warrior’ if  you cannot  or do not perform the ritual says Tong.  This is Muay Thai and  like any other  marital art, it has  its rituals and ceremonies, which should be followed. It’s all part and parcel of the  sport says Tong.  Arjarn Tong has joined forces with the  USMTA to assist  in promoting the art and  sport to its fullest. If your interested in Muay Thai training with one of the ‘God fathers’ of American Muay Thai,  then contact either Arjarn Tong or the USMTA for assistance.

Some  of the student that took  part in the  seminar were; Gabe Riela, Jacquelyn Sato, Justin Belaras, Jordan Silva-Parker, John Sabel III, Josh Danis, Nathan Molina, Reggie Fernandez and Taylor Stevens. If you would like to know more about Tiger Muay Thai in Hawaii you can contact Instructor Doug or Naomi Owens at : tiger_muay_thai@hotmail.com

Here is a little brief on the ‘Lua’ the Hawaiian ancient martial art, which you might find interestingly similar to Muay Thai, Muay Boran and  Krabi Krabong  etc.

The history of Polynesian tribal Hawaii traces back to 300-500 AD, (the exact time is still debated) with the first migrations of Polynesians, who journeyed across the South Pacific from the Marques as in double-hulled canoes. By 850 AD, the seven main Hawaiian Islands were occupied. A second wave of migration occurred circa 1100 AD from Tahiti, and a distinctive Hawaiian culture and tribal organization was well-established by 1400 AD

Hawaii's history in story and legend is ancient and proud, dating back at least a thousand years before American colonies became a nation in 1776. Modern Hawaiian history begins on January 20, 1778, when Captain James Cook's expedition made its first contact with the Hawaiian people on the islands of Kauai and Niihau.  Captain Cook was not the first man to "discover" the Hawaiian Islands.  He was the first known European to arrive.

Koa Warriors - Elite Hawaiian Forces
The Koa warriors were disciplined war machines. They used a martial art, Lua, which they only practiced at night to prevent prying eyes from learning. It was kapu, or forbidden, to teach someone who wasn't in their caste or foreign.

Different cultures throughout history have hidden self-defense movements within dance. This allowed the warriors to practice their technique without giving away secret battle tactics. Dance, accompanied by vigorous chanting, also tended to quell panic and fear within the warrior. This assisted him in battle and elevated him to a higher level of consciousness.

 Lua, then, was the general name for a type of hand-to-hand fighting which not only included hakihaki (bone-breaking), but combined ha'a (dance), hakoko (wrestling), mokomoko/ku'i (boxing or punching), peku (kicking), aalolo (nerve pressure) to cause paralysis, and also the use of weapons. However, Hawaiian lua training encompasses far more than the master of blows, strikes, takedowns, holds, dodges and falls. It also included the game konane (similar to checkers), designed to teach strategic thinking. Additionally, lua involved lomilomi (massage) which was designed to enhance a lua warrior's performance in training or combat by keeping muscles from binding.

A martial dance found in various styles throughout Polynesia is the haka or ha'a, an old word for hula. Lua incorporated the haka to develop grace, agility, and strong leg muscles, necessary for battle. When dancing, the lua artists would lunge forward and back, dodge from side to side, and then whirl and pivot in unison to simulate combat. Their hakaarm motions were actually lua strikes in disguise. The 'olohe hula (hula master) tapped a "galloping rhythm" on a hue (gourd), called cues in chant, and interspersed surprise lines to test the dancers' concentration during training.

Does  anyone notice similarities here….?


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