Ancient History...            PAGE 3



Some movements are familiar to exponents of Thai and Hindu classical dance. The Mai Sun Sawk techniques are flavored with monkey movements that have a hint of Chinese origin though the attack and defend techniques are very distinctly Thai. The weapon itself on first look resembles something of Japanese or Okinawan origin.  But the truth is probably that they were the same common handles of millstones used for grinding rice that the Okinawan used. This unique blend is the very essence of Thai culture and thus its combat arts. Draeger and Smith offer their own glimpse from their classic "Asian Fighting Arts" though the chapter on Thai martial culture is slim and questionable, "... Although its beginnings are unknown, it probably sprang from Sino-Indian origins on the battlefield, possibly modified in the 7th century by the Japanese Samurai Yamada Nagasama, a.k.a. (Nizaemon) (see Battles), who with eight hundred ronin Samurai   helped 20,000 Thai warriors to put down dissidence following the death of King Song Thom (1611-1628) in 1628."  It is doubtful that the Thais borrowed any actual techniques from the Japanese but they did develop explosive counter-attacks to what they felt were the inferior two-handed sword techniques.

Much in the same way, the Filipino's would adopt their own counters to the famed Japanese sword techniques. This would come in handy should the Thais eventually come to conflict with the Japanese. David K. Wyatt highlights such an episode, "When King Prasat Thong (1629-56)sent Yamada Nagasama to quell a rebellion in Nakon in 1629, the populace soon revolted against Yamada and then against Prasat Thongs usurpation. To make matters worse, Japanese whom Prasat Thong had run out of Ayutthaya had gone to assist Cambodia in attacking Siam ."(see Battles). We can see this synergistic evolution most clearly in Traditional Thai Medicine where the influences drawn from India as well as China sowed the seeds of a carefully distilled indigenous healing practice. The earliest practices concerning itself with injuries suffered by combatants in battle and the herbs and the herbs that could heal the open wounds. Herbal medicine drawn from Chinese influences, nutritional medicine, physical medicine such as  Thai massage brought to Siam over 2,500 years ago by Jivaka Komarbhacca, who was a physician, friend and contemporary of the Buddha and a well known figure of the Pali canon as well as spiritual practices aligned to Buddhism formed the nucleus that now includes Western medicine as well.

Krabi Krabong, as the weapons art came to be named in the 20th century, evolved mainly from sword fighting perfected during the Ayutthaya period. And that is why Krabi Krabong's recorded growth and emergence is most closely aligned with legendary Wat Buddhai Sawan.

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