This unique two disc DVD set shot entirely on location in Thailand from 1993 through 1998 focuses on the life and work of the late Por Kru Samai Mesamarn and the unique system he crafted to survive the ancient Thai fighting traditions.
Krabi Krabong translates into the study of the short and long traditional Thai weapons and mastery of the art was the product of a strict program of weapons training and discipline taught for more than 425 years to the most promising young Siamese military men and nobles by the monks and teachers of the original Wat Phuttisawan school in the ancient Siamese city of Ayutthaya.
On disc 1 'Thai Warrior Heritage' takes a look at the life of the late Por Kru Samai Messamarn born in 1914 and passed away in 1998 (see ARJARN SAMMAI ) and his attempts to keep the art of Krabi Krabong alive. This detailed documentary uses archived photos and footage shot throughout his life to give a rare glimpse into how the training was developed and done on a daily basis. It shows how the deep roots of a burgeoning Thai physical education department helped resurrect and survive in a digestible format a new teaching system from the old systems that could be taught with ease across the nation. The DVD running time: 67 minutes plus has some bonus footage.
On disc 2 - 'The Primary Weapons', focuses on the use of the primary weapons: the single sword, double sword and staff with direct instruction from the late Por Kru Samai Messamarn on how to properly develop these devastating weapons. Though based on only a few tenets - such as power, speed and simplicity - the art utilizes these techniques in combinations and variations of which there are endless permutations. The goal being the immediate response to an attack with quick, decisive strikes to incapacitate with sudden and unexpected force. Running time: 85 minutes plus some 'bonus footage'.
This excellent DVD set is a 'Must' for any student of Thai martial arts or weapons practioner in general. It lays the groundwork not only on Krabi Krabong, but Muay Thai, Muay Boran etc. The histories on the DVD present an accurate path for viewers to see, and I found the set instructive, informative, colorful and enlightening. There are many more Krabi Krabong schools in Thailand, and more have been found in the past decade, the Buddhai Sawan was one of the first that opened its doors to the west. The ancient Thai arts of Krabi Krabong have blossomed interests into movies like James Bond's - 'The Man with the Golden Gun' with Roger Moore, 'Anna and the King' with Choi Yun Fat and Jodi Foster, and with Thai historical movies such as Khunsuk the Warrior, Queen Suriythai enhanced by Francis Ford Coppola and my personal Thai favorite "Village Warriors of Bang Rajan'. All show strong elements of Krabi Krabong and Thai martial arts.
Don't be put off by the price, remember this is for two discs pact full of information, it's well worth the money. I'm proud to say I have a copy of this DVD set in my library. We give it a 5 star rating. For more info on the Buddhai Sawan visit the 'Weapons' page on website.
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