Krabi Krabong USA

Discussion in 'Indochinese Martial Arts - General' started by BigWilliam, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    i bought a perfect copy of the old black belt with hardy stockmans kabikabong article in it and on the cover probably the earliest intro to the art Got it on ebayif anyone is interested also i think black belt has an digital archive available of back issues.
     
  2. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    William,any updates on the site or any developments? I am interested in keeping up with this.
     
  3. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    vincent:
    i just watched again the krabikrabong dvd. Will there be second volume or further looks at the system or systems? I am interested in finding out some more on the different outlooks.....How long did it take to film the dvd, it seems like there was alotof footage.
     
  4. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    DA:
    There was originally going to be two - two volume sets on krabi krabong focusing on the buddhai sawan method(which was the more popular method in the west and thus a decent starting point). The first dvd set was what I call "laying the base" providing an overview, in this case, directly from the late ajarn samai and not putting myself in it or trying to toy with the footage too much or add too much. The second two were to be on the double swords in complete spectrum with me and jason going through it all. To show how I trained it and how I express it especially in the full contact realm which we have been doing and recording since 1991 and how jason truly embodies it. Our original plan would have been to use the additional footage, explainations and footage of ajarn samai to round it out which was not included in the earlier dvds as well as further archived footage from jason and our full contact footage. There is still alot of footage there but some of it is only for my direct students and people in the legacy and will never see the light of day beyond that and the other half can be used at various points to highlight the writing and further investigations in the future. I doubt at this point the second volume will be made. I would rather move on to the other systems in krabi krabong and begin presenting them and opening up that vista. But we'll see. Alot of footage for the other dvds are shot and ready to go. But I am tentative at this point about any further dvds really.

    The original footage was shot over a long period of time and the original 20-30 hours of raw footage was shot analog and needed to be completely transferred to digital for archive and editing. I hadnt used or viewed the original footage since it was shot and it was deteriorating, so it was weeks of careful transfer to try to survive it all and we did lose some footage here and there. The second half of the footage another 10 hours or so was on digital and already archived and saved. Luckily, I completely kept a training log notebook while i was training and shooting when I returned home I relogged the footage, so I have every explanation and date and why we recorded in written detail to go back to which helped enormously get through the footage and create the final version.

    All my projects take time because its like peeling an onion, you have to get through the layers to arrive at the core. It also involves alot of translations and interviews to get a bit closer to the teacher and their methods. Its hard and its time consuming. But mostly its all about the training, I dont write about or do anything I dont train. In essence I try to work from the inside out and training is the key, getting to a level of understanding through the training where the questions start to answer themselves and everything becomes clear.

    I collected also alot of comments and reviews from many people since the dvds release from practitioners, instructors and people well versed in the systems, so I feel i gained alot in terms of what i could have done better and been clearer on. And thats another part of the growth cycle for me, working with others and expanding my own knowledge and depth.

    Some people of course abused certain parts like the italians because i said ajarn thonglor, ajarn samais comtemporary, had one of the best "physical education" systems which was a true statement, since his system continued to grow and expand at once through the military and through the school system, becoming as popular in thailand as any method. It wasnt meant any personal endorsement but a simple fact on how the landscape changed and evolved.

    Some people tried to validate their own training time and views but one needs to understand, a training method undergoes changes over time, the earlier students to the later might have seen things change, but the overriding philosophy, structure and methodology usually comes through the core of what each one of them learned. Understanding what the teacher in this case ajarn samai along with ajarn arimetta and others sought to originally create and how ajarn samai carried on and further developed it is important as anything. I felt i was true to his own words and I let him express it as he saw fit regardless if it was not as polished or pristine as one would like(and many complained about). I translated many interviews from as early as the 60s down to his final months since I did the last interview and training literally a few months before his death. I also interviewed many of the old to new students to round it out. I felt alot of accurate information especially about who trained ajarn samai, who developed it and what it was, was of paramount importance to the dvd since most of it was very shady and incorrect, because it allows us to understand it accurately as he saw it and expressed it.

    There is alot more i want to express at some point probably in print in the books I will go into more detail.

    The most important thing is to understand that there are many viable krabi krabong systems and teachers, not just one method or just one road, regardless of what has been told, written about or preached. Its my hope that that not only will the other sides especially the military/combative(especially in light of people using that krabi krabong is the father of muay thai or the military forerunner to muay thai, which right now doesnt correlate well to what is out there and expressed and left alot of people scratching their heads to the linkage) but the ancient texts as the pichai songkram and the great theories of the system will shed light on a deeply diverse system that engulfs a great deal of knowledge and skill.
     
  5. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    Thanks for your reply. I am picking up some of the other dvds so i might have some further questions if you dont mind. iam enjoying this alot.
     
  6. doc D

    doc D Orange Belt

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    Great Thread! I trained a bit with Jason Webster in Muay Thai back in early 90's and studied a small ( very small) smattering of Krabi Krabong from him. He eventually moved off to bigger and better things and I focused on my Pencak Silat training. Anyone know if he is still teaching Krabi Krabong and where ? Is he still in Texas??
    Regards ,
    Doc D
     
  7. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Hi Doc,
    Jason is still in texas but I think austin now. if you pm or email, I will try and get his most recent info to you. Jason is a great guy and a wonderful instructor. I think also he is back to teaching.
     
  8. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    jason wrote a couple of interesting articles way back that i am searching for. alot were mostly on muay thai
     
  9. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi Vincent,

    I particularly liked the first dvd with all the different systems and history, it can be expanded greatly but I know it would take a lot of time and dedication.
    As far as the Sritrairat school is concerned, too much has been said about it in Italy. I remember one of the instructors there bad mouthing you and your work on their forum and then backing off without proving anything, so it's good there's a neutral and objective view on the Sritrairat and other Thai sword methods. Each deserves attention and respect and each has something worthy, it's in the West that you see distinctions and scales-with the exeption of one or two teachers in THailand who adopted this bad Western way and claim to be grandmasters of this and that when in reality they just pose for money and fame and to satisfy their ego.

    Destructo, you are lucky to have the old Black Belt issues and Hardy Stockman's articles, these were written before the KK and Muay nonsense started so they are genuine and must be interesting. I will check the Black Belt digital archive.
     
  10. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Fede:
    Thanks for your insights. They can say what they want in Italy, time and the truth will win out that argument. They dont train in reality or work in a space that has any definition. People just learn something and remain in a void without working deeper. Its the students that suffer the most because they are lead to believe in these empty promises of techniques that are bent to whatever definition they want and that really serve a specific purpose but is never used that way. It mostly commercial enterprise and ego jacking and not uncommon. When they are caught in the lies, they spin, re align and try to change things, re align with other people, new approaches, its just an image without a core. The most important thing is to have the core, the strong center, the principles that open and flower into the different avenues. In the end, the trail of deceit and subterfuge, is always exposed and defeated.
     
  11. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    when i was in europe, i met with some of the kabikrabong people there and was very excited to meet them and possibly train but they seemed very over fanatical and all about this rank and that. it really turned me away and now looking back i can see how lucky i was to have steered myself freeof alotof all that. i never mentioned or even thought about it until reading all this stuff.
     
  12. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Thanks for the answer Vincent,
    I see what you mean with having a core structure. I am tempted by Burmese sword methods since I just saw videos of them and I could see similarities with the Thai system I have learned so far. Other Thai sword systems would surely blend in just fine, I am sure. And I think it would go beyond just the technical aspects and be a matter of historical and spiritual aspects which would also blend in very well.

    These guys in Italy seem to wander into their own circle and thus preclude themselves other ways of understanding and learning, I mean they shut the door by themselves and as you said it is not uncommon since I experienced it first hand with muay boran and wing chun, where it was mostly about ranking and fanaticism, as Destructo said. Luckily there are exeptions but they are few.
     
  13. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    I had a long discussion with an old krabi krabong master about ten years ago in the north on the unique and common aspects of the burmese and thai methods. He was interested in exploring and understanding the burmese weapons art even at his advanced age.

    The northern methods of krabi krabong have the unique footwork grid on the ground and the more rounded circular movements and subtle footwork patterns we see in some of the burmese methods of weapons work.

    Its important to note the work of King Naresuan who was taken hostage by the Burmese in his youth and trained by them, in the evolution of the war or battlefield thai martial systems. He eventually gained his freedom and went back to Thailand to reinvigorate and re establish the thai military with his own methods based upon his knowledge of both the best of the burmese and thai systems. He later established strong training centers for the spread of these systems to fortify the kingdoms military. As well he was an advocate of the bare knuckle systems which were used in additional contexts different from war and battle.

    I feel for my own research, training and depth of understanding, training in the burmese and cambodian systems have lended great a deal to understanding the thai martial systems especially when you run across the oldest practiced systems which are generally purely combative in nature.

    In the north, we practiced with live sharpened steel swords and we did practice cuts against various thin trees, stumps, thick rope as well as large trees. We see the art of the live steel sharpened sword almost a lost art now but its vital to understanding the combative thai sword work and it must be taught and understood.

    The methods as well of King nareusans original systems are still alive as well, and you can see right away, the extensive footwork patterns and movement is distinctly different from what is commonly practiced in phys ed krabi krabong. The use of elevation and continuous cut and move is stressed right from the beginning.
     
  14. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Thanks again for your explanations, Vincent, I didn't know that King Naresuan was also trained by the Burmese.

    The practice with trees and stumps is interesting, I sometimes practice among trees too and it is excellent to practice the movements and hits/cuts as if the trees were real enemies, there I could have a glimpse on how the footwork and round movements work. Sure it needs to be enlarged and made alive but it was good for practicing the different movements.

    I remember my teacher corrected me many times at the beginning when we practiced with woodden swords since I just hit, it looked a bit awkward at first but once you think about the live blade it becomes clear.
     
  15. BigWilliam

    BigWilliam Yellow Belt

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    Thank you for asking!

    I'm still working at it slowly but surely. Unfortunately some folks seem a little leery about contributing which is understandable according to the history as I've recently been informed. But, I'll keep plugging at it and hopefully things will come around. I'm just interested in seeing all aspects of KK getting covered.

    It's great to see this thread continue with excellent information. Vincent, something coming your way...sorry for the delay.


    Best regards,
    William
     
  16. BigWilliam

    BigWilliam Yellow Belt

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    Very true. Blade orientation and differences between striking with an impact weapon vs a bladed weapon is one aspect I try to constantly drive home. The majority of the time people train with wooden training blades/sticks and it's easy to get into the habit/mechanic of striking instead of cutting. Blade shaped wooden swords will help with the blade orientation, but there's nothing like working with real steel.


    Best regards,
    William
     
  17. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    Thanks for the update william. i guess some people have different focus and things they want to do that is importnat to them but hopefully things will happen in time.

    loved the info on the different sword training and the ideas of the burmese arts. great stuff.
     
  18. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Fede:

    The reason for the live steel training is also to learn how to deal with the weight of the weapon and how to utilize the difference aspects of it. Its different from a blunt object or stick. Utilizing the stick likewise you want to work it at its highest function with speed and power.

    Lets saying cutting into something might yield an outcome when the blade becomes stuck into bone or an object, which is a reality sometimes in the heat of the moment. So learning how to deal with things like that through various target training really enhances your skill set.

    Cutting through, as in slicing through the target needs development and practice and again the target training helps that through repetition and practice.

    Some of the teachers as william alluded to crafted very well made KK sword replicas in hard work with a nice edge on them to practice with as well. Soft swords were custom made for practice into soft targets or vulnerable areas like throat or eyes so you could practice some of the combat techs relatively safely with googles, etc. This was all done in thailand but the various teachers, in each case, I found they all came up with interesting ways to work.

    We discussed also in emails the heavier kom faeq stickwork and that is an interesting addition for heavy weapon work and as an overall training tool.

    There is a massive toolbox available for training the weapons in more realistic and flexible pathways and alot of that innovation and technology was already in place from the old masters who stressed function.
     
  19. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi Vincent,

    it's true, I trained with different Thai swords, different weights, shapes, length and so on and each calls for a different usage. I couldn't always do the same things with all the swords, it called for a change of movement and for a different training. Maybe it could be the same difference there is between using a light gun and a heavy rifle.

    Again in the Buddhai Sawan Path there are many kinds of swords and these are just a fraction of all the swords there are in SE Asia.
    My teacher once showed me an old and very light sword, with a very narrow blade. it could almost be used as if it was a knife and I loved that, very tricky and fast. He also told me they were still used by the Thai Yai (don't know the spelling for that) tribes alongside guns in the north of Thailand as the border with Burma isn't safe.

    Kom Faeq is interesting as it is very simple and direct (from what I have seen) I saw school kids practicing that in Thailand, that must have been the Phys Ed. version of it but still I could see the economy of movements.

    There is so much to learn which is great.
     
  20. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Fede:

    Yes, you are correct, there is alot of different and unique swords in the SE Asia arsenal. I tried to expand past what was commonly used and shown in the DVD to show alot of the different variations or as much as I had access to.It was important to go beyond just the commonly seen and used.

    Like you said, some blades are lighter and faster. I have one I got in Burma and I just love it, its got the power and weight to do damage but its light enough to move fast, the blade is not as thick and the handle not as long as the tradition swords. Its one of my personal favorites.

    Kon Faeq is simple and direct, its a compact and concise weapon that can learned in a short space of time but also provides other attributes that can add alot to your weapons training.

    The kids do use it in their phys ed programs as another part of their krabi krabong and muay boran classes.
     

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