Krabi Krabong USA

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

  1. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Just needed to make a clarification, the kom faeq is not specifically a heavy weapon but usually we make heavy sticks to practice then when using the lighter and faster kom faeq it gives some extra attribute development. As Fede pointed out to me, originally we talked about the type used by children in their phys ed classes, while my post was more referring to the heavier police/military/security kom faeq weaponry usage which is heavier with the tip for the combative training.
     
  2. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    There seems to be alot of good information coming forward and slowly filling the gaps between alot of the early writing and now.
     
  3. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    DA:
    There has been a huge resistance to new and vital information for a long time. I mean even to get people to understand and agree that there are several different systems of krabi krabong both new and old was close to impossible and still to do this day meets heavy resistance though its a well researched, trained and understood fact. People say they want the information but how they want it dispensed and controlled is another matter. The most important thing is the vitality and understanding of the system be reinstated in a new vibrant way with great depth not only in the factual writing but the actual application and training of the techniques solidified by understanding the roots theories and principles that govern it. We will see if that comes to be.
     
  4. Stickgrappler

    Stickgrappler Purple Belt

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    hello:

    *bows deeply to all*

    THANK YOU for an informative and enjoyable read one and all!

    for the record, the Hardy Stockman article is:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=HtcDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA9&source=gbs_toc_pages&cad=0_1#PPA14,M1

    i had ebayed for this, won it, and about a week after i received it in the mail, i found out about google books and its archives of black belt magazine lol

    my sincerest thanks once again to one and all.

    very truly yours in the MA,

    ~sg
     
  5. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    Thanks for the article link!
     
  6. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Thank you very much for the article.

    I enjoyed reading it and looking at the pictures. This is the best descrtiption of phis ed. Krabi Krabong I have read, it did look more dangerous and serious than it has been for the past 15 years or so.
    Big difference with the descriptions of KK I had read before.
    Ther's no mention of lineage, of people being the first to do this and that and so on which was the first thing that struck me. No politics and no ego, they were clearly absent in the Thai martial arts of the seventies, just think about what's been happening in the recent years and you get the picture.
    This aticle should be enough to prove some people and their claims wrong, and it beats all the KK articles I have read so far and older articles by Ajarn Tamez or Ajarn Webster must be equally interesting.
     
  7. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    The late Hardy stockman who was the editor of the Bangkok Post did a tremendous amount of the early writing and research in english on Muay Thai and Krabi Krabong. His early book the first in english on muay thai is still one of the best for me because he captures it at that time and provides a lot of interesting details. He was very direct and blunt and always concise which merged well with my own temperament.

    The late Ajarn Khetr, the great master of Muay Chaiya, a noted writer himself wrote the introduction for the Muay Thai book which was translated to english. Hardy was close friends with Khetr and Ajarn Thonglor and my direct introduction to the late Ajarn Thonglor came directly from him. I would not have been able to go and train with ajarn thonglor without his intercession and we did an interview together with him so I learned directly how to navigate the sometime rough waters of dealing with the various thai masters and teachers. He gave me an understanding of a period of muay chaiya that I wasnt present for and that was the era of Ajarn Khetr. So I got endless insight and knowledge from him every step of the way.

    Before Hardy died, he gave me a tremendous amount of information from his library. He wanted to update and expand the original Muay Thai book and we discussed possibly working together on that. The project is still not dead because Hardy's widow and i might carry on the project. I was always proud of the fact that when people came to research or train muay thai, he would call me and have me take the people to the camps to introduce them to the art.

    The Krabi Krabong articles does show the earlier era krabi krabong where it was actually flourishing through the universities and grade schools. It actually had a progression because as a college course it got rougher, the full contact matches were excellent at that level. You got to train really hard at the phys ed new form of krabi krabong, it was the balance between the dancing or forms and the two man drills. After the slow elimination or lessening of the sparring, the balance began to be skewered. Some of the rougher styles of Krabi kabong like chao phraya which is not phys ed, use full contact throughout their training and its one of the toughest systems out there and shows that contact is vital and an integral part of kk.

    It seems after that period there was a stress on dancing or weapons forms and rigorous discipline and training of the basics with less sparring. Dancing or forms competition became popular with medals awarded for solo, partner and other displays at the yearly competition. This became more or less the modern template we see today in the buddhai sawan, sitarait and other schools who play a major part in the phys ed matrix.
     
  8. BigWilliam

    BigWilliam Yellow Belt

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    Thank you for posting the link. I had not seen this article before.




    William

     
  9. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    It is great info on Muay Chaiya, it was clearly a different world back then.
    No emails, no websites and very few articles and books on the subject so you really had to search and dig things out and prove your integrity.

    It's good you were good friends with Hardy Stockman and had access to his material, there is a direct bridge linking the past and the present under which there is the sea of chayia madness and politics. Also having access to the late Ajarn Thonglor was a lucky thing indeed I can only imagine where I and others could have ended with all the bad info of a foreign student of his.

    I think it still is like this today, but there are many people and false info so you have to move more carefully and avoid that, I am aware of the fact there are still true masters of Chaiya, Korat, but unless I am personally introduced by someone who knows me well enough I will never have access to the true material.
    Even when I started learning sword I wasn't taught the real usage until my teacher knew me well enough. He even told me he had nothing more to teach me which was not possible !
    It looks like 70's movies situation but it's really like that and I understand why.

    The Chao Praya KK must be tremendous, I read it was kept alive and upgraded to real world confrontations. Quite unheard of in the Thai KK landscape and it's the phys ed. guys who get all the publicity and fame telling the world that they hold the truth and the original and unique system !!
     
  10. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Hardy's early work is a solid link and a bridge to the early writings on the thai martial arts. I am going to try and compile a large body of his work possibly when i return to thailand soon.

    Even with the chao praya system, the master died and all his students dispersed. So although known to the thais, the system could easily vanish unless properly documented and demonstrated. Equally we see alot of the bare knuckle systems vanishing equally over time. Two or three of the major fighting systems have slowly died away with only a few people who even remember them or can demonstrate them accurately still alive today. Left in the modern landscape with alot of bad recreations through texts from the phys ed department. We see also with the buddhai sawan, once ajarn samai died, the buddhai sawan closed, interest waned and luckily he had enough written about him, his system absorbed by the phys ed department and more than enough instructors including his sons to maintain its existence into the future.

    If like all the current bare knuckle teachers say that the interest was there all along which is not an accurate statement and make me wonder when and if they trained, why did these systems just vanish? It was only after the sort of rebirth and resurgence due to the films, media and the physical education department did people run back to sort of try to desperately save anything they could find more to exploit than perserve it? Its really staggering to me the huge body of knowledge that is simply left behind only to watch at some point someone give it some validity and the desperate attempts to piece it back together again. Even more I watch it happening in my own lifetime.
     
  11. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi Vincent,

    very true, I think modern muay boran is the perfect example. I took classes of that and I just had to leave. It did look like a patchwork, there was no continuity and consintency in the teaching I found it was rubbish.

    It's true it all escalated after Ong Bak, I saw it happen and it was funny to watch as different foreign teachers put pictures of Tony Jaa and say this is what we teach, the true old Thai martial arts, and they were even backed by the Phys. Ed department of Thailand. A good way to impress foreigners and Thais alike and I bought into that as well.

    I look at boxing and I see better answers, I look at pugilism and I see beter anwsers too. Thailand had a great past of many confrontations and wars, how could one just think that the current "mainstream" KK or muay boran would have worked in actual wars ? It's an easy thing to do, you have not much time to think and prepareyourself/check your foorwork/your stance and so on, I mean it's war the ground isn't even soldiers are running all around willing to kill there's not much time to think and I see these clean patterns that are suppposed to work ?
    It doesn't make much sense to me, and the training you mentioned previously kind of sets the bar, there's no such thing around these days and it's enough to prove the validity of some modern systems.
    Another reason why the Chao Praya system is very interesting and valuable, I hope it won't die out and stay alive with the teaching of some instructors and I hope to see it one day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
  12. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Fede:
    I honestly don't know what will happen in the years to come but judging on what has happened in the last two decades as indicators of the future, I think we will see the final erosion and disappearance of the true older systems. It seems if someone feels they can exploit an aspect of the art then they run with it or else it seems like too much work for too little a return. We can also write about it, expose it in a positive light, encourage people to train, but we also need the teachers to be able to go to and send prospective students to. In the case of chao praya, it will remain to be seen if it will survive into the future.

    The problem is resistence, even internally within thailand and other countries, if the agenda is opposite of their own, they will fight it down. We see in the US, the continual fight against opening the vista, exposing the other sides to things.

    We've covered a lot of ground on this thread and we have focused on many important issues. I don't want to keep running over the same ground. As people said they want the information and they want teachings, the well is deep and the information and training is there, lets see who goes to get it.
     
  13. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Vincent:
    I see this problem, something's definitely wrong with some people.
    You say they will fight down what is opposite their agenda, but the
    way they fight it down is not honorable and doesn't prove anyhing worthy in my opinion.

    As far as this thread is concerned, I would really like to ask more info especially about the Chao Praya KK, the way I see it it's the ideal continuation of the primal usage of KK adapted to more modern situations-but I think I should take this elsewhere or wait for your book.

    This Thai picture is looking more and more like a cultural and physical preservation of old paintings and monuments, and these are the systems that would be more alive and valuable in a fairer society.
     
  14. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    fede: it seems most of the interest for the other krabikrabong methods came from outsiders meaning europeans or americans that bring these things back out. i am hoping for the best in the future for the other methods to come back alive someone through the work of all these greatpeople on this thread doing amazing work.
     
  15. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi DA.
    I totally agree with that. My teacher knows Chinese and Thai martial arts, and when I first met him he told me I was his first muay Lanna student despite the fact that he's had many students. That is because in Thailand, taekwon do, karate and kung fu rule the scene of martial arts and Thaiboxing is (dis)regarded as a thing for poor, low class people, which I think it is. And guess what, it was an American who did lots of research who luckily sent me to my teacher. As you said, the interest is mostly from America and then Europe, and thanks God there are serious people among them who inject some truth and balance out all the ancient muay nonsense we see today.
     
  16. destructautomaton

    destructautomaton Green Belt

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    Fede:thats an incredible story! you are truly lucky, i am hoping for more info to open up because its fascinating and it seem the stories of meeting and finding out about these teachers is equally interesting. it looks like because of popular movies like ongbak everyone went toward the bare hand fighting so maybe something with weapons will open that end up inthe future.
     
  17. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi Destructo,

    doors can open up but I agree it's difficult to see the light for some Thai sword systems. I guess you are in the US so maybe there are still active teachers who can teach them as we mentioned in earlier posts, or who bring back what they learned in a positive light. They are a rare thing but they exist! My teacher has an American instructor but I don't think he will be back in the US at least for now.
     
  18. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    Its going to come down to more open minded people who are very serious who can not only learn but teach and write about the systems to expand the base of understanding. That has been thwarted so far also by the very distortion of presentation and lack of understanding. You can see a thai military man as i recently witnessed doing a demo but doing the full phys ed techniques. So you might say a military person doing combat kk but it wasnt at all. One must remember alot of military endorse the phys ed way of doing it because they believe it is the "superior" way to teach the masses and the easiest way to communicate it to foreigners. As I said there is nothing wrong with this but if one would define the teaching methodology and what it is then it becomes clearer and easily understood by the public.

    There needs to be more clarity and definition because so far kk has thrived on haziness, distortion and a lack of clarity not only in the different histories but in the presentation of the physical system and techniques. Its true that learning in another culture, in another language compounds many of these things. I call it "the accordian" and something I tell my students who go to train in SE Asia, no matter how long you learn there, when you come home, you have to expand the accordian and then compress it and expand it for the music to start to flow. I feel when you learn its so much to absorb, then you have to perfect it for yourself, translate material, correspond it to what you know, formulate questions, then work on it. Its a continual process. So at first its all this material compressed in your head, then you release it, absorb it ,question it, train it, make it your own, then open the accordian as the flow happens, then compress it by really defining it and making it your own, then you open it and it starts to breath. I only really breath it and see it after the years of going back, year after year, translating more, training more--- that things become clear and I can write about it, teach it, debate it and make it live in any way that i need it to.

    But there is no rapid solution to this because essentially people ascribe to a certain theory, a certain rank structure and they wont let it go because it becomes their very identity and the truth often times threatens that. If one is a true student and a true master, you always will go for the higher ground, to keep evolving, keep learning, peeling away at the layers until you get to the fruit, the higher essence.

    In the long run, I think its going to be with the smaller more serious groups of people like it has here in the US that the other systems will move forward both here and abroad. And thats ok, because its forward momentum and its survival of the systems. There are alot of serious, very gifted KK people here and abroad but they work out of the commercial spectrum or limelight but they are more than willing to teach and help. Their work as well as mine will constantly evolve and continue regardless of what is going on around us. That is what we might have to accept for now.
     
  19. Fede

    Fede Green Belt

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    Hi Vincent,

    I liked the accordian example. It's not about learning new things and new techniques, it's just small things, small nuances that ultimately make a difference for you. The more I practice, the more I see this. And the more I go back to learn with my teacher, the more (the less!) I bring back to myself. I haven't done that for a long period, but it does start to show little by little.
    The last time I saw my teacher he left me with a "practice until you understand" and this says a lot to me. I cannot wait to be back there and show him what I understand,I'll se what happens.
    It sounds like mystical zen stuff but in the end it's just this.

    I am happy to hear there are groups who teach and evolve outside the publicity and claims, that is the way I would like to follow as well, my choice.
     
  20. blackdiamondcobra

    blackdiamondcobra Purple Belt

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    The accordion principle was something i used when trying to teach someone in a rapid manner, meaning in compressed time as one usually does when training in a foreign country. In my early travels, i was working within several months of training time then I would come home and try to decompress it and work on it bit by bit, later on when i stayed for a full year or more, the training was slower and time was given for it to sink it, to make it your own then to refine it and contour it to your own self.
     

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