Friday, February 11, 2005

Filipino & Thai Fighting Arts connection.

Originally posted on the Dog Brothers forum between 2002 & 2003.

I haven’t been able to keep up with the list in the last 6 – 8 months but one of my students showed me a thread going on about Filipino and Thai MA’s. Please forgive me if I cover any points that have already been made on the subject.

In my curriculum I teach Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and Muay Thai. I teach them separately and do not intentionally blend them together. But, students who train in both systems soon discover that the systems can and do go well together. What results is a different but highly effective animal.

Let me preface this by saying that I spent close to two and a half years training privately and semi-privately at my home with Ajarn Steve Wilson in Krabi-Krabong and the open hand systems of Muay Boran & Muay Kacheuk. Also another five years in Muay-Lao Thai boxing with Guro John Daniels. As Crafty pointed out, KK does integrate Thai kicks & close range elbows and knees with weaponry. Unknown to many practitioners of “sport” Muay Thai, and people from other MA’s, the art of Muay Thai descends from the weaponry system of Krabi-Krabong. Similar to the Filipino Martial arts, Muay Thai is an open hand system of combat that is based off of weaponry technique. In my opinion, this is why they are able to blend so well together if you understand the systems.

What is important is not that you learn to “kick” while using weapons; it’s the emphasis on power generation from any angle. Kicks are used sparingly and strategically and are usually restricted to the low-line Thai round kicks and foot jabs. Anyone who has experienced MT either as a practitioner, or has been on the receiving end understands the raw power that is generated by the mechanics of the system at close and long range. Add to that the fluid foundation footwork of Pekiti-Tirsia Kali and the ability to flow with an armed or unarmed opponent and things start to get real interesting. Pekiti-Tirsia is a complete system (meaning covers all ranges), Muay Thai stands on it’s own as well. When the two start coming out together, you end up with fluid movement and timing combined with raw devastating power.