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Chern Muay: the hidden treasure of Muay Boran (part 1)

Chern, เชิง artifice; finesse; maneuver.

According to ancient Siamese traditions Chern Muay techniques represented an optimal system of learning and rationally using the body’s natural weapons to attack and defend.
According to the ancestral Muay Boran’s teaching methods, once the basic systems of using the nine body weapons (Nawarthawooth) are individuated and learned, the Nak Muay should be taught how to employ the 8 main natural weapons, i.e., Awuth Mahd, Awuth Thao, Awuth Kao, Awuth Sok, to develop more complex offensive and defensive actions.
Master Uthai Sinthusan’s textbook dated 1957 is widely recognised as the foremost source of Chern Muay fighting strategies and his classification of these combat skills is still in use in all traditional Muay academies.
A fighter who is skilled in Chern Muay techniques is always confident in his weapons’ power: his attitude is mostly offensive. For this reason these fighting principles are often described as “aggressive attacking techniques”. However, a real Chern Muay expert is equally apt at attacking pre-emptively as well as at defending and counterattacking in swift, fluid actions. Chern Muay practitioners sometimes “provoke” their opponents with mock attacks in order to force their enemies to throw their counter: once the opponent is committed to attack the Chern Muay stylist is ready to “counter on a counter” and can more easily terminate the adversary with powerful strikes aimed at his weak points.
Body weapons may be employed by the Chern Muay stylist in single actions or in multiple attacks: in the latter case, the number of strikes may vary from 2 to 4. In very special cases, an attack may be executed with 2 or 3 body weapons simultaneously: two punches, two elbow strikes, a punch and a knee strike, an elbow and a knee strike, and so on. The rationale of this kind of attacks is double. In the first place, attacking two different targets at the same time makes the defence much harder. Secondly, some vital points are better “stimulated” when another weak area is struck at the same instant.