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Phasom Muay: the secret weapon of Combat Muay Boran

Combat Muay Boran is a modern-traditional style of Siamese fighting that combines ancient thai traditions with modern scientific methods. The final goal is to teach men and women of all physical and psychological conditions to fight, on the ring or in the street. The training systems devised by Thai masters of old are combined with modern Science, in order to “create” complete martial artists. From a technical point of view, Combat Muay Boran syllabus in based on 78 strategic principles or Chern Muay. These fundamental elements, once totally mastered, give practitioners a total understanding of all-out (martial) fighting. One of the “tricks” that make this style so effective is the use of sophisticated combinations of strikes instead of single blows in attack or when counterattacking. This advanced strategy is called Phasom Muay.

Situation 1: direct attack.
A Muay fighter’s offensive strategy is designed to create openings in an opponent’s wall of defense: through correct timing and swift footwork, an expert Nak Muay will position himself at the right range to unleash powerful blows aimed at his opponent’s unprotected vulnerable spots.
The best way to successfully reach an opponent’s weak spots is by combinations of strikes (Phasom Muay); each blow may carry the Nak Muay’s bodyweight behind it (full power blow) or may be a “mock blow”, designed to mislead and to open the way to a real heavy blow. The way strikes are combined makes the difference between an expert fighter and a novice: the best fighters deliver blows in series, strikes are linked in a natural manner, flowing smoothly one after the other. In creating combinations, two elements have to be considered: the leading weapon and the number of strokes.
The weapons that are usually chosen as a lead are the straight punch (mahd trong), the front kick (tiip trong) or the vertical/diagonal round kick (tae trong/chieng), since they allow the fighter to attack while keeping most of his sensitive spots well covered. The follow up weapons will naturally flow after the lead: each fighter will develop his own combinations according to his level of skill and his physical structure. As far as the number of blows (mock or real) usually employed by an expert boxer they usually go from 1 to 4. Therefore, the four basic patterns for combination striking are:

1. Mai Rook Neun Chawa or one step attack pattern
2. Mai Rook Song Chawa or two steps attack pattern
3. Mai Rook Saam Chawa or three steps attack pattern
4. Mai Rook Si Chawa or four steps attack pattern

Most fighters aim at throwing 3 blows in combination as this is the ideal number of strokes that guarantees optimal results (i.e., knock outs). For example a combination may be started with a rear straight head punch, followed by an inside leg kick and a straight knee aimed at the chin or face of the opponent. ( see the video)

Otherwise, a fake straight head punch may be followed by a liver punch, a side step and a finishing power shin kick aimed at the neck of the opponent. (see the video)

Each series of strikes is executed according to a specific rhythm that is based on the fighter’s ability to “feel” the moment, speeding up or slowing down the actions as required by the situation.

Situation 2: counterattack.
When defending and counterattacking, a typical beginners’ mistake is to defend the opponent’s strike, throw a counter blow and wait. Big mistake. In fact, if you fight this way, you reduce drastically your chances of scoring and furthermore you open yourself to a possible retaliation. Just like direct attacks, also counterblows should be executed in series, not single strikes. This is the way of Combat Muay Boran. Two, three or four strikes should be follow your initial defense: if the first counter fails, don’t get discouraged and keep on “flowing”. Throw more than one counter and aim your blows carefully: one of your strikes will land on a sensitive spot and lead you to victory.
For example, after parrying a straight right and countering with a straight punch, don’t feel satisfied. On the contrary, let your body go with the flow and follow up with one or two more counters. You can combine the straight right with a left body hook and a horizontal elbow to the head. In the first place, hitting head, body, head will make the opponent’s defence much harder. Second, the three counters follow a specific order that is designed to charge each blow with growing kinetic energy, thus maximizing the chances to score a clean knock out. Let’s see more examples of multiple counter strikes.
Example 1: a 1-2 combination (left lead followed by right cross) can be blocked and the opponent’s right arm can be grabbed with both hands. The possible combined counterattacks that may follow the defensive action are: a series of 2 or more body knee strikes, an arm lock leading to a take down and a finishing elbow break. (see the video)

Example 2: against a front kick to the body, a common defense is a low parry. The possible series of counterattacks are: a body knee strike, a head knee strike (to the chin or face), a downwards swing kick to the knee and a finishing round kick to the backbone (cervical vertebrae). (see the video)

All this information is priceless for martial artists who wants to upgrade their combat skills and for ring fighters who want to broaden their knowledge of fighting techniques. A good example of how Combat Muay Boran can be the answer for both kinds of needs is the Mexican case. As a matter of fact, Mexico has a long and glorious tradition of ring fighters, especially in international Boxing. Muay Thai is also very popular in that country and in the course of the last decade, many Mexican Thai Boxers and international Boxers were attracted by Muay Boran IMBA and, recently, by Combat Muay Boran. Mexicans are tough fighters and they wouldn’t accept a “new” combative art without testing its efficiency. The success Combat Muay Boran is having in Mexico is a living proof that this discipline is perfectly suitable for ring sports as well as self-defence oriented martial arts.

For more information about Combat Muay Boran in Mexico:Khru Gustavo Perez Hernadez