Ayutthaya, 19 March, 2016 – The 12th World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony, held yesterday at the Ayutthaya Historical Park, attracted more than 1,200 Muay Thai fighters and enthusiasts from 57 countries, making this year’s even the biggest gathering of its kind in the world.
The World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony 2016 held to coincide with three other major Muay Thai events is being held in Ayutthaya and Bangkok this week. Bangkok is hosting the World Muay Thai Championship, from 12-22 March at The Street, Ratchada and the first International Thai Martial Arts Games and Festival 2016 that runs from 12-21 March at the MBK Centre. Ayutthaya province, the spiritual home of Muay Thai is also organising a four-day event based around its annual, Nai Khanomtom Day, from 17-20 March at the Ayutthaya Provincial Sports Stadium. This is to honour Nai Khanomtom, who was the most famous Muay Thai warrior of the Ayutthaya period and who remains a hero to Thai boxers to this day. Moreover, another Muay Thai – Nai Khanomtom Day took place in Ayutthaya’s Bangban district on 16 March, which tradition says was the hometown of this unbeatable Muay Thai hero.
On 17 March, the focus was on the events in Ayutthaya where the World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony is scheduled in the evening. Now in its 12th year, the Ceremony has become a place of annual pilgrimage for Muay Thai fighters and fans from all over the world, as it helps educate people about the traditions of Muay Thai and its place in the kingdom’s culture. It also helps people understand the importance of showing respect to Muay Thai masters including Thailand’s Kings; such as, King Naresuan the Great and King Prachao Sua who helped popularise this sport.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said, “The World Wai Kru Ceremony is so important to the whole Muay Thai experience that it has become the focus of a week in which so many Muay Thai boxing and martial arts events are taking place. That so many boxers from around the world are joining this year’s ceremony to pay homage to past trainers shows that Thailand is the true and spiritual home of this Thai martial art which is now popular globally.”
There were several important Muay Thai fights scheduled to take place before this evening’s Wai Kru ceremony, including:
- Noppakrit Kor Kampanat (The King of Knee) vs Sri Mueang Phai Sor Sompong (The Muay Thai Magnet)
- Namtarn SorKor Khamronbamrungrak (The Knee of the Supermodel) VS Janice Lin from Canada
- There will also be an important World Professional Muay Thai Federation (WPMF) fight, which will see Super Bantamweight winner Kwanjai Sor Tawanroong defend her title against Ashley Nicole, a female boxer from Canada
Visitors have also learned more about the history of Muay Thai and some of the personalities behind the sport at the specially-organised Muay Thai gallery that features 9 Muay Thai icons from past to present, including Phra Chao Sua, Nai Khanom Tom, Somrak Kamsing and Buakhao Banchamek.
Other activities that took place included exhibition booths from several Muay Thai boxing camps and stalls selling Muay Thai-related products and souvenirs. There was also the chance to observe demonstrations of Arunyik sword making, displays of sacred Thai-style tattooing techniques, and to enjoy other traditional Thai martial arts and fights. Most impressively, visitors observed the training techniques used in Muay Thai, including the kicking of tough banana stalks to increase shin strength and the use of coconuts, hung from ropes on trees as targets for their fists, feet and elbows.
The much-anticipated World Wai Kru Muay Thai Ceremony itself took place at 18:00 Hrs. Leading this year’s event were famous Muay Thai fighters including Samart Payakarun, Khao Sai Galaxy, Somrak Kamsing, and Charoenthong Kiatbanchong as well as Antoine Pinto, the French-born boxer, who led fighters local and international in this moving event. The welcoming ceremony followed at 19:30 Hrs. with a light and sound performance.
For more images of the 12th World Wai Kru Muay Thai in Ayutthaya, please click here.
International Public Relations Division
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