The Initial Ceremony  (Wai Kru / Ram Muay)

the-initiation-ceremony.jpgThe Yok Khru, each master would have different styles of Yok Khru, a ceremony by which the pupils present some kind of offering to the masters. Usually, the offering consists of incense sticks and candles. Money and other objects could also be given, depending on the requirements of the masters. When the pupils have gathered all the required materials, they come to see the master. The master will accept such offering and initiate them the basic movement of Wai Khru, namely, Thep Panom position and the movement of Prom Si Na (Four-faced Promma), and then progressing to Yang Sam Khum (Three Steps Movement). The master will demonstrate all these graceful movements for the benefit of his pupils who would be asked to imitate him. Some masters might go as far as teaching the pupils to box right away, to kick, to punch, to practice tricks, to make full use of feet, knees and elbows as well as stepping forward and backward. Some might make their pupils engage in sparring with partners until they became fluent. When fluency is attained, the ceremony of Wai Khru or Yok Khru is then begun. This is not unusual, as some masters prefer to

 

have quite a number of well-trained students before they initiate the Wai Khru ceremony. (Generally, the pupils who wish to be initiated in the discipline of Thai boxing would bring flowers, incense sticks, candles, handkerchief, Thai bathing towel, and water vassal to the master’s house for the initiation ceremony. To be initiated, the boxer shall bring along 6 coins, 6 twenty-five Satangs coins, 6 Soks of white cloth, flowers, incense sticks, candles, for the Yok Kruu). 

When any pupil wishes to learn Thai boxing, he shall provide the offering of flowers, incense sticks and candles to pay respect to his master and Narayana. If there happen to be several persons who want to become pupils, they could arrange a big feast by providing pork, duck, chicken, and other food stuffs. When everything is ready, the master will pick up the gloves or the sacred cotton laurel and raise his fists above his head. Then the persons to be initiated be bend down to Krab the master 3 times and extend his arm to obtain the gloves or the sacred cotton laurel from the master. Both the hands of the master and pupil should touch the boxing weapon, while the master confers the blessing of knowledge on the pupil. 

When the master lets go of his hands, the pupil shall accept that fighting equipment and raise it above his head to pay respect to Ramayana. This object should be placed high above the ground. The pupil bends down to Krab Narayana 3 times and Krab the masters 3 times. The master shall make the following blessing. 

For the annual Wai Khru ceremony, the same pattern is followed. The grand offering consists of pig’s head, boiled eggs stuck to the Bai Sri, and other food either main course or dessert, as well as fruits. If fruits are offered, one of its kind must be peeled, namely, if it is a bunch of bananas, one banana should be peeled, if they are young coconuts, one of them should be cracked open. Light the incense sticks, arrange them before all of the offering, and invite the masters including Narayana, and Kruu Patyai (the teachers who have taught us, but now deceased) to accept the offering. In the middle, there shall be a vassal of holy water. When the teachers have taken the offering (the incense stick burns itself out), then the making of holy water. On the rim of the vassal, a candle is lighted. At the expiry of this initiation ceremony, the chief master shall say. 

The pupils would eat the offering and thoroughly be drenched with holy water. Upon conclusion of the ceremony, those who have faith in Buddhism might bring out an older statute of Buddha to put in the middle of the place, so that it could be treated as witnessing authority. The pupils would pay respect by dancing the overture movement called “Ram Tawai Tua”. Sometimes they might fight in pair, the wind and percussion instrument shall perform the rousing melody. According to the custom and tradition of the Thai boxers when they have learned some movement and been initiated. The masters want to give something so that the pupils could have a moral support to become self confident and fearless. 

The Oath Ceremony 

The oath ceremony is a kin to an oath of a gentleman, the oath given to the master by the pupil that honesty is far more worthy than one’s life. Any boxer who thinks to contravene this oath, might offend face with ruin without fail in the future. 

The master shall teach and the boxer shall give the oath that

1. I will look after myself so that I am clean, strong, and behave with honesty.

2. I will not bully the weaker. We will love one another, be unite, and help one another whenever possible.

3. I will make good deeds beneficial to the others, and be loyal to the nation.

4. I will avoid any case of disorder. 

There is an old saying that 

“Anyone who has not behaved in accordance with the oath shall be doomed”. 

In the Thai boxing fight, boxers are very prone to believe in magic, spells, and occult in the believe that such ploy could stun the opponent who would be too puzzled to fight. Some boxers go as far as praying or citing spells in the graveyard, particularly the place which is reputed to be very much haunted so as to facilitate meditation, strengthen courage and increases readiness to face the human beings who are certainly different from ghosts.