Wai Khru- Ram Muay
Wai Kru and Ram Muay.
Wai Kru is the first part of the “dance”, during which the fighter walks around the ring (ropes), stopping and bowing on every corner.
This act symbolizes a “seal” against bad luck and protection for the fighter during the fight. Moving on, the fighter goes into the middle of the ring and sits on his knees towards his corner, where his trainers are located. Joins the gloves in front of his face, representing the Wai and starts to bow down performing prayers.
He repeats this movements three times to pay tribute to the three identities on different levels. Honor to Buddha, Sangha (Monks order) and Dharma (Buddha’s teachings). At the same time he pays tribute to his Master, to his Camp and to the forefathers fighters. After the Wai Kru, the fighter starts with the Ram Muay, a slow series of stylized movements performed to the rhythm of music, in direction of every side of the ring in search of protection.
This series of movements is specific for every person, in fact, the “dance” is different for every fighter. Some fighters use some movements that indicates their home province of Thailand, while others simply add personal moves.
During time, Ram Muay has become an added show for the audience of tradition and “real” Muay Thai lovers. For the “farang” fighter it’s mostly a moment of concentration and mental preparation for the fight. In the big stadiums in Bangkok it is a duty to perform the Ram Muay/Way Kru, as it is to wear a Mongkhol and Prajiat, even if, the most known farang of all times: Ramon Dekkers, did not perform the Ram Muay nor wore the Mongkhol.