After having seen some posts talking about Muay Boran, I wanted to share some info here as there seems to be some confussion.

What everyone knows as Muay Thai, or the ring sports is the modern version of the art, which has changed a lot due to regulations and influences from western boxing.
For example the emphasis in clinching positions and throws could be explained because of the sports setting and rules. Thi sposition being held as a favorite to score points, be it through kneeing the opponent or the favorite, throwing the opponent. Although any one who scores a Muay Thai match could tell you that punching or any other boxing technique that lands is a scoring point, but nowadays the scoring in Thailand is almost unintelligible, and the sport is very corrupt due to the bets and gambling.

With this said, Muay Boran is a mostly recent term, maybe started using it around the 90s, to reffer as an umbrella name for all the old traditional boxing styles, justt known as Muay in old times, or with the name of the region where they developed. Boran Means Ancient, or traditional.

So there where boxing styles from many regions in old times, nowadays only some survive: Muay Korat, Muay Tha sao, Muay Lotburi and Muay Chaiya.

In some of the posts they were debating between the efficiency of the old styles vs the modern version or sports version. In old times people who trained in the old styles would also fight in the ring. Training one or another is not meaningful to its effectiveness, as the old styles where very effective and where developed as a self defense system and a fighting art to defend the country. Love for the country is a must for any Nak Muay who wants to train in the old styles, and so, when you drop on your knees before each training and Krap Atjarn, or present your respects to the teacher, you wai (bow) 3 times. One for the Land, one for the King, one for Buda.

The style I practice is called Chaiya, is from the South and it does have differences and similarities with the sports version, as do all the old styles. The difference is that in old times, you could discern one boxer from the other because of the way they fought, the way the moved, the guard or the Wai Kru ceremony.

The sports Muay Thai has almost made all this dissapear, and most people in Thailand dont care or have any knowledge of the old styles.

Sports Muay Thai is great for self defense also and a fantastic sport, but it lacks many of the refinements that the old styles had and it has lost many interesting elements, as it is difficult to find real schools of the old arts.

What most people will sell you as Muay Boran, are the acrobatic techniques developed for shows and theatrical performances, these being a completely separate genre inside Muay. There are a few schools left of the mentioned styles and thankfully these wont be lost in time like some of the traditional schools.

Muay Chaiya is one of the most famous nowadays and I think is getting some recognition. Som of the students at my school Do compete, as some of the students of Kru Praeng´s school who also compete and fight in small MMA events.
So the styles are proven in the ring also.

If you want to train old Muay, I suggest to try Chaiya in Bangkok, in my School : Baanchangthai or Kru Praeng´s school, or Muay Shanga school in Chiang Mai.

Muay Chaiya was developed 200 years ago more or less, and the oldest last Grand Master of the style is one of the most famous old masters in Thailand, Atjarn Kade Sirijaphat, as not only he trained with Chaiya´s direct lineage, but also with 13 of the most famous masters of his time in Thailand. One of them was Atjarn Ginseng, from Bangkok, who taught the Boxing style from Central Thailand, a style that is lost Today. So Atjarn Kade developed his method of Chaiya based on what he learned from this masters. His disciple, Kru Thong Lor fought extensively in the ring.

Atjarn Lek ( my master), from Baanchangthai school and Kru Praeng, are both students of Grandmaster Kade and Thong Lor.

I hope this info is useful to someone who wants to learn old Thai Boxing, as it was hard for me to find, but nowadays there is more info on the internet, specially not in THai :)

In this link I share my partner Ple, from Baanchangthai school doing the Ram Muay from Baanchangthai in the Father of Muay Thai day, last month in Ayutthaya. he performs also some shadow boxing with Chaiya techniques.