1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Buddhai Swan Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong. Genuine?

    OK, so there's a guy in the US teaching Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong


    Claims to be from a temple called Buddhai Swan in Thailand.


    Is this genuine or not?

    I have heard quite mixed opinions about Muay Boran and whether it is a genuine art or something that has recently been reconstructed.

    I also note that the Buddhai Swan school is said to be hundreds of years old, but upon closer examination it appears that it's not the original one, but a 20th century reconstruction.

  2. #2
    poidog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Sanctum Sanctorum, SoCal
    Don't know who that guy is, but Ajarn Arlan "Salty Dog" Sanford of the Dog Brothers is a genuine Krabi Krabong instructor through the Buddhai Swan. Salty is a legitimate proven ass kicker, and he vouches for the authenticity of the (Krabi Krabong) instruction at the Buddhai Swan.

    Aloha, Poi
    Kuha'o - Kela - Koa

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Authentic or not... this stuff still looks pretty bad-ass. Video link below (i haven't figured out how to embed vid yet... sorry):

    Last edited by claytonosmer; 3/25/2008 10:28pm at .

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Muay Thai
    Old thread, but I should comment for future readers. This very much falls under my area of expertise. I not only am familiar with Buddhai Sawan, but knew Kru Samai very well. I lived and trained at the institute. Some may consider this very disrespectful, but I must say that my experience was not a good one. As an accomplished fighter, this was my first experience training in Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong. It did not take me long to determine that they style they taught was not authentic (or so I hoped) and ineffective. I would liken the school (back then anyways) to strip mall Karate. The only positive part of the experience was more spiritual. In most cases, a gold sash meant you paid a certain amount of money. Kru Samai was not shy about being very up front about that.

    After leaving the camp (physically and spiritually), I was able to find authentic practitioners that were able to teach me the authentic and effective styles.

    FYI, I am not alone in this opinion. I am very close friends with many of the students, some of which teach. Everyone I have spoken with on this shares at least a major portion of my opinions.

    So, if you want to wear a fancy gold sash and perform a dazzling display of Wushu style Thai martial arts, the institute is great. Just bring enough cash. If you are looking for something that resembles the original styles (actual fighting) you're probably out of luck. I do not know of any official schools that teach it. The only people I know personally are older, do not teach publicly (or at all) and definitely have no interest in teaching non-Thais.

    I suggest finding a good Eskrima teacher instead, which is nearly as challenging.

    (I have no personal or political interest in smearing any camp. I do feel that this information should be made available for the good of the martial arts community)

  5. #5
    Conde Koma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Oakland, CA (East Bay Area)
    Thanks for the info. Do you know if Kru Samai is vouched for by the real Buddhai Sawan? Or are they unaware of what he's doing?

  6. #6
    In 1998 I lived and trained at the Buddhai Swan. I was referred to the institute by my instructor at the time, Dan Inosanto, and by Greg Nelson, a former Buddhai Swan student and currently MMA trainer to Brock Lesnar. As someone else said in this thread, Arlen Sanford also trained at the institute. Dan Inosanto also trained there, although he was not a live in student. During my time there, I learned primarily Krabi Krabong but also had a few lessons in Muay Boran as well from one of my instructors.

    I only know Tony Moore through email but lived and trained with one of his friends from Ireland during my stay at the Buddhai Swan. Tony Moore is very legit and has a plethora of knowledge in Krabi Krabong, Muay thai and Muay Boran.

    The Buddhai Swan is a well known school in Krabi Krabong and its current location is not the original site. the institute is sponsored by the Thai government and representatives serve a ceremonial role in the Thai royal court. Ajarn Samai had a lineage that dated back to, I believe, a faction of the royal bodyguard under the current dynasty.

    My experience there was overwhelmingly positive. Like any martial art, it's all very political and certain people have personal beefs with each other and don't get along. I learned a tremendous amount and the instruction and people were terrific. the other foreigners I lived and trained with were all pro nak muay and very tough individuals. Like any martial art, you can benefit by learning from a variety of individuals and different styles. I've studied Kali under several teachers and learned a lot from each one of them.

    If you're talking about Por Kruh (Ajarn) Samai, he passed away in 1998.

    Hope this helps.


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