Right before I write this I just want to say that I love most of and respect all of the traditions of Muay Thai. I think the Wai Kru is beautiful and I love that part of the tradition.
I don’t know what I expected when I got to Ayutthaya, I wasn’t exactly sure what we were doing but I thought maybe in groups we were taught a wai kru, and learnt what the differents parts meant and then everyone did it together. I think the problem was we were there too early it was such a long hot day I actually wanted to go home before the ceremony started!
It was my first time in Ayutthaya, it is beautiful and a perfect place to hold a festival and fights with the ruins in the background it was gorgeous! The festival itself was grand there were lots of stalls, banana trees to kick lol sword making, sak yants etc and of course fights. As the place started to fill I honestly just had this feeling of ooh god! Of course it was mostly foreigners there. There were the Thai grand master people who were obviously important Thai’s (in muay thai) who knew their shit! Jun is a Kru and had his special outfit on, he really seemed to enjoyed the day and met some important Thai masters etc. I just….. right you see a Thai dressed in the outfit and they look cool and badass! Then see a white ginger fella with muay Thai tattoos all over him walking around all day with his mongkol on his head like he’s the shit! Scarleh for yer ma who gave birth to ya!! Seriously it was like the comic-con for muay Thai!!
Die hard muay thai fans! And by fans I mean I bet 80% weren’t fighters. Lots of middle aged very overweight men. That all being said you know its obviously a place for people to come to share their love of muay Thai which is fine but it was just the way people walked around like they were something special!
There’s always internet videos that circle around of some egjit with a mongkol on his head and this outfit saying he’s Ajarn bleeding blah blah who trained under grand master what’s his face (ie. Master Ted). Doing terrible muay Thai (muay boran). Well I imagine they were there yesterday! Lots of people throwing about muay boran moves at each other, and posing in the stances for pictures.
The actual ceremony when it started I left and went to watch Sarah Rankin fight but then Pee A was like OK go go now it starts! So i missed the last round. After a man sung prayers we all received (who didn’t have one) a white mongkol it was placed on our head by one of two important teachers up on a stage, we then went along and were blessed and wished good luck from the important high masters who were sitting on a stage, some of them individually said something to everyone which was nice considering the 100s that were there! They seemed really happy and I suppose they are seeing their national sport become this globalnphenomenon that is a loved and respected sport with people coming from all over the world! We all then sat in lines on the field. There was a group of people behind me from some European country who I had seen earlier and appeared to be ‘die hards’ well the woman was crying like ‘I’m overwhelmed by what’s happening’ crying! I couldn’t stop laughing, that might appear mean but ya know I was giggling going along getting blessed by the teachers, I just felt silly. Of course if they know you personally thats cool Konstantina Peloumpi was behind me and was recognized by some of them so I imagine that was lovely and quite special for her…….but she didn’t cry lol.
Then DA DAAAAA Buakaw Banchamek appears! There were 4 podiums surrounding the field, Buakaw, Somrak Kamsing, Singmanee Kaesermwit, and Samart Payakaroon were on each of them they were to lead everyone in the wai kru …..but they actually didn’t know what they were doing and were looking back towards Buakaw which was gas!!! I tell ya Buakaw has some presence he really does more than any other muay Thai fighter in the world! Like there’s an invisible force field around him you can’t touch. Anyway so everyone is trying to copy the wai kru people being very serious etc I couldn’t stop laughing and just stopped took my phone out and took pics and videos!
After there was a giant banquet for everyone (all of this was free by the way the whole day) we decided to go home, I got interviewed by a lady for ch 7 news ( here) which I immediately felt embarrassed! thankfully she didnt ask about wai kru day just muay thai in general!
Then I just had a group photo with Somrak and a lady (named Dani) asked if I was Kelly, she reads by blog and is a fan through following me through Sylvie! She asked for a photo with me which was so cool and lovely! All those hundreds of people there and I met her I felt really chuffed! So off we go back to the bus but one of the lads Mehran was AWOL turns out he decided to have dinner!! and was sitting at a table stuffing his face lol.
On our way back we stopped at 7/11 and had such a giggle at ourselves Jun especially it definitely looked out of place out of the festival!
On the whole I mean it was a funny day as in laughing at a lot of people also there were a load of Karate heads there in their gis like WTF?? Haha anyway it was a nice experience I’m not sure I’d go again unless obviously I’m fighting. I’m happy to love Muay Thai and show my respect in the safety of my gym 😂