Traditionally, Muay Thai does not have a ranking system and is a topic of discussion amoungst the progressives in the world community. With the need to identify the absolute beginner to the advanced students, Impact has adopted the World Thai Boxing ranking system as established by Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute.
At Impact, we believe the ranking system sets markers of growth and skill. A curriculum is then developed which is delivered to each student.
Although we all enjoy training Muay Thai, there are several ways to enjoy it. Some train it as students. Some train it as fighters. It is important to note that the rank is associated to a student’s growth. A fighter is graded differently.
Fighters commonly wear an armband around their bicep called Prajioud. These are usually given to the fighter as good luck charms by close family or by monks as talismans to ward off harm. These armbands are worn throughout the entire fight.
The practice of wearing the Prajioud is believed to have originated during Thai medieval ages when the Thai people found themselves at war. Soldiers commonly wore headbands and armbands made from material that had special meaning to them such as the hem of a parent’s Pakima (a skirt like outfit worn by both men and women) or even strands of a loved ones hair wrapped in cloth. Sometimes little religious artifacts were wrapped up and worn, such as little Buddha figurines.
As Told in Story
The use of the Prajioud started when a Thai boy went to pay respects to his mother and inform her that he was going to go fight in the war against the Burmese.
The boy said to his mother “Mom I want to pay respects to you, I am going to go fight in the war and I wanted to tell you good bye in case I don’t make it back.”
The mother responded by tearing off a piece of her dress and tying it around her sons arm, telling him “Bring this back to me when you are done fighting.” This gave him something more to fight for because he had to keep his word to his mother and stay alive so that he could return the cloth armband she had given him.
The armband is supposed to be placed on the fighter by a family member or someone close to them as a way to keep the fighter connected to his family during the war (fight).
In modern days the instructor will place the armbands on the fighter before he or she enters the ring for their fight.
Out of respect to this tradition the armbands are not supposed to ever touch the ground.