Krabi Krabong


Krabi krabong ("sword and staff") is a weapons martial art form  originating in Thailand.  It is related to "silat" of the Indonesian Archipelago and "bokator" of Cambodia.  The weapons used today most typically are the krabi (saber) and the krabong (a staff/pole), but double swords and others are found as well.  Historically, this art also used weapons not typical in the current martial arts of Thailand such as the kris, the trisun (a trident), and others. 

From Draeger & Smith (1969),

Unlike Thaing, Krabi Krabong is an essentially homogenous style of fighting with the daab and other weapons. Differences exist between different schools and teachers, but the basic themes remain fairly consistent due to official sanction by King Rama IV (r. 1851-68 C.E.) and later formalization in 1936 as part of the curriculum of the Thai College of Physical Education. The actual origin of the art is the subject of some debate, but roots in Indian and Chinese arts and later influence by Japanese mercenaries are likely. 

One of the characteristic Krabi Krabong drills involves the use of twin daab, one in each hand (“daap sawng meu”), a style of fighting purportedly traced back to the Ayutthaya period (1350-1767 C.E.). These swords are usually of the short bladed/long handled type and held close to the guard. Like most drills and training in modern Krabi Krabong, the use of twin daab includes ritual dance and mock fighting, with emphasis on pre-arranged drills wherein the participants attack and defend in turn.

In Thailand, Krabi Krabong, as with other subjects, was taught to boys in the local community by monks.  The Buddhaisawan Temple in Ayutthaya is where the monks taught sword-fighting to their students.