Sash Ranking And Instructors In Krabi-Krabong Worldwide

There are two clear parts when talking about Sash Levels.
First part: Goes from grade one until grade five.
Second part: Goes from Gold Sash 1st Degree until Gold Sash 11th Degree.

Grade one: When you start they give you this Belt; The color is yellow.
Grade two: After of few months of Training they give you this belt; Half yellow and half blue.

Grade third: The belt is blue, you are close to being at the level to start to teach. Your technique should be good and clear.

Grade Four: The color of this belt is red; This mean basic instructor. You know the basic techniques and forms; Also you can teach to the kids or beginners.

Grade Five: This level is advanced instructor, the color of the Sash is silver. The basics should be very clear also you have some experience teaching. Now the person is ready to start the real training.


All the second part is based on Stamina, attention, speed, power and determination.

The Buddhai Swan not only look for techniques or physical attributes but for the interest and energy that you put into it, to learn the whole aspect with respects to the culture, art, vocabulary, ceremony and prayers.

Also one of the very important parts is the spiritual part. Based in my observation the Arjarn will put you or ask you to do things, that in the first moment looks strange but afterwards you will understand. They look at your personality, to see how you are, how much help you are willing to give, how you teach another's students...In other words Who is the person that lives behind your body.

That is the wonderful thing. They qualify you for how much effort you put into it and not how many things you can do. Buddhai Swan Institute is a family, where everybody eats at the same table, sleeps at the same place and works hard at the same time.
The training involve 326 hours to be Gold Sash; After that the institution will give you the Gold sash number that they think that you have earned. Based on your personality, in the number of shows that you been and how many times per year you been in the Institute. Some people just one, and some people every year.

Gold Sash 1st Degree:
This belt is gold color with one yellow stripe.

Gold Sash 2nd Degree:
This belt is gold color with 2 stripes, one yellow and on top blue.

Gold Sash 3rd Degree:
This belt is gold color with 3 stripes, one yellow, one blue and one red.

Gold Sash 4th Degree:
This belt is gold color with 4 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and one gold.

Gold sash 5th Degree:
This belt is gold color with 5 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and two gold stripes.

Gold Sash 6th Degree:
This belt is gold color with 6 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and three gold stripes on top.

Gold Sash 7th Degree:
This belt is gold color with 7 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and four gold stripes on top.

Gold Sash 8th Degree. (Master):
This belt is gold color with 8 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and five gold stripes on top.

Gold Sash 9th Degree. (Grand Master):
This belt is gold color with 9 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and six gold stripes on top.

Gold Sash 10th Degree. (Only the Prince of Thailand):
This belt is gold color with 10 stripes, one yellow, one blue, one red and seven gold stripes on top.

Gold Sash 11th Degree. (Only the King of Thailand). This belt is completely gold color without any stripe.

Krabi-Krabong Instructors in the world:
Of course not all are listed here but the ones that we know about.

For Sash Levels:

Gold Sash 9th Degree.
Arjarn Tony Moore (From England).

Gold Sash 8th Degree.
Arjarn Michael Delio (From USA).
Arjarn Pedro Solana Villalobos (From USA).

Gold Sash 7th Degree.
Arjarn Steven Wilson (From USA).

Gold Sash 6th Degree.
Arjarn Jason Webster (First American to qualify as a Gold Sash)
Arjarn Arland Sanford (From USA).
Arjarn Vincent Giordano (From USA).
Arjarn Klaus Handke-Prompan (From Germany).

How To Start In Krabi-Krabong.

A long time ago it was not easy to train in Krabi-Krabong. Not many people had the knowledge and the time to teach the powerful art. The old Masters only taught the art to select students.

To become a student of the Master was not easy. The student needed to clean and help the Master in anything possible that the Master required. The Master with time, would see what he thought of the spirit of the future student, what kind of person he was and how much effort he would put in to learn the art.

When the Master already had selected a student, the student would do a beautiful and spiritual ceremony called "Yok Kru". The student would pray for the ancestors of Krabi-Krabong, he would sing loud the "Oath" of the school. Also he would offer to his teacher: Three sticks of incense, few white flour (In Thailand they consider the white color the more pure of all).

A lso the student would give a small amount of money (this act means that you will put in all your physical effort ) and the last thing to offer, a white candle. When the teacher received everything, he would touch the forehead of the student.

Afterwards the Master would let the "tears" of the candle drop onto the top of the head of the student and the Master pull out from a big recipe one of the many swords (These swords are very old, some of then are from warriors) that have inside holy water. Then he would touch the shoulders of the student and the head with the sword. The student would bow 3 times to the Master and The master will pray for him. When the ceremony ends, the master and student will eat and rest. The training will start when the Master decides.

Krabi-Krabong has many different weapons (total of nine) as well as the empty hand techniques, that everyone knows as "MUAY THAI". The Art of Krabi-Krabong is deeply spiritual. Before each show the students need to follow a number of steps. Each step has a very strong meaning inside of the circles of the Thai culture. The whole event is conducted with Traditional Thai music.

The music is very important in the training of Krabi-Krabong. It helps to keep the right speed as well as the rhythm.

The instruments that they used are: Drums (Kong), Cymbals of three different sizes (Ching), and sometimes a Pipe (Java Pipe). The person that plays the drums is the more experienced; He used the same techniques of Muay Thai and Krabi- Krabong to play. He hit the drums with the knees, head and elbows as well as with the instruments.  Here are the steps to follow when you perform Krabi-Krabong.

First step; TAWAI BUNG KHOM.
Means that when the students enter the place where they are going to fight, they will salute and pay respect to the people that are there as well as to the opponent.

Second step; KUEN PHROM.
The students adopt the position to start dancing; If two people are going to dance, one person needs to be looking to the right shoulder of his opponent. This person will dance standing up ;The another person will perform the whole ceremony with the knees on the floor. They will dance praying to the four corners, finishing at the same place where they started.

Third step; YAM SAM KUEN.
The students will face each other, pay respect to each other, and with a series of exaggerated movements will move in circles moving in and out of the circles (to the left only), touching the tips of his weapons when they get close and keeping their eyes on each other.

Fourth step; CHOK.
The students will flow with a series of attacks and defenses, fighting in any range trying to defeat each other.

Fifth step; KOH KAMA.
When the students end the performance, they will salute each other and salute the public. This is a sign of respect to the Art, and to themselves.

Here Is The Way To Make A Krabi-Krabong Sword

The first step must start with a worship ceremony to pay the respect to teachers and God. This ceremony are called "Pitae Wai Kutao" which are held annually at the first Thursday of the 6th Thai's lunar month that around May and June. Family in these areas have to participate in Pitee Wai Kutao every year, and pray to the God to help them make the blades successfully.

The process starts with a bar of steel which the blade smith "Nai Tao" collects form many sources. Sometimes, they'll combine a legendary iron called "Lek Nampee" which is very rare today, Furthermore, they claim that a sword with Lek Nampee is extremely excellent blade

The good blade must be made of Leek Nampee. But, if you want to cut a nail, the sword made of general steel can also cut it easily" (In Thailand, the sword smiths usually used a nail as a target for cutting test of a sword).

Another material which they combine in the ancient weapons is "Lek Lai". This material is quite mysterious, magical and find much rarer than Lek Nampee. Some said Lek Lai can melt, when it is burned with only candle. After Nai Tao cut the prepaid steel into a desired shape, he'll heat the steel in the forge. Next, Nai Tao will use a pliers to grip heated steel over the anvil all the time, and lets his 3 assistants "Kontee Panern" hammer into roughly shaped blade. This process is called "Larb Lek".

When Nai Tao get a shape blade. He cleave the edge side of the blade to embed harder steel which is called "Lek Kla",and Kontee Panern will hammer it until the steel is welded enough, then Nai Tao will heat steel to the verge of melting and hammer again quickly to make 2 kinds of steel welded tightly. This process is called "Merg Lek".
After that, the blade is adjusted with a hammer. This process is "Tee Tang". The process that comes after is called "Koon Meet" in which the blade is forged further, last process is "Sum Meet" or "Fork Lek" in which the blade is shaped into the final shape with a small hammer, and Nai Tao will leave the blade until it's cold.

The later process is "Tee Kent". Nai Tao takes a cooled blade and adjust it carefully with a small hammer until the blade is flat. The adjustment with a hammer in this process is called "Lam Riab" or "Hai". Afternoon Tao finish Tee Kent, he will apply the blade with a special liquid made from cjay. This liquid is called "Kee Tom Gaur".

The most important process is "Karn Shoup Lek". The process starts with adjusting the temperature in the forge. The sword blade is heated at the optimum temperature depends on each smith's tech Especially, only the edge of the blade must be heated until it's red, and then quench in water smoothly

The blade is good or not ,it depends on the type of steel, but the heart of making blade is Karn Shoup Lek which requires much experience of the smith". After Karn Shoup Lecithin blade is sharpened by the blade smith with rough and fine whetstone. During this process, the smith whitens the blade by the coconut husk. Then he make a handle and scabbard For the handle ,the smith said when he put the tang into prepared handle, he will use special liquid made from vinegar to prevent loose tang.

Grandmaster Tony Moore of England went to Thailand for the Late Grandmaster Sammai Messaman's  birthday on 5th May. 

Mae Kru 1.JPG (9450 bytes)Tony-Mark buddhai-swan.JPG (974841 bytes)Monks BS.JPG (11741 bytes)Monk 1.JPG (9858 bytes)
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A portrait of the Late Grandmaster Sammai Messaman at the Buddhai Swan.

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Late Grandmaster Sammai Messaman proudly stands with, Tony Moore (UK) and 

Stephen Wilson USA on the day  Stephen Wilson became 7th degree (Master) and Tony Moore became a 9th degree (Grand master) at the
Buddhai Swan Institute of Swordsmanship.

Grandmaster Tony Moore of England went to Thailand for Por Kru's (Late Grandmaster Sammai Mesamarn) birth on 5th May. The celebration started at 7.30am with Buddhist prayers and 9 Buddhist monks in attendance. A number of Buddhai Swan student went to become Buddhist monks on that day - we think for a period of 9 Months, out of respect for Por Kru. This of course is a great sacrifice, as you know they give up all their worldly goods.

 After the ceremony which was a big procession down to the local temple with everybody from Buddhai Swan and the families of the students, then it was back to Buddhai Swan for demonstrations by all the students. It was  thought that it would have been a very sad day but in fact it was very enjoyable, because all the family and students were together to show their appreciation for the teaching given to ourselves by Por Kru.


Copyright 2000 -2002 USMTA.  All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004