Special Gallery : The Ram Muay

The Mongkon, or Muay Thai Head Ring:

Takako Shimoseki

The Muay Thai fighter usually enters the ring by jumping over the top rope. Then, before the Ram Muay is begun, the Muay Thai fighter will usually  walk around the ring, counter-clockwise, touching the rope, and offer a prayer in each corner. She thereby seals off the ring from all outside distractions, and negative influences.  She then sits down and bows three times at the direction of her home .During the Ram Muay the fighters wear a mongkon. (AKA "Muay Thai Head Ring".) She will end her ritual by stamping her authority three times usually in her opponent's corner, thereby symbolically killing her opponent. Or, alternatively she may end her Ram muay with a gesture  which looks like she is killing  her opponent with a bow and arrow..

 In addition, to  the Mongdon, or Muay Thai Head Ring, she will often also wear one or two armbands like a protective charm called praciat that Buddhist monks have given them.  The Champion pictured just below, is wearing these, and is thus properly attired, with both the Mongkon, and the praciat. The Champion pictured directly above  is also properly attired, with  her Mongkon or Head Band easily seen, from a profile view in the picture.

The Mongkon or Mangala is the traditional head band which is always worn by Muay Thai fighters . The Mongkon, or Muay Thai Head Ring,  is a sacred object which the Master has ceremoniously blessed for the fighter. It is supposed to  bring good luck to the fighter.  Ancient warriors and fighters used to wear the Mongkons before any bout of combat because they believed it would bring them good luck and help them win the fight. This is a very old tradition.  But  it  is still  practiced by serious Muay Thai fighters today. It is not unlike the traditional bow by martial arts students to their instructors and peers before stepping onto or off the tatami, or mat. And also  upon entering and leaving the dojo.

Before every Muay Thai-fight the Muay Thai fighters  will perform a ritual dance called Ram Muay. It is performed to pay respect to their parents, ancestors, teachers, and all those from both the present and the past for whom they wish to show respect, and gratitude.  The ritual also incidentally  is a most effective aid to limbering up, and marshalling the fighters' concentration. This serves to bring to remembrance everything  that the fighter has been taught. Like a Kata, it can display the grace of their movements.

 Some people  believe that they can actually tell from watching the respective fighters' interpretations and performances of the Ram Muay which  one will prevail in the ring.
Certainly, fighters like the two great Champions pictured above, (one from the East and one from the west,) who observe, practice and respect the traditions, will be very successful at their craft.

We hope you enjoy these photos.
.Those with a yellow Border may be clicked for a larger version.

click for enlargement

Kimberly Tomes (usa) 
Ram Muay 

Christine Toledo    

Louise McLaughlin of Scotland.

Jussy Lowe
                 Another great Champion,
               Lisa Houghton-Smith doing
            the Ram Muay. Click to see
             a larger image. ©Richard Smith

             bastian_waikru.jpg (86007 bytes)
Sandra Bastian performing 
 Wai Kru


     MarvsThai.jpg (116759 bytes)
   America's Marlowe 
in Thailand 
             doing her prefight Ram 

                   Ram Muay.11/03/01, Thailand
                       Pattaya Beach, Her opponent,
 pictured here is
               Sowanee Arinya. Marlowe won
                    by a TKO in the third round with a 
knee thrust. Marlowe 
                      trained at the  Sityodto Camp 
                     in Thailand for 2 weeks prior to this  bout.

Canada's Erin Linley, (right) and The Phillipine's Aliehya Arriola. (left) honor the tradition. 

Mia Etelepelto (Finland)

UK 48 kg champion, Denise Mellor

 parr_rammuay2.jpg (162638 bytes)



          Takako Shimoseki 
         performs the Ram Muay

Jussy Lowe

thai_teen-rammuay.jpg (62296 bytes)   
Namnoi Sakbunmar

        Nicola Fearnley Wai Kru

IKKC World Super flyweight Muay Thai Champion, Jussy Lowe of the UK. Click to see a nice large size image.


Ikkc World Muay Thai
   Champion, Vicki Roberts


   Angela Rivera does the
       Ram Muay while her opponent, 
      UKF International rules Champion, Gina 
     Leathers looks on... with apparent
Photo copyright
                 Mary Ann Owen



Jennifer Cutbill
(right)  Lorraina Hallasgo of the Phillipines on the left perform their pre fight ritual.

Noriko Tsunoda (standing) and her Thai opponent
(L) doing Ram Muay 



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