On Monday (Feb 6), a Muay Thai “wai kru” ceremony in Hua Hin broke the Guinness World Record for the largest number of participants in a single event of this traditional Thai martial art.
The “wai kru” ceremony is an important part of Muay Thai culture, where fighters pay respect to their teachers, parents, and ancestors before a match.
Over 3,000 people gathered at Rajabhakti Park in Hua Hin to participate in the historic event, which was witnessed by the Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan O Cha and scores of onlookers.
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The participants, who ranged from soldiers and volunteers to amateur fighters and professional athletes, performed the traditional “wai kru” dance in unison, displaying the unity and respect that is at the heart of the sport.
The performance broke the previous Guinness World Record of 250 by having 3,660 participants perform the Wai Kru simultaneously for more than 5 minutes.
Dressed in red uniforms with white Mongkhon headbands the performance was led by famous Muay Thai fighter Sombat “Buakaw” Banchamek.
Mr. Kirimura Katsuyoshi, President of the Guinness World Records confirmed that the attempt had been successful.
“Congratulations, you’re officially amazing,” Mr. Kirimura said, who later presented an official certificate to PM Prayuth.
The event was organized by the Thai Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Royal Thai Army, in collaboration with the Muay Thai Association of Thailand, and other organizations including Hua Hin Municipality.
The event was the culmination of the Amazing Muay Thai Festival, which was being held in Hua Hin from 2 to 6 February 2023, in order to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the sport.
The event also coincided with “National Muay Thai Day,” which falls on 6 February every year, to commemorate the day Somdej Phrasanphet – commonly known as Phra Chao Suae, a king in the Ayutthaya period – ascended the throne. His Majesty was known for his mastery of Muay Thai, with his techniques still being taught today.
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is a unique martial art form combining grace and flow, and utilizing the hands, elbows, knees, and shins as weapons. It is also sometimes referred to as the “art of eight limbs.”
In addition to these strikes, Muay Thai also incorporates clinching and grappling techniques.
The sport has a rich cultural heritage in Thailand and is considered an integral part of the country’s national identity. It is often referred to as the “Sport of Kings” due to its popularity among the Thai royalty in the past. In addition to its cultural significance, Muay Thai has also become a popular sport worldwide with thousands of people practicing it for self-defense, fitness, or competition.
One of the unique features of Muay Thai is the use of all eight limbs to attack and defend. This provides practitioners with a wide range of striking options, making it a highly effective martial art for self-defense. The kicks in Muay Thai are particularly powerful, and the knee strikes can quickly end a fight.
In recent years, Muay Thai has gained popularity in the western world and has become a staple in many mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions. Many MMA fighters incorporate Muay Thai techniques into their fighting style due to its effectiveness in stand-up striking.