February 6th is a special day on the calendar for the global muaythai community as it marks World Muaythai Day.
It was on 2nd of May 2011 that the Thailand Ministry of Culture’s proposal to declare February 6th of each year Muaythai Day was officially approved by the Cabinet of the Royal Thai Government.
The day is intended to honour King Somdej Phra Sanphet the 8th, better known as Phra Chao Sua or Tiger King, of the Ayutthaya period. He is renowned in Thailand for his expertise in Thai martial skills. Phra Chao Sua rose to the throne on February 6th, 1702.
Over the last years, many important events have been organised since the inauguration at the Sport Authority of Thailand.
This year’s Muaythai Day is particularly special as Muaythai has set the Guinness World Record for the title of “Largest muaythai Wai Kru performance” performed by some 3,360 exponents.
Former WMC and IFMA World Champion, Buakaw Banchamek, led the Soldier performance at Rajabhakti Park. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and army chief, General Naronpan Jitkaethae and many officials from the Royal Thai Government were present.
It has been a fantastic build-up to the event since IFMA started to promote the Wai Kru when the first record was set in 2001 when 1500 school kids performed the Wai Kru for Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana Rajakanya at the AMTAT IFMA event.
In 2022 at the IFMA World Championships, 1800 youth from 92 countries performed at the opening of the Youth World Championships in a Wai Kru performance.
Today is a proud day reliving the traditions and the history of ancient times when soldiers performed their willingness to battle for King and Country, where Thailand celebrated the “Tiger King”, “Phra Chao Suea” which is for many, the father of Muaythai. Let us all celebrate the Wai Kru performances of the Royal Thai Army.
Muaythai is an IOC recognised combat sport where the Wai Kru and the ancient traditions play an important part. The Wai Kru and Mae Muaythai are both official medal competitions in the IFMA World Championships and multi-sport events recognised by the IOC.
Congratulations to the Royal Thai Army on behalf of IFMA for this historical performance and another important milestone with the 2023 IFMA World Championship and 30 years IFMA only around the corner.