Researched, developed & created by Kru Shaun Boland Chief Instructor & founder for Chao Phraya Muay Thai Academies & Kru Leigh Edlin Senior Instructor for Chao Phraya Muay Thai academy Lincoln.
2. GRADING STRUCTURE
3. 1ST KHAN
4. 2ND KHAN
5. 3RD KHAN
6. 4TH KHAN
7. 5TH KHAN
8. 6TH KHAN
9. 7TH KHAN (Assistant Instructor)
10. 8TH KHAN (Instructor)
12. THEORY ANSWERS
Historically the coloured belt system came from Japan when Jigaro Kano, the founder of Judo, created a grading syllabus for his students and as a result the coveted Black Belt was created. Other styles and systems followed suit and you can now grade in most martial arts such as; Gung Fu, Taekwondo, Karate, Tang Soo Do and Ju Jitsu to name but a few.
Traditionally there are no official grading systems used by the Thais in Muay Thai. The grades or ranks of Kru (instructor) Arjarn (master) and Bramarjarn (grand-master) are earned through years of dedication and commitment in the art of Muay Thai and the majority of these mentors have fought many professional fights to gain their status.
Gradings in Muay Thai have been introduced to satisfy the requirements and needs of the Westerner for reward and merit.
Our original grading syllabus was created by Kru Shaun Boland in 2001 allowing the student the opportunity to reach instructor status, but, more importantly, it offers them the chance to grow both physically and mentally in the art of Muay Thai. Students were graded every 3 months with the aim to reach instructor status within 3-4 years. The grading syllabus ran successfully for 5 years, however, in 2006 after much deliberation, Kru Shaun decided to completely restructure the syllabus. His decision was based upon several reasons.
• A more comprehensive grading syllabus was required to reach the high standards of our academy
• Certain elements of the old grading syllabus were not required
• Students were rushing to learn their grades prior to the 3 monthly gradings and standards of technique were being sacrificed.
• Students were missing gradings during the summer holiday season
• Twice yearly gradings allow a better learning curve for the student
So that the students can concentrate on the technical & theoretical elements of the grade it was decided to remove the fitness section. The student trains arduously throughout the year and therefore their fitness should already be an attribute when grading. The student who is unfit would, by default, not grade so the removal of the fitness section allows more time to be spent technically and theoretically. In addition, if the fitness section is too difficult it is hard to grade a student accurately if their techniques are blunted by exhaustion. After all, you would not do a 5 mile run, 100 push ups and 100 sit-ups prior to a fight!
Gradings are held twice yearly and the student is assessed by either a senior instructor or the Chief instructor. The student is required to demonstrate good techniques showing correct balance, agility, speed and power in addition to understanding, discipline and heart. students wear the coloured Prajit (arm band) as a symbol of their rank and achievement. The re-structured syllabus is outlined below and it follows both traditional and modern aspects of Muay Thai including theory sections on Thai Language, culture and history.
1ST KHAN – WHITE PRAJIT
PURITY – The mind is open to learning; the student takes the first steps towards learning balance, guard and stance and develops the basics of the 4 weapons of Muay Thai – kicks, punches, knees and elbows. Discipline and structure are introduced in this phase.
2nd KHAN – YELLOW PRAJIT
SCHOLAR – The student now develops a base knowledge on how to combine the techniques, to add timing and rhythm. Development of clinch work and sparring is also enhanced. This phase introduces the student to Thai history, language & culture. The clinch game starts
3rd KHAN – ORANGE PRAJIT
COMPETANCE – The student can now competently demonstrate techniques with confidence, showing balance, agility, speed and power. The first stages of the Wai Kru and Ram Muay are introduced in this phase.
4th KHAN – GREEN PRAJIT
TECHNICAL – The student has now developed a technical understanding of Muay Thai and can demonstrate this in sparring. The student can also demonstrate the Wai Kru & Ram Muay of Chao Phraya Muay Thai.
5th KHAN – BLUE PRAJIT
HARMONY – Both technical and academic knowledge can now be demonstrated by the student. The harmonious blending of knowledge and skill is developed in this phase and the student can demonstrate the balance of these attributes.
6th KHAN – BROWN PRAJIT
FLUIDITY – The student can now demonstrate all aspects of Muay Thai showing skill, control, discipline, agility and heart. Fighting skills are honed and the student can demonstrate these within a competitive environment.
7th KHAN – RED/WHITE PRAJIT
COMPREHENSION – The student now demonstrates clear understanding of both technical and theoretical knowledge Muay Thai and can teach and pass this knowledge on competantly and confidently to a class. This is the first stage towards becoming an instructor. Upon completion of this grade the student receives the status of Assistant instructor.
8TH KHAN – RED PRAJIT & RED MONGKON
ENLIGHTENMENT – The student tests to become an instructor and demonstrates the ability to teach others. Knowledge of fighter training in addition to fighter preparation is required. The student must be able to demonstrate hand-wrapping, massage and corner-man/trainer skills. The ability to teach correct pad holding for both beginners and fighters is essential. At the end of this grade the student receives their instructor status.
9th KHAN – RED/SILVER PRAJIT & RED/SILVER MONGKON
RESPONSIBILITY – The instructor runs their own school demonstrating discipline, knowledge and empathy. Training of fighters and organising fights for their Nak Muay is also required. At the end of this grade the instructor will be awarded senior instructor status
10th KHAN – RED/BLACK PRAJIT & RED/BLACK MONGKON
DEVELOPMENT – This is the grade of the chief instructor and it is their responsibility to promote the continuing development of Muay Thai & Thai culture through their teachings.