Unveiling the Legacy of Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII: The Tiger King's Impact on Muay Boran's Prajao Suea Style
Muay Boran, the ancient martial art of Thailand, encompasses a rich tapestry of techniques and styles. Among its many variations, Prajow Seua, also known as Tiger King Style, stands out as an embodiment of power, agility, and ferocity. In this blog, we delve into the captivating world of Prajow Seua Muay Boran, exploring its unique characteristics, techniques, and cultural significance.
In the realm of Muay Boran, an ancient martial art form hailing from Thailand, one figure stands out as a legendary icon. Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII, also known as the Tiger King, was a martial artist whose skills and reputation were the stuff of legends. In this blog, we dive into the captivating story of Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII and the unique muay boran style he embodied: Prajao Suea, or the Tiger King style.
Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII: The Tiger King of Muay Thai (PraJaw Seua)
In the 1660s, during the Year of the Tiger, a remarkable figure emerged in the world of Muay Thai. Born with the name MaDeua, which translates to “fig tree” in Thai, he would later earn the moniker of the Tiger King. Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII’s journey began as a young boy who trained under the guidance of more than 10 Muay Thai masters from various regions across the kingdom.
As a teenager, a significant event showcased the Tiger King’s courage and strength. When an enraged adult elephant stormed near the palace, causing chaos, it was only young Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII who fearlessly approached the beast and led it away to a distant stream. Impressed by his bravery, his father, King Narai, appointed him as Luang Sorasak, a prestigious position within the elephant war department known as Krom Phra Kochabaan. Even at a tender age, Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII displayed leadership qualities, earning the admiration of his subordinates and his father, King Narai.
In 1703, Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII, also known as the Tiger King, ascended to the throne as the second ruler of the Baan Plu Luang dynasty on February 6th, becoming the 29th monarch of Krungsri Ayutthaya. Despite his regal responsibilities, the Tiger King’s true passion lay in Muay Thai. Instead of confining himself within the palace walls, he ventured out, traveling by land and sea, indulging in activities such as fishing, hunting, and, most notably, his beloved Muay Thai.
While being the king meant few dared to challenge him in the ring, the Tiger King, yearning for genuine competition, disguised himself as a commoner and participated in various boxing events. Viewed as just another contender, he faced opponents without any special treatment. Time and time again, the Tiger King emerged victorious, showcasing his unparalleled skill and leaving no doubt as to his supremacy in the sport.
To honor the Tiger King’s significant contributions to Muay Thai, the 6th of February is celebrated as Muay Thai Day by the Ministry of Culture in Thailand. This annual event serves as a reminder of the Tiger King’s remarkable reign and his unwavering dedication to the art of Muay Thai.
Somdet Pra Sanphet VIII, the Tiger King, remains an iconic figure in the history of Muay Thai. His legacy endures, inspiring practitioners to embody his courage, strength, and love for the sport. Through his remarkable journey, the Tiger King has left an indelible mark on Muay Thai, forever etching his name in the annals of martial arts history.