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MT - Knowledge - Wai (1)

How to Bow

The Thai greeting referred to as the Wai (pronounced "why") consists of a slight bow, with the palms pressed together. It has its origin in the Indic Añjali Mudr, like the Indian namasté and the Cambodian sampeah. The higher the hands are held in relation to the face and the lower the bow, the more respect or reverence the giver of the Wai is showing.


The wai is traditionally observed upon entering formally a house. After the visit is over, the visitor asks for permission to leave and repeats the salutation made upon entering. The wai is also common as a way to express gratitude or to apologise.


We use the Wai as a gesture of gratitude to our Trainer and Gym (including fellow students) when entering and leaving the Gym as well as at the start and end of each session. You should also Wai whenever you commence and end partnering up with someone.

The Wai is performed by all the Thai and we maintain the heritage of Thailand in Modern Muay Thai.

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