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MT - Respect - Beginners Wai Kru (1)

3 Bows of Respect to Family, Trainer & Gym

The Wai Kru (Thai: pronounced "Why Crew") ceremony is a Muay Thai tradition that extends out of Thai culture. It basically means to pay respect to ones teacher and is also used as part of the initiation right, when asking to become a student of a trainer and their gym, and to formalize their gratitude for being accepted.
The basic ceremony which is used at the conclusion of the White / Black Armband grading is just the three bows. However when a student grades to Black Armband, a fighter receives a prajead fighting armband or a trainer receives a Mongkon the full ceremony is completed.
The three bows of the Wai Kru are to not only pay respect to one's Family, Trainer and Gym but also to identify a hierarchical structure of importance. The most important opinion and well being should be for one's family first, then one's trainer and finally one's gym. Anybody outside of this group that has an opinion on what you should do in Muay Thai does not count for anything. An example of this can be found when Muay Thai fighters start to care about who people on the internet say they should fight next, etc. Only your family, then your trainer and finally your gym care for your best interest, others do not care about you, so their opinion should not matter to you.



Your family and closest friends care the most about you. Your family also gave you a fighting body and it is their genetics that have allowed you to train in Muay Thai.



Your trainer also cares about you and has your best interest at heart. In fact your trainer has a duty of care for you to ensure that you do not jump in the ring with someone before you are ready. Your trainer gave you a fighting mind and it is their knowledge that has allowed you to train in Muay Thai.



Your gym also cares about you and helps you train, spar and inspire you. Your gym gives you fighting spirit and it is their encouragement and assistance that has allowed you to train in Muay Thai.


How to perform the basic Wai Kru (3 bows)

  • Kneel on your left knee first
  • Then kneel down on your right knee


  • Hold your hands together in front of your chest
  • Place your left hand on the gorund in front of you
  • Now place your right hand on the ground
  • Bring your head down towards your hands
  • Raise your head back up
  • Bring your right hand back to the centre of your chest
  • Now bring your left hand back to your chest as well
  • Raise both hands to your forehead and look up
  • Then look forward and return your hands to your chest


  • Repeat two more times


  • Stand with your right leg first
  • Then stand up with your left leg


Once you have completed the Wai Kru you have been accepted by your trainer as a student and part of the entire Black Dragon Kai team.

Please note the Wai Kru ceremony Black Dragon Kai practices is not religious or Buddhist. It is not Black Dragon Kai's place to impart religious belief to our members, as we have many members from almost every religion and do not wish to offend any. If you are after spiritual fulfilment seek out a church or temple. We do not practice any religious ceremonies or allow any religious icons in our clubs.

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