Traditional Muay Thai warriors take pride in who they are, what they have been through, and what they have worked for. It is also a fact that most traditional fighters on the ring have certain belief systems which they carry all throughout their training and fight. This belief systems somehow highlight the importance of Muay Thai tattoo ideas when starting off your training. Tattoos, particularly San Yant tattoos, are exalted for their symbolism and this can be pretty clear when one starts training in a discipline where brute force and passionate spirit are constant requirements.
Sak Yant Tattoos
When thinking of Muay Thai tattoos, one thing always come to mind– Sak Yant. Bamboo tattoo method is a huge deal in Thailand and other Asian countries. This is usually carried out by Buddhist monks and accepted like holy ink to traditional Muay Thai fighters. Like amulets, some devoted fighters even have chants and spells to do on a daily basis in reverence to the sleeves they wear in the hope of keeping them unscathed on every fight and to keep their performance in tiptop shape. Some of most sought after tattoos in Muay Thai that have spread all throughout the West are the following:
Hah Taew (5 Sacred Lines)
Long before Angelina Jolie sport this sacred tattoo, Muay Thai fighters across the globe inked their skin with the Hah Taew in their quest for guidance, goodluck and protection. Depending on the variations, each of these lines carry significant meanings which traditional fighters show reverence. Each of the tattoos sacred line cast a spell to the wearer with the first row/line to ward off unwanted spirits, the 2nd row against bad fortune, 3rd row to protect from curse and black magic, 4th row for energy and good fortune, and the 5th row as charisma or as a boost to the 4th line.
Gao Yord (Buddha Peaks)
Another tattoo widely popularized by celebrities like Cara Delevingne, Gao Yord or Buddha Peaks are usually seen on the nape or just right above the spine of many Muay Thai fighters. Considered as one of the most sacred tattoo in Buddhism and one of the most significant Sak Yant tattoos, it offers wide-ranging prowess and protection to the wearer from Mount Meru and the 9 powerful Buddhas. Overall design offers protection from injuries, added ability to defeat evil or enemies, more fighting power and control, good fortune, charm, and of receiving kindness from anyone you meet. According to legend, any fighter who devote their time to chanting spells involve with the Gao Yord is often given the gift of invincibility.
Paed Tidt (8 Directional Yant)
Yet another sacred tattoo the Paed Tidt or Eight Direction usually appears as geometric designs with hidden meanings for each symbol therein. It appeals to the Buddhas for protection whenever, wherever. Mantras are written on it and, according to local beliefs, anyone who wears it must perform specific chants to truly enjoy its effect. Aside from protection, this tattoo helps beginners in Muay Thai to ward off negative ambiance that may hinder their learning skills.
One of the most popular and often abused Muay Thai tattoo ideas is the tiger. The tiger design is full of legends and myths. A symbol of power, strength and ferocity, adding this ink on your skin is believed to help awaken your fire from within. In Sak Yant, the twin tiger tattoo above is the most popular as it bestows the highest level of power and ferocity to the wearer.
Apart from the popular geometric lines used in Sak Yant Tattoos, many Muay Thai fighters offer their bodies in reverence to the gods– Hanuman, Garuda and Ganesha.
Hanuman. The Monkey God is one of the most popular tattoos known to embody strength, agility, wisdom and stamina. Muay Boran fighters, for instance, used to have a Hanuman fighting technique that imbibe monkey-like moves as an offensive mechanism. The Hanuman tattoo also shows a fighter’s devotion to Muay Thai.
Garuda. The Bird King is another principal deity in Hinduism. It is known to provide Muay Thai fighters the ability to take flight and defeat evil and enemies with strength and agility. According to local beliefs in both Indonesia and Thailand, wearing Garuda on your skin and doing chants for it will help devour black magic, curses and other evils hampering your ability to win a fight.
Ganesha. The Hindu god with an elephant’s head and potbelly is worshiped across Asia. This tattoo design is often used by fighters to give them good fortune, protection and success in winning fights. Modern tattooing method usually depicts a variety of poses and color for this design.
More Than Aesthetics
Muay Thai tattoo ideas listed above are not only revered for their aesthetic designs. They are more or less considered as body art for warriors. Traditional fighters consider the body as sacred as such, the divinity of tattoo designs integrated on their skin must also depict their beliefs and passion in life. Before you pick out yours, make sure to understand their hidden meanings to fully embrace their significance.