Lanna Fon Daab

Nowadays this art has become more of a folk art and more of a dance than martial art.

It is usually performed with two swords smaller than the ones we use for Krabi Krabong.

For those of us that understand the warrior arts of Thailand it is easy to see where the martial techniques are hidden and I visited a master of the Fon Daab, Ajarn Gao Wai who is 78 yrs old and studied since he was 12yrs old and in his time he never learned the martial art side of the Fon Daab.

With the help of my Krabi Krabong teachers and my own research I have discovered that the Lanna Daab is the length of the fingers to elbow. Because the blades are shorter they were used more for medium to close range, attacking vital points and arteries.The footwork is more like Kung Fu with many twisting stances to avoid attacks and no direct blocks just parries due to lightness of the blades.

If the warrior lost his blades then he would employ empty hands similar to Muay Boraan, but would also use clawing techniques to incapacitate an opponent.

As in all martial arts it is the mindset that makes the Thai Warrior special I believe this stems from the culture and heritage.

It is a shame we can no longer learn this art as it was originally taught for the battlefield, but through people like Ajarn Gao Wai it will continue to be part of the Northern Thai culture and a link to the Lanna Kingdom.