Tony Jaa practice some incredible move for fighting and chasing scenes in Ong Bak Movie and also show some ancient form of Muay Boran (the predecessor to Muay Thai)
Tony Jaa's Training: "My master used to be an actor and a director. I learned from the sets of the movies of my master and I would work on the sets, everything from being a waterboy. Then I went on to study at a physical education university where they taught every type of martial arts and sports." Now, Jaa trains "8 hours a day. I wake up five to six a.m., run about 10 kilometers, then do a warm-up and go over all the moves of Muay Thai. Then gymnastics for flexibility."
Tony Jaa's Style: "I love Muay Thai and love any form of martial art. Muay Thai is able to show Thai culture and provide entertainment as well in its clearest form. The main part of Muay Thai is using the knees and the elbows. And the culture and the heritage that goes into Muay Thai is different from other martial arts. The incorporation of gymnastics into Muay Thai where I do a backflip and kicks. make Muay Thai seem prettier."
Muay Thai in Film: "Muay Thai hasn't been used in any films that we've seen and I wanted to bring that Muay Thai to films for people to know it and as a Thai person, that's important. It's different in the way they present the martial arts, but all martial arts have the same basis of being part of nature and the way they present themselves and the way they name the different types of moves. Like Muay Thai, we put an emphasis on the knees and the elbows, whereas Wushu, they name their moves after animals."
Real Action in Ong-Bak: Ong-Bak, Tony Jaa's first film, showcases Jaa's natural abilities without special effects or wire enhancements. At a time when even Jackie Chan is using wires, Jaa felt "I want to make it seem realistic and for viewers to see that it is possible to do those stunts on your own." This includes a chase scene where Jaa runs along the tops of people's heads. "It's hard," Jaa said. "You have to practice until you're used to it." And the people below? "They're okay with it."
Tony Jaa Goes One on One in Ong-Bak: To make each one on one fight scene look unique, "It depends on the person. I look at the character. A more fierce person, I put more fierce character into it. Or the Japanese guy who does a lot of footwork, we would do more Muay Thai sequences into that." Jaa also picks up props and fights with them. "The image of Jackie Chan is already there, and Jackie Chan is my inspiration but sometimes picking up those props and working them into the film just fits in better."
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