Sitmonchai fighter Thepnimit is now offering beautifully handcrafted mongkols (Muay Thai headpieces) and prajiouds (armbands) made of traditional Thai textiles. The cloth is hand-woven by his mother in Isaan and by other local artisans. It takes Thepnimit a couple of days to pour his passion into crafting a set which he then passes on to a local seamstress who sews it all together.
Thepnimit fights regularly at both Rajadamnern and Lumpinee stadiums, in addition to other Thai stadiums. He also fights internationally. Utilizing what has become the signature Sitmonchai style of devastating low kicks and strong hands, Thepnimit has earned the nickname of Mr. Knock for his high knockout rate.
A set of Thepnimit Sitmonchai’s matching mongkols and prajiouds, including shipping costs, start at 1,800 THB (approximately 52 USD / 48 EUR / 70 AUD). The items can be shipped internationally. For more information, message firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to Thepnimit Sitmonchai on Facebook.
Mongkol and Prajioud Basics
The mongkol and prajioud are considered sacred pieces worn by fighters while performing the Wai Kru before a Muay Thai fight. The mongkol is worn to show respect to a fighter’s trainer(s), gym and family. The prajioud is worn to protect against bad luck and may have amulets and/or other good luck pieces sewn into it. The mongkol is taken from the head of the fighter by one of their corner persons prior to fighting, while the prajioud is worn during the fight. Wearing a mongkol is necessary whilst wearing a prajioud or a set of prajiouds is not.
Traditionally, a kru (trainer) will present a mongkol (and sometimes accompanying prajiouds) to a fighter once it’s believed that their student is ready to represent them and the gym. I’ve experienced this while training in Isaan, and it was truly a beautiful and unexpected moment for this to happen. I felt respected by my kru and the presentation acted as a bonding experience between us, representative of the hard work we both put into my training.
Although the above is considered traditional Thai practice, I’ve also trained at gyms where mongkols were communal. This didn’t mean that some Thai fighters didn’t have their own, rather, it was more common for fighters to use one of the gym’s mongkols. There are some gyms in Thailand which still reserve the use of their mongkols for their male fighters. For example, while at Chuwattana Gym in Bangkok, I was not allowed to use the gym’s mongkol because I’m a woman. It’s considered to be bad luck for the males in the gym to have an adult female wear their mongkol. I was unaware of this tradition and showed up to fight without one. From my experience, foreign men training at the Thai gyms I occupied were allowed to use a gym’s mongkol. However, if in doubt and if you’re intending to train and fight in Thailand, particularly if you’re female, you may want to ask and/or show up prepared.
Please note, traditionally it’s considered both bad luck and poor taste to have your mongkol low near the ground and certainly to be placed on it. Thais keep their mongkols high above the ground: ringside on a post, on a hook in a room, etc. If you’re training or planning to train in Thailand, I highly suggest doing the same.