This teenage schoolgirl’s incredible sword fighting skills are helping to revive an ancient Thai martial art.
Nantakarn Duangthongyu, 16, started learning ‘Krabi Krabong’ when she was just 10 and is now one of the best in the country.
She has won a string of competitions and is the only girl who can battle four men at once – bravely dodging flying poles and blocking powerful shots with her shield.
Incredible footage shows the talented youngster in school uniform fighting four lads- some of them coming at her with two swords in each hand.
Nantakarn has mixed traditional moves with her own improvised manoeuvres to make her a formidable opponent.
Her skills are now helping to revive the popularity of the ancient martial art which stretches back centuries through Thai history.
Speaking from her school in Bangkok last week, Nantakarn said Krabi Krabong – which means long weapon short weapon – has given her confidence to protect herself.
She said: ”Krabi Krabong is fun and it’s worthwhile. It’s worth spending my time on. There are also opportunities to meet new people.
”I liked Krabi Krabong the first time I ever tried it. It’s challenging and also fun playing with friends. It’s also a way to learn to protect myself and become stronger.”
The schoolgirl said that while other girls like makeup and shopping for glamorous clothes, she spends her time practising her sword fighting techniques.
Nantakarn’s coach, Phacharaphon Banthitketumala, trains her and dozens of other youngsters in the revered martial art, which is one of the skills that all Thai kings have had to learn.
He believes that the martial are can also be adapted for the modern world to teach youngsters self-defence against muggers and street attackers.
He said: ”This history of Krabi Krabong is about protection. It is about protection and fighting in wars in the past. It has been passed on from generation to generation and it has adapted with different weapons through the ages.
”It still can be adapted in our daily lives today, in work life, in every day life, it’s always evolving.
”Krabi Krabong is one of the 18 martial arts that every Thai king has to learn. They have been preserved by the king.
”We have to pay respects to the king before performing and give thanks. It’s a way of worshiping the king wherever he is.
”Krabi Krabong is also present in Thai literature through the ages. It has always been a part of Thai culture and it’sunique to our country, culture and people.”