We found the official press kit for Ong Bak 2: The Beginning and thought the section that talks about the new martial arts style introduced in the film was kind of interesting. Check it out below:
No classification. All styles of martial arts are fused into one. The inspiration that leads to the discovery of “Natayuth,” the new martial arts style introduced in ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING.A young nobleman bears witness to the massacre of his family at the hands of a treacherous and power-crazed warlord. Bent on revenge, he joins a band of guerrilla fighters who school him in a dizzying array of martial arts and weaponry techniques before unleashing him on his unwavering mission to avenge his family's murder.
It is undeniable that the successes of Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and The Protector were not only phenomena never seen before in the history of Thai films, but they catapulted the name of “Tony Jaa” to be known all over the world. These two films helped elevate the awareness of Thai films and set a new standard for Thai action films in the world market.
Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior has let the world exposed to the delicate beauty and ferocious power of “ancient Thai boxing.” In The Protector, Tony Jaa and his mentor Panna Rittikrai introduced “Muay Kodchasarn” through the spectacular visual direction of director Prachya Pinkaew. This makes producing Thailand’s third world class action film a difficult and challenging task to make it more interesting, more spectacular, more unique, and most importantly better than any action film the world has seen.
The key idea that led to ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING originated from Tony Jaa’s effort to find new approaches for his next film while traveling all over the world to promote his first two films. It is his thinking that “martial arts and action films are the intermediaries that bring people of all races and languages to exchange thoughts and cultures without boundaries.”
It is the pride of Thai people that martial artists of all ages from all over the world has shown great interest and admiration in Thai boxing. Recently, Tony Jaa also showed that martial arts are borderless. Traveling to the “Martial Arts Global Celebration” event in China to receive the “Best Action Actor” award, Jaa gave the audience a surprise by elegantly performing Chinese martial arts dance in front of several top Chinese martial artists including Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, Donnie Yen, and Jet Lee. Jackie Chan was so impressed that he came onto the stage to give Jaa a hug, setting off a big round of roaring applause in the hall. This concept is similar to the project Jaa and Panna used to pitch to “Boss Jiang” Somsak Techaratanaprasert, Executive Producer and President of Sahamongkolfilm International, the studio that gave the world Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and The Protector. That project, titled “Venomous Man” was a short film about the ultimate martial artist who is an expert in all kinds of martial arts and weapons. How exciting would it be for fans of action films to see Tony Jaa perform all kinds of martial arts styles using all parts of his body?
“When we were developing the concept for ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING we really were thinking hard. Master Panna and I tried to find a unique storytelling angle. Then we thought of a short film Master Panna and I did as a proposal to Boss Jiang (Somsak Techaratanaprasert), which was called “Venomous Man.” The intention of the film was to show all kinds of martial arts from all over the world in one film without discriminating whether it is a fighting technique of Thailand, China, Japan, Korea, or any other nations. From that idea, I went on to study as many styles of martial arts as possible. For example, ancient Thai boxing, Chaiya Thai Boxing, Korat Thai boxing, Lopburi Thai boxing, Kung Fu, Ninjutsu, Taifudo (a combination of several kinds of martial arts including Aikido, Kung Fu, Judo, and Muay Thai). Several masters have given me advice, philosophies, and the spirits of each martial arts style. So I have decided to portray all of these important values in ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING.
It seems like Tony Jaa’s ability to train all kinds of martial arts and fuse them together is only the beginning that not only led to the search for the heart and soul of ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING, but also to the approach which could be considered the “turning point of action films.” “While we were making the film, I had a chance to hone my acting skills with “Teacher Aew” Orchuma Yuthawong (Thailand’s famous acting coach). I have learned how to control my inner state of mind. I have learned that the most powerful force is inside my body, and learned how to unlock that force. She taught me about the origin of each person’s identity. Teacher Aew also introduced me to Teacher Chet (Pichet Klunchuen, winner of the 2006 Silapathorn award in Performing Arts). He is a very extraordinary person and the teachers’ teacher among performing artists, especially Khon (Thai masked dance). He taught me the way of Khon. I started thinking of blending Khon and martial arts together. Would it be possible to make this combination into fighting moves? When we tried it out watched the tape of the workshop, we got to see the energy of both forces, which was both strange and very fascinating. It became a new style of fighting. Each of these fighting moves is one of its kind. I found out later from boxing masters that Thai boxing moves actually come from Khon, and there are sword and pole dancing and boxing moves in Khon too. So I decided to go see carvings and sculptures at ancient sites. I found rock sculptures of Hanuman from Ramayana in grappling moves. There are carvings of Rama and Lakshmana fighting Ravana and the demons. There are carvings of monkeys, garudas, and giant serpents. So I finally was able to piece all the puzzles together and invent a new martial arts style that is totally different from the first Ong Bak and The Protector. It is the fusion of Thai dancing and martial arts to create “Natayuth” fighting style. “Nata” means dancing, and “Yuth” means fighting. So “Natayuth” is the use of dancing moves to combat, which requires conscience, concentration, and intellect to perform. I am confident that there’s no other fighting style like this in the world. This is what we invented specifically for ONG BAK 2: THE BEGINNING besides demonstrating as many styles of martial arts in the world to the audience, including Kung Fu, Muay Thai, Sword and Pole, Samurai Swordplay, etc.
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning was directed by Tony Jaa and stars Tony Jaa, Sorapong Chatree, Sarunyoo Wongkrachang, Santisuk Promsiri, and Petchtai Wongkamlao.
The movie comes out in limited theaters this Friday, October 23rd.
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