Muay Thai Tattoo symbols and meanings

Muay Thai tattoo symbols, also called Sak Yant tattoos, are protective emblems with a deep meaning rooted in ancient traditions of Hindu and Buddhist religions. They grant the bearer desirable attributes such as: power, strength, fearlessness, protection, charisma, health, sexual attractiveness, fortune, and confidence. Yantra tattooing traditions are at least 2000 years old among south-east Asian cultures.
Sak Yant tattoos are deeply rooted in Thai culture and are immensely popular among Muay Thai fighters. I want to share with you the most popular yant tattoo designs and their attributes and meanings. If you want to dive even deeper into this subject I recommend this beautifully illustrated book about Sak Yant sacred tattoos.

Sak Yant Muay Thai tattoo patterns and meanings:

Tiger Yant: Twin Tigers tattoo

The tiger is a symbol of strength, power, and fearlessness. Twin tigers stand for the highest level of power. It is suitable tattoo for a person with authority over the others. It is one of the most popular Muay Thai tattoo designs for fighters.

Five Lines tattoo

Five magical spells that protect against, respectively:

  • evil spirits
  • bad fortune
  • black magic
and also grants:
  • a good fortune
  • a sexual attractiveness
So like you see it is a very handy ink to have even if you don't train Muay Thai

Eight Directions tattoo

This tattoo represent the 8 poses of Buddha - it protects and grants a good luck and protects from hazards from all directions. The straight lines up represents the paths to enlightenment.

Nine Peaks tattoo

It represents 9 Buddhas that grants 12 distinctive special powers and blessings:

  • the first increases your popularity
  • the second protects you from injury
  • the third helps to defeat the enemy
  • the forth gives power and authority over the other people
  • the fifth grants the loyalty of the others and desire to fight for you
  • the sixth grants the invincibility
  • the seventh grants luck in new enterprises
  • the eighth increases your popularity with the opposite sex
  • the ninth brings a good fortune
  • the tenth benefits your destiny
  • the eleventh protects against violence
  • the twelfth improves your circumstances at work

Hanuman, the Monkey God tattoo

Hanuman tattoo represents fighter's qualities like strength, stamina and agility and it is also a symbol of devotion to martial arts in a case of Muay Thai fighter. There is an ancient Hanuman fighting style in Muay Boran, a martial art that evolved into Muay Thai which utilize "monkey-like" movement and a powerful uppercut technique where a fighter use both had in piston-like movement to strike the opponents chin:

Ganesh - Hindu elephant God tattoo

Ganesh is a God that can remove the obstacles of any nature and clear the way for those that pay homage to him. It is also the symbol of protection. So like you see Muay Thai tattoos, traditionally called Sak Yant, have a deeper meaning and a purpose and are not only worn for decorative reasons. I hope I helped you to choose a design that resonates with your personality.

Read more about rich Thai culture and history:

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