Muay Thai Techniques
Kicking in Thai Boxing
This is one of the most famous techniques of Muay Thai. It is primarily used as an attack at a distance from your opponent. You must practice for flexibility and speedy attacking ability in both legs. And you should practice putting your kicks in combos of attacks. Also, kicks help you defend against your opponent’s tactics.
One way to practice your kicks is by stepping forward twice, kicking, and repeating the same steps but with the alternate feet starting. When you kick forward with your left leg, your body will rotate to the right. And vice versa. When you practice kicking the air, you don’t have to kick as powerful as you can, but try to work on your kicks’ power when training with a punching bag. Using the kick depends on the situation within the fight and/or the tactics and strategies you choose to fight with. Kicks are primarily targeted toward the shins, from your opponent’s knees down to his ankles.
In the past, men managed to turn their own "vehicle of transport", namely feet into a lethal weapon. It was violent and powerful."Tao" (feet) is the vocabulary of the Southerners of Thailand, the official word is "Tae" - kick.
Types of Kicking
Muay Thai Teep
This is an important technique and is mainly used as a defensive strategy to control or block attacks. It can lead you into better space to attack your opponent. It also leads into combos of attacks. You should practice the foot thrust with both feet to be flexible and accurate on both sides. Step forward and lift your foot to thrust in a straight forward motion. Step backward after your thrust, shifting your weight to the other leg in order to be in the right position to thrust with your other foot. Repeat the same steps, starting by stepping forward. While using this technique, consider what strategies and circumstances best take advantage of the foot thrust’s effectiveness. The foot thrust uses the sole of your foot to hit your opponent.
Aspects of the teep
Teep-trong (Straight Foot Thrust)
In your guard stance, put your weight between your legs. Bend your left knee and lift it up so that your knee is up close to your chest. Thrust it straight out fast and hard. Rotate the left side of your waist forward for extra power. Your weight will be on your right foot, and when you thrust forward, shift your weight onto your toes. The sole of your foot should hit the stomach, chest, or face of your opponent.
Teep-jik (Poking Foot Thrust)
In your guard stance, shift your weight between your legs and lift your left knee, bending your knee up close to your chest. Thrust your left leg forward and rotate the left side of your waist forward for more power. Lengthen your foot outward so that only your toes will come into contact with your opponent. You should attack your opponent’s stomach with your toes. While attacking, your weight will be on your right foot, and as you push forward, your weight should move forward onto the toes of your right foot.
Teep-duay-sone (Slapping Foot Thrust)
In your guard stance, shift your weight between your legs and lift your left leg up, with your bent knee up close to your chest. Thrust straight out with your leg, and rotate the left side of your waist forward for more power. Your weight will be on your right foot, so shift forward onto your toes when you thrust forward. Use your heel to attack your opponent.
Muay Thai Side Teep:
Turn sideways toward your opponent (in this case, your right side). Rotate your waist to the left and drop your left shoulder a bit and put your weight on your left foot. At the same time, lift up your right leg and bend your knee sideways back toward your body. Then snap it back out toward your opponent with your foot thrust. This is used after a bad kick or punch as your second opportunity to hit your opponent’s face or chest.
Muay Thai Teep to the Face (High Teep):
Looks impressive, caution should be used when teeping the face.
A well-place foot can break the nose, or teeth. Although the same outcome can be reached with high kicks, teeps are often more difficult to control – especially if your opponent decides to move towards your foot at the same time. The effect would be similar to getting your face stomped on, but standing up. It is only practised on bags and pads.
Aspects of the High Teep
Muay Thai Low kick
Very famous kick. Step forward a little bit with your right foot, shift your weight to that foot, and lift your left leg up, bending your left knee a little bit. Kick toward your opponent in a circular motion, targeting the outside of the right thigh of your opponent or the inside of his left thigh. Use your right foot as the centre of your swing and push off of it by rotating forward with the left side of your body.
Aspects of the Low Kick
The correct movement for this kind of kick is that the boxer must bend his legs a little and swing the kick to the area around the knee-joint or the back of the knee-joint. The kicking leg, to be really powerful, should be straightened. One should move forward to kick with the hand guard up securely. Do not drop your guard, or you might suffer from the counter-punch.
The sweeping kick can be divided into two categories:
Kick to the outside of the knee-joint
This is the kick to the outside of the opponent’s knee-joint. For a proper kick, the boxer must sway his body a little away from the opponent, then move right up to the opponent with this kind of kick as a greeting (although unwelcomed) gesture.
Kick to the inside of the knee-joint
This is the kick to the inside of the opponent’s knee-joint by stepping closer to the opponent by swinging the kick to the inside. When the foot hits the target, the opponent’s leg will be blasted sideways, thus making him lose balance. At this moment, one has many options for doing damage.
This kind of kick could be coped with by using the Ta Ham Tap position (Blocking the army). The trick is to thrust the arch of the foot against the opponent’s upper thigh. An alternative measure is to step away from the opponent’s swing. Just as the kick misses the target, one can counter by using other weapons.
Muay Thai Middle Kick
The basic weapon of muay Thai is the roundhouse kick to the body. “It is one of the easiest strikes to land, and you kick with your shin, so it’s very powerful and effective.
You have so much power because you put your whole body into it. Behind your leg, your hip and your shoulder are driving forward into the target. You don’t just kick the target; you kick through the target.
If you perform the roundhouse kick properly and turn into the target, your shoulder will be positioned between your chin and your opponent’s line of fire and that will afford you some protection from a punch.
Muay Thai High Kick
This is a two steps kick, done by alternating the feet so as to spring the body into the air. For example, if you want to make a right kick, raise the left foot to spring the body above the ground. While suspended in mid-air, use the other foot, namely, raising the right foot for a vertical kick, aiming for the chin. To perform this kick properly and effectively, one has to be confident that one is sufficiently fast, agile, and could make timely decision. If you miss the target with this kick, you might end up crawling on the floor or your legs might be swept off the floor so that you would fall helplessly and ignominiously on the floor.
Aspects of the High Kick
Muay Thai Axe Kick:
An axe kick is often used to target an opponent's head, clavicle.
Raise your rear leg vertically as high as you can and then bring your leg down against the target. You can also use your lead leg in order to do a front leg axe kick.
Try to strike the target with the heel of your foot. The hard bone of the heel is more effective than striking with the sole or ball of your foot.This kick should only be used in certain situations because you are leaving your groin exposed for a counter attack.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of this kicking technique, you need to work on your flexibility because it is easy to pull a hamstring with an over-extended axe kick.
Muay Thai Scissor Kick:
Or flying scissor kick. It is the best techniques of Saenchai.
text from the books:
"Muay Thai Self Study" by Blackrouse group
"Muay Thai. The Most Distinguished Art Of Fighting" by Panya Kraitus