MUAY THAI KICKBOXING

Our Muay Thai Kickboxing program is a high energy, challenging class that will make you sweat. Using real Muay Thai gear such as heavy bags, Muay Thai pads, shin guards and 16-ounce gloves a great workout is guaranteed. At the same time, you will condition yourself using the same time-tested training techniques used by professional fighters without getting hurt. So if you want to get in great fighting shape while learning how to defend yourself like a real fighter this is the class for you. Combine this class with the Krav Maga class and you have all bases covered.

 

What Is Muay Thai

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and is practiced in large parts of the world, including Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States. Traditional Muay Thai practiced today varies significantly from the ancient art Muay Boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing.

Muay Thai is referred to as “The Art of the Eight Limbs“, as the fists, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A practitioner of Muay Thai (“nak muay“) thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight “points of contact,” as opposed to “two points” (fists) in Western boxing and “four points” (fists, feet) used in the primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts.

Muay Thai techniques

In its original form, Muay Thai consisted of an arsenal of nine weapons – the head, fists, elbows, knees, and feet – known collectively as na-wa arwud. However in modern Muay Thai, both amateur and professional, head-butting an opponent is no longer allowed.

Clinching is greatly used in MUAY THAI. Clinching is when a fighter strikes and then binds the opponent for both offensive and defensive purposes. At the same time takedowns and sweeps are permitted in Muay Thai sometimes with entertaining results.

 

Formal MUAY THAI techniques are divided into two groups: Mae Mai or major techniques and Luk Mai or minor techniques. MUAY THAI is often a fighting art of attrition, where opponents exchange blows with one another. This is certainly the case with traditional stylists in Thailand but is a less popular form of fighting in the contemporary world fighting circuit. With the success of MUAY THAI in mixed martial arts fighting, it has become the go-to martial art of choice for competitive stand-up fighters. As a result, it has evolved and incorporated much more powerful hand striking techniques used in western style boxing and the Thai style of exchanging blow for blow is no longer favorable.

 

When MUAY THAI fighters compete against fighters of other styles (and if the rules permit it), they almost invariably emphasize elbow and knee techniques to gain a distinct advantage in fighting. Almost all techniques in MUAY THAI use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each kick, punch, and block. The rotation of the hips in MUAY THAI techniques and intensive focus on “core muscles” (such as abdominal muscles and surrounding muscles) is very distinctive and is what sets MUAY THAI apart from other styles of martial arts.

The punch techniques in were originally quite simple being crosses and a long (or lazy) circular strike made with a straight (but not locked) arm and landing with the heel of the palm. Cross-fertilization with Western boxing and western martial arts mean the full range of western boxing punches are now used such as the jab, cross, hook, uppercut, shovel and corkscrew punches and overhands as well as hammer fists and back fists.

As a tactic, body punching is not often seen in MUAY THAI than most other striking martial arts to avoid exposing the attacker’s head to counter strikes from knees or elbows. To utilize the range of targeting points, in keeping with the Theory of the Centre Line, the advocate can use either Western or Thai stance which allows for either long range or short range attacks to be undertaken effectively without compromising guard.

Another distinct technique in Muay Thai is the use of kicking the opponent’s legs. Muay Thai fighters will wear down an opponent by kicking their base so much that the opponent will barely be able to stand. This technique has been copied by many MMA fighters such as in the UFC and other organizations. There have been many fights where a smaller fighter defeats a larger one because they cut that person's legs from underneath them.

The elbow is used often in MUAY THAI and can be used in several ways as a striking weapon: horizontal, diagonal-upwards, diagonal-downwards, uppercut, downward, backward-spinning and flying. From the side, it can be used as either a finishing move or as a way to cut the opponent’s eyebrow so that blood might block his vision. The blood also raises the opponent’s awareness of being hurt which could affect his performance. This is the most common way of using the elbow. 

The two most common kicks in Muay Thai are known as the teep and the teh chiang.

The teep also known as the push kick is literally a “foot jabs” and is one of the most common techniques used in Muay Thai. Teeps are different from any other Muay Thai technique in terms of an objective to use. Foot-thrusts are mainly used as a defensive technique to control distance, block attacks, and get an opponent off balance. These kicks should be thrown quickly but yet with enough force to knock an opponent off balance.

The teh chiang kick also known as the Muay Thai roundhouse has been widely adopted by fighters from other martial arts. This kick uses a rotational movement of the entire body. This kick is superficially similar to a karate roundhouse kick but omits the rotation of the lower leg from the knee used in other striking martial arts like Karate or Taekwondo. This kick draws its power entirely from the rotational movement of the body. Many Muay Thai fighters use a counter rotation of the arms to intensify the power of this kick.

 

If an opponent tries to roundhouse a Thai fighter he will normally block the kick by raising his shin in a matter that it disrupts the attacker's kick. Thai boxers are trained to always strike with their shins. While sensitive in an unconditioned practitioner, the shin is the strongest part of the leg for experienced Muay Thai fighters. In fact, practitioner's in Thailand have such developed shins they can actually chop down banana trees by simply kicking them. 

A version of this kick was scientifically proven recently, by National Geographic Channel’s Fight Science, to be the strongest blow using the legs in martial arts. The test subject, Melchor Menor, delivered the strike to a high-tech dummy. This test proved that if it had been a live person receiving that blow it would have fragmented the ribs, caused two inches of chest compression and caused severe internal bleeding in the organs.

Muay Thai also includes other varieties of kicking, such as the axe kick, side kick or spinning back kick etc. Some famed fighters even use jumping and acrobatic kicks. One of the best fighters such as Saenchai use kicks such as the one arm handstand kick while some others have been known to do cartwheel kicks. 

 

One thing worth noting is that Sidekicks are performed differently in Muay Thai than in other martial arts. In Muay Thai, a sidekick is executed by first raising the knee of the leg that is going to kick in order to convince the opponent that the executor is going to perform a teep or front kick. The hips are then shifted to the side to the more traditional sidekick position for the kick itself. The “fake-out” almost always precedes the kick in Muay Thai technique.

In Western Boxing the two fighters are separated when they clinch; in Muay Thai, however, they are not. It is often in the clinch where knee and elbow techniques are used. The front clinch should be performed with the palm of one hand on the back of the other. There are three reasons why the fingers must not be intertwined.

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In the ring, fighters are wearing boxing gloves and cannot intertwine their fingers.

The Thai front clinch involves pressing the head of the opponent downwards, which is easier if the hands are locked behind the back of the head instead of behind the neck. Furthermore, the arms should be putting as much pressure on the neck as possible

A fighter may incur an injury to one or more fingers if they are intertwined, and it becomes more difficult to release the grip in order to quickly elbow the opponent’s head.

A correct clinch also involves the fighter’s forearms pressing against the opponent’s collarbone while the hands are around the opponent’s head rather than the opponent’s neck. The general way to get out of a clinch is to push the opponent’s head backward or elbow him or her, as the clinch requires both participants to be very close to one another. Additionally, the non-dominant clincher can try to “swim” his or her arm underneath and inside the opponent’s clinch, establishing the previously non-dominant clincher as the dominant clincher. When clinching Muay Thai fighters can sweep, strike and throw their opponents.

​Defenses in Muay Thai are categorized in 6 groups:

​Blocking

Redirection

Avoidance

Evasion

Disruption

Anticipation

 

​Because Muay Thai is such a logically based form of martial art you see now why Muay Thai is the MMA fighter’s choice to stand up striking.