In Muay Thai fist techniques, the fists must be properly clenched to lessen the chance of spraining the wrists or cause inflammation of the hand muscles. Several Thai boxing champions who have turned to the international boxing and gone so far as to become the world champion are always plagued with the recurring injury, that is, the sprained wrists, inflamed hand or muscles. This is due to the improper manner of clenching the fists.
How to Clench a Fists
The trainee should stand with his arms by his side, this is Phase 1. Now bend the lower arm perpendicular to the upper arm with the elbow secured tightly to the body, this is Phase 2.The lower arms point directly in front with the palms upward and his fingers straight. ForPhase 3, make the hands into fist by rolling the fingers with the thumbs resting on the index and middle fingers. The fist should be form and tight.
Phase 4, the trainee should now release his elbows and lift the fists up to cover the solar plexus. One fist should be lower than the other by about 6 inches and both about 6 inches away from the chest. Twirl the fists forward and then back in a circular motion, about 6 times each (picture 1). Phase 5, the trainee should now move his fist in a movement from parallel to the floor to a 45 degree angle. (picture 2)
Muay Thai Punches is a basic of Muay Thai techniques. A long time ago, men did not have any weapons to fight wild animals and fellow humans. They had the instinct for survival and start to use their own organs as a defensive weapons to protect themselves. That is the beginning of punches.
Punch is the most weapon that easy to control if compare to other weapons which using other part of the body.
What part of Muay Thai punches to hit the target?
The proper Muay Thai Punch techniques, the fighter should use the knuckles to hit the target. Muay Thai does not specify a part that makes the contact but it is acknowledged that punching with knuckles is the most effective way.
Where is the target?
Generally, what targets on the opponent’s body that should be aims depends on the circumstances. Usually, the Muay Thai fighter should aims the area from the body upward towards the face. The potential targets for the fists are shown in the picture.
The Efficient Muay Thai Punch
Whatever part of the opponent’s body becomes the receiving end of your punches, you should pull the fist back immediately. In no circumstances, should you ever leave your fist on the target, as you would expose yourself to counter-punching. Remember that while you are throwing your punch, such action should serve to unnerve the opponent.
A good punch is a result of harmony and perfect synchronization, namely, the twist of the heels to add momentum to the hips movement, the move of the hips to strengthen the shoulder movement, and the turn of the shoulder to add to the power of the punch. Everything must be in synchronization to make the punch effective. The powerful punch will come if you combine forces of shoulder, hip and foot to put additional power of punch.
Twisting the Wrists Techniques
Twisting the wrists just before the contact is the most useful technique for an effective punching. If you do not have enough technique to throw a punch, your punch will often end up against the opponent’s arm guarding. By twisting and pushing its way through the protecting guard, The power and the accuracy of the punch will increase significantly.
Five Categories of Muay Thai Punches
- The Jab
- The Straight Punch
- The Swing
- The Uppercut
- The Hook
The jab is used to irritate the opponent or to find the range. Accurate and skilful jabbing will cause a lot of anxiety for the opponent. To throw this kind of punch accurately, one has to practice on the punching bag. The jab could be used in the attack, defence, or retreat.
The Straight Punch
In Muay Thai, we use straight punch mainly to attack oponent's facial area such as chin, nose and mouth. To increase the effectiveness of the punch, use the knuckle to attack the opponent as well as twisting the shoulders.
This kind of punch always use after the jab. Normally, the jab is punch thrown to find the range, so it would be followed by the straight punch which is widely known as the one-two punch.
Generally, the swing is thrown at a futher distance than the one covered by the hook. The favourite targets of the swing are around the jaw line or as low as the ribs. This punch could be thrown when there is a gap on the opponent's body or face. When the punch hits the target, make sure that the knuckles bear the brunt of the impact.
The uppercut punches mainly target to attack chin and stomach. When do the uppercut you should bend the knee and the elbow a bit, then make a ounch vertically to attack opponent. Uppercut will be used effectively when opponent is very close or when they are stooping, but sometimes, it is also possible to attack by knee kick instead of uppercut.
Hook mainly used to attack side facial area such temple nose and ear. To do the hook you need to bending elbow a bit, then using the back of the nuckle to attack. To increase the effectiveness of the hook, use the same technique as do the straight punch by twisting the shoulders.
Muay Thai elbow techniques are very important techniques since the elbow is one of the bare hands ultimate weapons. Elbow sharpness is equated to that of a razor blade. The elbow is a dangerous weapon that can produce horrifying cuts. That is why the elbow is a valuable tool for the fighting with bare hands. No other weapon can compare with the elbow in terms of brutality and blood-breeding capacity. It seems that the elbow strike is very unique weapon that make Muay Thai different from other martial arts sports. Elbow strike in Muay Thai can give very severe injuries to the opponent as it will be used to attack when opponent is closer distance and the major tarket of elbow strike are generally head facial area including jaw, temple, neck and so on. Using elbow strike is very flexible, you can move or swing elbow in any direction to attack, both vertically and horizontally but different method will give different impact to the attack. Variety of Muay Thai elbow strike are described below
Muay Thai Elbow Techniques Mechanism
First, the Muay Thai boxers should practices Muay Thai elbow techniques with the punch bags as much as possible to increase the sharpness and hardiness of the elbow. The contact part is the pointed tip of the elbow which is the sharpest part.
To increase the sharpness, Muay Thai boxers must swing the elbow in the narrowest angle. The best move that can create the wounds is when the elbow tips just scratches by the opponent. When the blood is drawn, the boxers should attack the same place to widen and deepen the wound.
The Efficient Muay Thai Elbows Techniques
For the good elbow techniques, the posture is very important. The legs must stand fairly firm. The front leg moves to the target and presses the tip of the foot against floor for a firm hold. The back foot’s tip should press against the floor also. At the moment of elbow striking, twist the heel, waist and hip in synchronize with the strike to increase the power. Do not hit the opponent too directly.
For instance, if you want to widen the wound around the opponent’s eyebrow, you must strike the elbow point just lightly scratch the target. The movement has to be sharp and violent. On the other hand, if you want to use elbow against the opponent’s chin, you must hit the elbow with full force to knock out the opponent.
The narrower of the angle and the faster of the elbow strike, the sharper and the better in precision, reliability, and confidence of the attack.
Eight types of Muay Thai Elbow Techniques
- Sok Ti (Elbow Strikes)
- Sok Tad (Perpendicular Elbow)
- Sok Hud (Levering Elbow)
- Sok Chieng (Diagonal Elbow)
- Sok Sab (Chopping Elbow)
- Sok Tong (Smash Downward Elbow)
- Sok Ku (Double Elbows)
- Sok Klab (Reverse Elbow)
Muay Thai knee techniques is an important technique in Muay Thai. Knee (Kao) is one of the lethal weapons in Muay Thai. The violence of the knee is equal to that of the elbow if the boxer used it properly with a good technique and timing.
The knee kick can be done by raising the knee to attack which may a bit harder for beginners because this requires proper balance maintain when attack. The main characteristic of using knee-kick is you gnerally have to be at close-quarter with opponent, but sometimes we can use knee kick to attack opponent while you are in long range such as flying knee kick. In most case, to use knee kick, you have to try to grab the opponent's neck, in order to "lock" and attack. However, when you do the clinch and knee kick, you may be attacked by opponent's elbow strike, as some time you may lose your concentration and defense.
How to use the knee?
The good way to use Muay Thai knee techniques properly is by thrusting it straight upwards. The targets for the knees are the area around the body upwards towards the chin. The knee attack has to be straight, powerful, and sharp. The knee also should easily turn into a kick for pushing the opponent away in order to prevent the counter attack and double up the pain to the opponent.
To increase the agility of Muay Thai knees, the boxer should practice knee throwing frequently against the punching bag. The boxer should mislead the opponent by the weapon and angle of attack before using the weapons.
The proper Muay Thai knee techniques thrust must move straight, not wavering towards other directions. The tip of the foot must point up to be ready to use a kick. The boxer can use the knee in the following circumstances.
Muay Thai Knees Techniques 7 Categories
- Kao Tone (Straight knee) - Thrusting the knee straight upward
- Kao Dode (Jumping knee) - Thrusting the knee towards the target when the boxer springs up
- Kao Nui (Small knee) – Kao Noi is used to counter when the opponent lift his leg for a knee throw
- Kao Kratai (Rabbit knee) – Using when the boxers are in the corner or the middle of the ring to drain strength and stamina from the opponent.
- Kao La (Farewell knee) – Using after the clinch to disengage yourself from the clinch by thrusting a knee parallel to the floor
- Kao Lod (Lower knee) – Using when your Kao Tone misses the target by lower the thrust to prevent the opponent from attacking
- Kao Loi (Flying knee) – This is the most powerful knee technique if the boxer uses it well. The opponent can be finished easily by this move.
Mae Mai Muay Thai 1. Salab Fan Pla
This master trick is the main movement or the basic trick used for defensive or to escape from the opponent’s straight punch by stepping out the armed-circle lets the punch passed by the face.
The attacker throws the straight left fist to the defensive’s face and steps the left foot forwards at the same time.
The defensive escapes by stepped the right foot obliquely right side 1 step and always the body to the right side about 60 degrees the weight on the right foot, the right leg bent a little, in order to away the head and the body out and escapes from the attacker’s punch. Then pounces on the upper part of the arm with the right hand and catches the attack’s wrist with the left hand then turns front wrist up (This action is similar to break the hand)
This master trick is the teacher’s trick (or the basic trick) to move in and used another tricks.
The attacker throws the straight left punch to the defensive’s face then steps the left foot forwards.
The defender stepped hurry forwards oblique to a half of the left side in the opponent’s left arm and swaying the body about 60 degrees the weight on the left foot then bent the both arms to counter the upper part and the lower part of the attacker’s arm, the both fists close to each other (similar to put the palms of the hands together in salute), the elbows open about 1 span (25 centimeters), the head and the face are covered by the both arms then glanced towards the opponent’s right punch.
This master trick is the main basic to escape from the straight punch by Stepped out and counter by throwing the elbow.
The attacker throws the straight left punch to the defensive’s face and steps the left foot forwards.
The defensive steps hurriedly, then always the body about 30 degrees to a half of the right, the weight on the right foot, bent the left arm then striked the elbow to the attacker’s rib.
This muster skill-is the main basic technique deface the straighten punch And uses the elbow closes to the body in-circle.
The attacker throws the straight left punch to the defensive’s face then stepped forwards.
The defensive steps quickly with the left foot forwards then the body always about 60 degrees to the nearly left side the weight on the left foot, penet the right elbow parallel to the floor and threw it to the attacker’s rib.
Throws the down punch to the chin, bent the body 45 degrees
This Mae Mai Muay Thai used for defense the straight punch by bending the body down at close quarters lets the punch passed over the head then threw up the punch to the chin.
The attacker throws the straight right punch to the defensive’s face and steps with the right foot forwards at the same time.
The defensive steps quickly with the left foot and slightly lowers the left knee while the right stays straight, and bends the body down forwards about 45 degrees weight on the left foot, at the same time throws up the right punch under the attacker’s chin. Turns the head back to look at the attacker’s chin while skill holds the left arm guard up on the front of the chin.
Throws the high punch to the chin, bend the body 60 degrees
This master skill is the main basic used for defense the punch to the chin technique and push the attackers first away with your arm.
The attacker throws the straight left punch to the defensive’s face. Steps the left foot forwards at the same time.
The defensive steps the left foot of forwards to the half right to the attacker closed quarters, bending the right arm to push the left punches out. Bends the left knees a little and throws up a left punch to the attacker’s chin.
Defense the punch by throwing the kick
It is the important master skill. This Mae Mai used to defense the fists by throwing a kick to the top of the chest or abdomen.
The attacker throws the straight left punch and steps the left foot forwards.
The defensive always out wards to the right about 45 degrees, the weight on the right foot. Bends the both arms to guard the face, at the same time throws the left foot to the top of the chest of the abdomen of the attacker to push him away.
Defense the kick with the elbow
This master skill use for defense against the kick by throwing the elbow to the shin.
The attacker stands in kicking distance and throws the right kick to the defensive’s rib the defensive Bends the body a little and bends the both arm to guard the face.
The defensive then always the body to the left then steps the left foot to the back. Bends the right arm and holds up to strike the attacker’s kick. While still guarding the face with the left arm.
Defense the punch by kick
This master skill used when the opponent throws the punch to the wrong target and loses his balance, then turns the body to kick by swinging the heel back.
The attacker throws the straight left and steps the left foot forwards.
The defensive is quick to jumping with right foot to half right in order to escaped the attacker’s punch. Bends the arm to guard the face. Stands on the left foot and turns the body to kick at the abdomen or head with the right heel.
Throws the elbow to the thigh
This master trick used for counter the kick by throwing the elbow to the thigh.
The attacker throws the right kick to the defensive’s rib, bends the both arms to guard the face.
The defensive is hurry to stepped the right foot forwards closed to the attacker. Turns the rib to the left, bends the right knee, while the left was straight, then catches the attacker’s right foot with left hand and pulls it up, strikes the right elbow to the attacker’s ham and holds the attacker’s right foot on the high to lost the balance in order to defense the attacker’s elbow.
Twists the leg and strikes the knee to the calf
This master trick use to defense the kick by catching the tip of the foot With the both hands and twist it, then throws the knee to the leg.
The attacker throws the right foot to the defensive’s rib, bends the arm to guard the face.
The defensive is hurry away to the left, the weight on the left foot, grasps the attacker heel with the left hand and grasps the tip of the foot twisted outwards then throws the right knee to the attacker’s calf at the same time.
To counter the kick by throwing a kick
This master trick use to counter the kick by throwing the heel to the ham.
The attacker raises the left foot kick to the defensive’s rib.
The defensive is quick to throw the left foot to the left ham of the attacker, While holding on the both arms to guard the face. The kicking must do in rapidly and strongly to stroked the attacker turned back and lost his balance.
Grapes the punch and throws the fist
This master technique used for defense the straight punch by throwing the fist to the face.
The attacker throws the left punch to the defensive’s face, steps the left foot forwards and guards the chin with the right arm.
The defensive steps the right foot forwards to a half right escape from the attacker’s left punch, turns the body to right side. Grabs and pressed down the attacker’ left arm and throws the left punch to the face then jumps to a half right side.
Defense - fists - kick - elbow
This master trick is the very important trick use for defense the opponent who is the quickly fighter by throwing the punch kick and elbow continually. To training is deviled into 3 parts.
The attacker throws the straight left punch to the defensive’s face and steps the left foot forwards.
The defensive steps the left foot hurriedly forwards close to the attacker’ face. Wipes the attacker’ left hand out by the right arm.
The attacker throws the right foot to the defensive’s rib.
The defensive hurry to away the body to the back estimates half of the left by stepping the left foot. Then ducking to throw the right elbow to the right thigh of the attacker
The attacker beuds the right arms and throws the elbow to the defensive’s head.
The defensive quickly bends the arm into his guard to wipe the attacker’s elbow and hurries to away the body and step back wards to the back about a half step.
Pulls the neck downs and throws the knee
The attacker throws the straight left punch and steps the left foot forwards towards the attacker and inserts the right arm to grab the attacker’ left arm, then jumping to jerk the attacker’ neck down and throw the knee to the face.