Muay Thai, otherwise known as Thai boxing, is a sport practiced in Thailand. What makes Muay Thai unique is the incredible combination of punches, kicks, knee strikes and elbows. Considered the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, it appears that the name doesn’t save Muay Thai from the many misconceptions. Most people believe that the practitioners usually use only their elbows and knees; however there is a whole range of different and mind-blowing techniques which are available.
In this article I will reveal some of the most impressive and unique techniques Muay Thai practitioners use, and let you decide for yourself.
1. Floating block
An important move in Muay Thai, the floating block is designed to teach lovers of this practice how to maintain or improve their control and balance. The goal is to change your perception and style of moving, and to improve your general balance.
2. Full Deep Return on Kicks
Considered an extension of the controlled kick, this move implies that you will not only land in a position where you can strike again, but that you will be able to place an even more precise and stronger kick when you strike for a second time. Although neglected and somewhat unappreciated, this move involves a lot of bag and pad work. It certainly is more difficult than it looks, because being able to balance yourself (during the second strike) is almost impossible without training and practice. In addition, the full deep return on kick can improve your mental energy, making your attention and senses more alert.
3. Interior Knee Blocks in Clinch
In the situation where you lock arms with your opponent, or maybe there is a certain distance between your body and that of your opponent, there is a high and not-to-mention risky possibility that you will be hit by incoming knees. In order to block those attempts, you will need to bring your front leg up (similar to you initiating a kick) in order to counter the attack. In addition, if you are locked in the clinch you may opt to throw your opponent off balance just as soon as they lift their leg to initiate the hit. By rotating them in the direction of their kicking leg, you will be more than able to achieve this.
4. Horizontal Elbow
This move is exactly what the name suggests: a horizontal elbow. Usually aimed at the lower jam or the chin of the elbow, it will inflict tremendous pain because of its intensity. Alternatively, if you’re really looking to do a lot of damage to your opponent, you can deliver this strike to your adversary’s head, around the temple area.
5. The Downward Jumping Elbow
Similar to a forward elbow thrust, this move can be used in order to completely surprise your opponent. The great thing about this strike is the fact that it can be used to close off the distance between the two of you. The jumping adds motion, and creates an even more devastating blow.
Although many underestimate the importance of avoidance, this is the most effective forms of defense. There are numerous benefits to avoiding the conflict, including saving your body from the severe and painful impacts it can be exposed to. Certain Muay Thai avoidance techniques are imperative for practitioners (i.e. leaning back). In addition, avoiding an attack will give you the advantage, meaning that you may be able to counter attack more easily.
7. Straight Body Punch
Using your dominant hand, you can try this technique, however it’s important to understand a couple of things: it’s imperative that you don’t bend down too low, or that you keep your guard up, otherwise you may leave yourself open to being knee hit in the face. When effective, a good straight body punch can drop your opponent to the ground, and the count can begin.
8. The superman punch
I know what you’re thinking, this strike sounds unbelievably cool. You may not be surprised to find out that you’re not the only one who thinks this; this is a popular technique because it can easily fool opponents. The move is dependent on the opponent falling for the fake when the punch is thrown, otherwise it will leave you exposed.
9. Knock Down the Wall of China
Another impressive move is called the ‘Wall of China’. This move is actually a block where the clinch is placed across the adversary’s hips or thighs in order to ensure that they won’t be able to knee you back. When it works, it’s extremely effective and can even knock an opponent out. However if you’re not prepared or in the wrong position, you can get hit by a carefully placed elbow.
10. Practice “Last Hit”
This practice will change your perspective and mentality. It is truly unique to have the ability and decisiveness to be able to have a plan on finishing your opponent. It will make it more important to discover yourself during this journey rather than to focus on stronger punches or even precise punches. Practice punches and kicks that you know can finish of an opponent, and ultimately the pieces will fall into place.
11. Clinch Pull-Ups
It may sound hard to believe, however practicing clinch pull-ups will help you form and overall strength. The technique will help you deliver better direct punches, so doing these pull-ups are going to really improve your stamina and form.
To sum up, this is a sport that requires a lot of stamina and skill. Although it’s fairly similar to boxing, I think that Muay Thai practitioners use certain techniques which can be extremely dangerous when fighting in the ring. There are many different strikes which you can learn, and as time goes by if you have enough expereince, you could even become teachers of this beautiful sport.