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MUAY THAI TECHNIQUES
In the old traditional style Muay Thai, each fighter would exchange blow for blow. While modern Muay Thai has done away with that custom, the art does remain one of attrition, where the opponents wear away at each other through constant moves. These moves generally involve entire body movement, rotating the hip while kicking, punching, blocking and elbowing.
Muay Thai uses stand up techniques along with clinching techniques. It is known as the "art of eight limbs" because it employs kicks, punches, elbows and knee strikes in eight points of contact. Western boxing uses two points which are the fists and sport oriented martial arts use four, being the hands and feet.
Punching techniques for Muay Thai include the cross, hook, swing, spinning backfist, uppercut and cobra.
East meets west! Because the techniques above were limited, they have blended with western martial arts and western boxing techniques to form more effective punches such as: the lead jab, uppercut, hook, straight/cross, hammer fists, back fists, shovel and corkscrew.
Using the elbow as a human weapon is a trademark of Muay Thai. Long ago, Muay Thai practitioners found that elbows were quite effective in both offense and defense.
Offensively, the elbow is used for striking and can come from any direction like horizontal, diagonal, diagonal upwards, diagonal downwards, uppercut, downward, backward-spinning and flying.
On the defensive side, elbows can block knees, kicks and punches.
There are single elbows and follow-up elbows. The single is a first strike while the follow-up is a second strike from the same arm.
Uppercut elbow, horizontal elbow, elbow slash, forward elbow thrust, spinning elbow, reverse horizontal elbow, elbow chop, double elbow chop and mid-air elbow strike are the main elbow techniques used in Muay Thai.
Kicking is of optimal importance in the art. The foot jab and the roundhouse are the two most popular kicks.
The foot jab is like punching with your foot. It is one of the most effective and fastest kicks in the martial arts. It is hard to see coming and difficult to defend against.
The roundhouse is similar to a karate roundhouse kick. It is a turning kick executed with a rotating movement of the entire body. The rotational movement employs the power from the hips, an unlikely but powerful source.
Different levels are targeted in the roundhouse to inflict damage to various areas of the body and to produce certain affects such as loss of mobility or to prevent the opponent from kicking.
Some popular kicks used in the sport are the straight kick, the roundhouse, the down roundhouse, the diagonal, the half-shin, half knee, the spinning heel, the axe heel, jump and step-up.
One of the most damaging Muay Thai techiniques is a move is made by the knee. Knee strikes can be thrown from various angles to produce different desired effects on the opponent.
Muay Thai knee strikes include: flying knee, step up knee, straight knee, diagonal knee, curving, horizontal, knee bomb, knee slap and step-up. Each of the knee movements are strategically placed and skillfully carried out.
Clinch and neck wrestling in Muay Thai is known as Chap
Kho. While in Western boxing, clinching is not allowed and if engaged, will call for a separation of opponents, it is a common move in Muay Thai.
There are different reasons a clinch is used. The general purpose is to strike and bind an opponent. This can be for offensive or defensive reasons.
When engaging the clinch, the forearms are pressed against the opponent's collar bone, hand around the opponent's head.
The front clinch is executed with the palm of one hand and the back of the other with the object being to press the head of the opponent downwards.
There are four main clinches in Muay Thai. Each serve a specific purpose.
One is the arm clinch where one of both hands are used to control the opponent in order to get a knee strike or throw in.
In a side clinch, the aim is to apply a knee strike or to throw the opponent. It is done by passing one arm around the front of the opponent with the shoulder pressed into the armpit and the other arm going around the back.
A low clinch is a way for a shorter opponent to get an edge. Both arms go under the opponent's arm in this move, making a strike or throw easier to execute.
The swan-neck is when one hand is around the back of the neck of an opponent and is followed up with a strike.
One very important safety measure is to protect the fingers while enforcing a clinch. Intertwined fingers are a risk to injury and therefore should be avoided. Boxing gloves reduce the risk of injury and are recommended.
Of course you are not going to get very far in any fight without a good defensive game plan. Muay Thai has six basic moves for defense: blocking, redirection, evasion, avoidance, disruption and anticipation. In the art of Muay Thai, each defensive move is practiced to perfection and employed at the correct time.
The ancient techniques of Muay Thai have been improved through the years leading to the tried and true moves that make Muay Thai the explosive art it is today.