May 8, 2007

Muay Thai - Techniques

The basic offensive techniques in Muay Thai use fists, elbows, shins, feet, and knees to strike the opponent. To bind the opponent for both offensive and defensive purposes, small amounts of stand-up grappling are used: the clinch. 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 de facto martial art of choice for competitive stand-up fighters. As a result, it has evolved accordingly 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. Note: when Muay Thai fighters compete against fighters of other styles (and if the rules permit it), they almost invariably emphasize elbow (sok) and knee (kao) 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.

Forming the fist correctly and using the combined forces of the shoulder, hip and foot to put additional power behind the punch is a basic Muay Thai technique. It is the rear fist that has the greatest power and punching with your knuckles is most effective. When in the boxing stance don’t clench your fists tightly. Obviously when you actually deliver the punch your fist should be tightly clenched. The punch is usually aimed to hit the body or the face. You should pull the fist back immediately after punching.

The Straight Punch
The straight punch is a power punch extended directly forwards towards the target, the fist palm down, aimed at the chin or solar plexus.

The Jab
The jab is delivered with the lead hand as a defensive punch. It is used to test range and keep an opponent at bay.

The Hook
The hook is a punch delivered from the side aimed at the temple, chin or ears.

The Upper Cut
The upper cut is a punch used in close or when moving in. The fist is punched vertically upwards aimed at the chin or solar plexus.


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