Low kicks are a vital addition to any striker’s arsenal. Not only do they set up and expose opportunities for strikes, eating one on your thigh is no picnic in itself. . .
The low kick has been a tried-and-true method for damaging opponents and breaking their will in fights. It stops incoming aggressive fighters in their tracks (literally) and starts chipping away at one of the most vital limbs needed for fighting and even standing.
When done properly, the low kick can do a lot of damage. It can serve as the origin of a spectacular TKO. The low kick is familiar to many but not executed to its fullest potential by most. Just how do the best low kickers do it?
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of Muay Thai’s best low kickers and how they use this tool to their advantage.
(Title image credit to Evolve Vacation.)
Like almost all kicks in Muay Thai, there needs to...
Almost every sport has its “historians” that can pull out great moments and personalities concerning their sport (or favorite team) from literally any era out of their mind.
But in most sports, fans and “historians” usually agree on a time period that pretty much serves as the sport’s “business card” from a certain point. Maybe it’s because people like to romanticize about the past so much…
In Muay Thai, that time period is usually believed to be between the mid-late 80’s and the early 90’s of the 20th century.
Most Muay Thai fans (and by fans I mean people that spend at least a little time educating themselves about the basic history of Muay Thai) know of, or at least heard of, legends like Samart, Sakmongkol or Jongsanan. These fighters made the biggest waves in the...
I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to start training Muay Thai. When you begin your Muay Thai training not only will you learn a beautiful (and practical) martial art, but you’ll also be improving the entire spectrum of your health, so why not give it a go?
Now training Muay Thai is one thing, but fighting and actually stepping in the ring to willingly get punched in the face is next level shit. That is when age becomes a real factor due to the high risk of being seriously injured.
Is it realistic to have a fight even if you picked up Muay Thai at a later age? What should a typical training regimen look like when preparing for a fight? These are the questions that Nak Muay Nation fan Chris Large asked me for this weeks Muay Thai Monday Q&A… and here are my answers:
Funny enough, this question is by far one of the most common ones I get sent....
Performing the whole wai kru is tougher than it looks.
Most thai fighters make this traditional Muay Thai dance look easy with their fluent and graceful motions… I on the other hand sucked when I first tried the entire wai kru!
But if you’re serious about Muay Thai and want to compete in it one day or if you would just like to know more about the rich Muay Thai traditions like the wai kru or the ram muay, scroll down and start reading!
The traditional Muay Thai dance ritual is composed of 2 parts. The wai kru and the ram muay. It’s performed before the fight with traditional sarama or muay thai music.
The Wai is a traditional greeting by the thai people where they put their hands together like a prayer. Kru means teacher. As a whole the wai kru is a way to pay respect to your coaches, gym, training partners and family....
Strikes like the Muay Thai roundhouse kick are the reason this martial art has grown so popular today. As one of the most popularly used Muay Thai techniques, the roundhouse kick, when delivered flawlessly, can topple even the strongest opponent.
This, of course, is no simple task. Fighters must practice this technique “a lot” (indeed, this is a huge understatement) before developing a polished roundhouse kick. It may take months to even years.
Flexibility and power are the two most important factors to learning and executing Muay Thai roundhouse kicks. Many believe frequent stretching to be sufficient for developing flexibility. Wrong. Standard stretching alone won’t make you flexible enough for the Muay Thai roundhouse kick.
So, how do we develop the flexibility needed to deliver fast, powerful Muay Thai roundhouse kicks?
Stretch technically. This technique should extend to three most important...
ORDERING TO DIETARY RESTRICTIONS IN THAILAND
Don’t add/don’t put in _____ = Mai sai _____ ไมใส
I’m allergic to _____ = Chan paa _____ ฉันแพ
Now let’s learn a few new words that have to do with food:
Chilli = prik พริก
egg = kai ไข
seafood = ah-han ta-lay อาหารทะเล
shrimp = goong กุง
fish = bplah ปลา
fish sauce = nam bplah นำปลาgluten = bpaang แปง
NOTE: Thai is a tonal language, and Thais know that most foreigners struggle with the tones and are pretty forgiving if you pronounce something wrong. But try practicing the words on your own a few...
Without hard sparring, is a fighter truly ready for the ring?
Sparring should always be a technical, learning experience. It should not be a bi-weekly event where you have a 90% chance of getting a concussion for no good reason. That being said, there are benefits to hard sparring, but only when it is controlled.
What does “controlled” hard sparring mean? Controlled hard sparring is sparring with more power – enough to make your sparring partner move a bit and make them think twice before eating another shot. What makes this different than just regular hard sparring is the control part, meaning you’re not aiming to knock them out or break their ribs. You are constantly gauging the situation to prevent any disasters from...
Muay Thai and combat sports are known for their three to five minute rounds of fighting, with one minute’s worth of rest in between each round.
During these rounds several things can happen to you. One major thing: fatigue, obviously. A few more things: your body can give out, your mind can be ravaged from the pressure or fear. And you can even die.
So how can you prevent these dreadful things from happening in the ring?
The answer is simple, commitment to your training. The best form of training for a fight is to try and simulate the fight the best way you can, in my opinion. What I mean by that is maybe you can do pad work in the ring for whatever the time frame your fight is based on (2 minutes or 3 minute rounds) and rest in the corner in between rounds and maybe have a teammate give you water and coach you a bit.
That form of fight camp training is the most traditional. Other forms of training: ...
Observing Saenchai’s skills in person is mentally exhausting.
His raw talent is just mind-blowing and it’s nearly impossible to figure out how he fights so perfectly. I was blessed to watch him teach a session at Phoenix MMA (Bournemouth, UK) and managed to film a lot of the techniques and drills he was demonstrating.
Saenchai has been my idol since I started Muay Thai, so it’s my absolute privilege to share his favourite techniques with you. Whilst they are mechanically quite simple, the timing and precision he performs them with is what makes them so effective:
His unique flexibility allows him to bring his chamber up high with amazing speed and control. When he raises his thigh for a round kick, you have NO idea whether you’re about to get booted in the leg...
IF SET UP PROPERLY, THE QUESTION MARK KICK, ALSO KNOWN AS THE BRAZILIAN KICK OR DOWNWARD ROUNDHOUSE, IS ALMOST ALWAYS GUARANTEED TO LAND.
Popularized by especially bendy fighters like Saenchai, the question mark kick is one of the most deceptive kicks in fighting
Its deception comes from its potential to be set up by the low kick and the teep – the two most common kicks you’ll ever see in fighting. It can use the exact same chamber as both.
This means that every single low kick or teep that comes could end up being turned into a knockout blow.
That’s a scary thought.
Here’s more detail on how to execute the technique, presented by Evolve MMA:
DECEIVING YOUR OPPONENT WITH THE TEEP
If you notice in the video above, there’s a slight difference in the low kick’s chamber and the question mark kick’s. The knee from the kicking leg is clearly moving in a different...