Often when trying to learn a new technique, a martial artist or coach will be too bogged down in what the correct technique is for a fighter rather than how to diagnose where the problem is occurring in a given technique, and how to fix it.
It can be very frustrating if you can’t get a technique right but also can’t identify where it is going wrong. Today we will be examining the most common problems with punches and low kicks, as well as exercises to correct the form on each.
I’ve seen people trying to demonstrate the low kick for others with something along these lines:
"No, no. Watch. You're doing it like this. Try it like this!"
While I am all for people trying to teach and help one another, we also have to realize that sometimes a person knows what they should be doing but can’t co-ordinate themselves to be able to do it. That is where these exercises come in.
In Thailand, Muay Thai scoring is weird. The first two rounds don't really count for much (very weird, indeed), so the third round is when things begin to pick up.
The fight is moving faster in round three, more combinations are being thrown, and there’s just a great flurry of techniques to deal with, usually on and from both sides.
In the last breakdown, I focused primarily on the teep, which I called "the ultimate nullifier." Today, we will be focusing on another nullifier, though not as effective: the clinch.
First, though, let's catch up on the fight!
The Smothering Power Of The Clinch
The reason why the teep is so effective as a defensive tool is because it creates distance. It doesn’t matter what strike is being thrown at you - if you can create...
Last week, we talked about Round 1 of Sean's fight - now we're moving to Round 2.
Today, we’re going to focus on key techniques. Specifically, we’re talking about the teep, aka. the push kick.
This breakdown will focus on the teep because it was a technique that defined the course of fight. It's also one of the most important techniques in Muay Thai in general.
Watch as Sean gets self-critical and breaks down round 2 of this excellent Muay Thai fight:
The Versatility Of The Muay Thai Teep
The teep is to Muay Thai what the jab is to boxing. It is, along with the jab, the most important technique of your Muay Thai arsenal.
To take in a masterclass on combining the two, I highly recommend watching Buakaw’s two fights with Nieky Holzken.
To sum it up for you, Buakaw was able to shut Nieky’s combination punching down...
A true nak muay is a master of the teep.
That's right, I'm saying it: you can’t call yourself a real Muay Thai practitioner if you are not a master of the teep.
Also known as the push kick, the teep is one of the most basic but also one of the most effective Muay Thai techniques.
Think of a Western boxer’s jab. That’s one of the best analogies for the teep, both in purpose and execution.
Too often, beginners in "the Art of Eight Limbs" tend to ignore it. They usually go for the flashier moves that just seem cooler to execute.
That is a huge mistake. To make any progress in Muay Thai, we need to at least become proficient in this basic strike. This goes for both casual practitioners and aspiring fighters alike.
So, it is time we shine a spotlight on the power of the teep. Learn of its versatility and the many ways it can be used by nak muays of every level and experience!
Most of us miss Muay Thai something fierce right now, and sometimes it’s not even the heavy bag work or the great workout you get from it. For a lot of us, it’s the social interaction that we got from training with partner drills, pad work and sparring.
If you’re lucky (or unlucky) enough to live with someone else right now, you just might be able to convince them to to train with you and run a few drills.
Having a training partner you can train with right now is a great benefit, especially if you're getting sick of shadowboxing or heavy bag work if you have a bag.
Partner drills are absolutely essential to Muay Thai and are some of the most fun and challenging drills you can run. So, to help you and your lucky partner get started, we’ve complied a list of some of our best partner drills.
I don’t know if you know him, but there’s this fella called Sean Fagan, (also known as the 'Muay Thai Guy' and he's pretty cool.
He runs a pretty nifty site called The Muay Thai Guy...? Definitely recommend checking that out when you have the time...
Jokes aside, Sean went from a waiter at Red Lobster to an incredible entrepreneur who’s done it all, from fighting in Madison Square Garden and in Thailand, to building a giant library of online Muay Thai classes, to hosting the most beautiful Muay Thai vacations.
It has surely been an amazing journey with so many lessons learned, but why would you want to hear me talk about it? Why don’t you hear it from the man himself?!
One of the biggest...
Sean Fagan has been on a journey to be a champion ever since he was a kid. It began with a simple desire to fight yet has become so much more.
This is no doubt an experience that you who are reading this may have experienced yourself. In fact, this is an experience those who pursue any subject will have gone through- be it basketball, photography, filmmaking, etc.
It becomes something more than what it was.
That's why it’s imperative that you listen to these desires and follow them. After all, what have you got to lose by just trying it out for a bit? It’s like asking someone out. What’s the big deal? Yes, you might get rejected and feel a bit embarrassed or you could find the love of your life (and you never know where that may be).
Sean followed his heart -- and it's made all the difference in his remarkable life:
A fight breakdown of our very own 'Muay Thai Guy' himself, Sean Fagan, against a talented Thai by the name of Phetch Banmai.
If you’ve never witnessed a fight in Thailand or in general know little about how fights are in Thailand, you are in for a real treat.
What’s so wild about fighting in Thailand? Well, one of the biggest surprises about fighting in Thailand is that sometimes you will be unable to get film on any opponent or, even better, you may get a completely different opponent the day of the fight. Thailand, baby!
Another wild fact is the frequency with which Thais fight. It's not uncommon to see fighters end their careers with hundreds of fights. Namsaknoi had 300 fights; Sagat had 317 fights; Saenchai has 345 fights, and the list goes on.
Because they fight with such a frequency, Thais train and fight differently than anywhere else. And you’re going to get a nice peek into what that...
This quarantine sucks for just about everybody, and us nak muays have the struggle of needing to get out training fix on top of that.
We’ve talked a lot recently about buying your heavy bag and on workouts to do once you get one or if you already have one. These are great to tide you over until gyms start to open up, but with every passing day, it seems like we are going to be waiting a while. This means that if you have your heavy bag or are going to get one, you two are going to get pretty acquainted.
But maybe you want to do more than just work out! Maybe you are a newcomer to Muay Thai and don’t know how to train on the heavy bag by yourself.
Well, don’t worry you’ve come to the right article. We’re going to go over some tips and ideas to help you get the most out of your heavy bag workout.
#1: Pace Yourself
It’s easy to see a...
Balance is crucial in any sport. Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, any sport that requires you to spend a significant amount of time standing on one leg -- these are no exceptions to the rule.
Today we’re going to be looking at how specifically to use the heavy bag to train and improve one's balance, along with modifications for when you don’t have access to your own bag.
Let's dig in.
DRILL #1: Lomachenko Wide Stance Drill
The first and indeed most simple of these exercises is routinely performed by the greatest living boxer, Vasyl Lomachenko. Rather than hitting the bag in your normal fighting stance, instead stand with your feet an unreasonable distance apart -- at least twice shoulder length.
From this stance, we hit the boxing bag with all our usual arsenal (save for kicks and knees). We jab, hook and pivot around the bag like normal, and we try to use as much footwork as we would...