Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Muay Thai Training Tips

Muay Thai is a highly physical martial art. It's a simple, yet brutal art as others would say. This combat sport has gained considerable interest among fitness buffs and martial arts enthusiasts all over the world because of the numerous benefits that it offers. So if you're thinking of trying it out, here are some muay thai training tips and things that you should know, especially if you haven't taken up a martial art before.

seek the guidance and supervision of professional Muay Thai instructors for all aspects of your training session: warm-up, pad work, heavy bags and cool-downs.

Start slowly, get a good grasp of the fundamentals and the proper Muay Thai techniques so that you can train intelligently and improve progressively.

Muay Thai as you may have already realized is intensive and demanding, there will always be something new to learn and mastering this art takes time. Be patient, take it one day at a time and keep moving forward.

Another way to say this is lighten up and enjoy it. The process of moving from a newbie to a master is a roller coaster, you will laugh, you might cry. Keep an open mind, give it your best and enjoy the results.

As obvious as this may sound, a level of discipline is necessary. Results will come through consistency, consistency comes from perseverance and determination, both are a product of your focus. Focus on your goals, start today and do not stop until you have achieved your objective.

However, you must allow your body to have at least one day of rest every seven days. If you are brand new to the sport, a recommended initial one day interval between sessions is adequate, as you improve, you will be able to train up to 3-6 days consecutively.

Don't push yourself too hard.
Go easy to start. It is very important to learn the proper mechanics first than pushing yourself to train hard right away. Learning the proper mechanics would give you a solid foundation and it also reduces the risk of injury.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Muay Thai Moves List

Muay Thai points of contact:
  • Punching (Chok)
  • Knee (Tae kao)
  • Kicking (Tae)
  • Elbow (Tee sok)
This is a significant difference from western style boxing that focuses on two points of contact (each fist) and other traditional martial arts that utilize four (fists and feet). Most fighters will focus on the Muay Thai techniques that involve the elbows and knees when competing against an opponent of another style in order to gain an advantage. Additionally, there is an emphasis on strong core movements starting with the hips that generate tremendous power.

Punching (Chok)

Traditional Muay Thai techniques focused on two primary strikes- crosses and long strikes (which were long circular strikes made with the palm of the hand). The melting pot of mixed martial arts has made a significant impact on Muay Thai punching techniques which now employ the full arsenal of traditional western boxing strikes, which includes:
  • Jabs (Mud Trong)
  • Crosses
  • Hooks (Mud Wiang San)
  • Uppercuts (Mud Seuy)
  • Hammer Fists
  • Overhands
In order to avoid exposing the head for counter attacks, practitioners often avoid strikes to the body.

Another big difference in striking style is the stance that is used. Unlike the traditional boxing style that keeps the hands close to the head covering the face, an alternative Muay Thai technique is to keep the arms raised an in front of the fighter. This is often utilized to create and maintain distance when one fighter has a height advantage or prefers longer range strikes.

Knee (Tae kao)

The knee is perhaps the most integral part of Muay Thai techniques. The knees and the elbows are the most lethal assets a Muay Thai fighter can employ. Proper knees are thrown so that contact is made on the front portion of the leg either just below, directly on, or just above the knee cap. The foot should remain pointed during a knee in case a kick needs to be thrown. There are several different knee strikes, which include:
  • Straight Knee Strike (Kao Trong)
  • Diagonal Knee Strike (Kao Chiang)
  • Curving Knee Strike (Kao Kong)
  • Horizontal Knee Strike (Kao Tud)
  • Knee Slap (Kao Tob)
  • Knee Bomb (Kao Youwn)
  • Jumping Knee (Kao Loi)
  • Step-Up Knee Strike (Kao Yiep)

Kicking (Tae)

When it comes to kicking the two most common Muay Thai techniques are the teep kick (foot jab) and teh chiang (angle kick).

The teep kick is akin to the jab. Offensively, it is used to gain distance, distract, and to set up for other attacks. Defensively, it can be used to prevent attacks and to maintain distance.

The teh chiang is a powerful kick that starts with the rotation of the hips to maximize the momentum and speed of the kick for maximum impact.

Additionally, there are several other Muay Thai techniques for kicking, which include:
  • Straight Kick (Tae Trong)
  • Roundhouse Kick (Tae Tud)
  • Diagonal Kick (Tae Chiang)
  • Spinning Heel Kick (Tae Glub Lang)
  • Axe Heel Kick (Tae Khao)
  • Jump Kick (Gra-dode Tae)

Elbow (Tee sok)

The elbow is an integral part of Muay Thai and can be used in several ways by a fighter. Here are some of the primary elbow strikes (these will be discussed in greater detail in future posts):
  • Elbow Slash (Sok Tee)
  • Horizontal Elbow (Sok Tud)
  • Uppercut Elbow (Sok Ngud)
  • Forward elbow thrust (Sok Poong)
  • Reverse Horizontal Elbow (Sok WIang Glub)
  • Spinning Elbow (Sok Glub)
  • Elbow Chop (Sok Sub)
  • Double Elbow Chop Mid-Air Elbow Strike (Sok Glub Koo)
As a general rule, diagonal elbows tend to be the fastest elbow strikes, but are less powerful. When used correctly, they can be incredibly effective at cutting an opponent's face. Uppercut elbows and elbow chops tend to be the most powerful and inflict the most damage; however they are also easier to guard against and avoid.

These points of contact form the foundation of a Muay Thai fighter and help make them a dynamic and dangerous opponent in any hand to hand combat situation. The mastery of these techniques is only the first step in becoming a great fighter. Once proficient at these foundation techniques, a fighter can move into the fifteen mae mai (major or mother techniques) followed by the luk mai (minor or more advanced techniques).