5 Main Kicking Techniques In Muay Thai

Muay Thai fighting style
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In Muay Thai or Thai boxing, the kicking technique is one of the most important ones because kicks are very powerful weapons. “Tae” is the official word for kicks in Thai. Thai boxing involves a variety of different kicking techniques depending on the application in different parts of Thailand.

Muay Thai kicking techniques are typically used in competitions because of their power since one kick is strong enough to knock out an opponent. The lower leg from the shin to the foot is normally used to kick. However, kicks made using the shin are more powerful than those made using the foot. Unfortunately, the kicks from the shin have a drawback of giving your opponent the opportunity to grab your leg easily and subsequently attack you.

Muay Thai Kicking Techniques

The kicking technique in Muay Thai is of 5 main types:

– Tae Tad (Round Kick or Side Kick)

– Tae Chiang (The Diagonal Kick )

– Tae Kod (Down Round Kick or Hook Kick)

– Tae Pub Nai (Kick To The Inside Of The Joint Of The Knee)

– Tae Pub Nok (Kick To The Outside Of The Joint Of The Knee)

Here is a more detailed look at each of these five kicking techniques.

1. Tae Tad (A Round Kick or Side Kick)

Tae Tad is a popular kicking technique used in Muay Thai since controlling and maintain your balance after kicking to defend your opponent’s counter attack is very easy. Tae Tad is easily performed by swinging your leg to attack your target while at the same time ensuring that your hip is twisted in the direction of your swing.

The proper movement for this Muay Thai kicking technique is for the boxer to bend his legs a bit and swing the kick to the area around either the knee joint or the back of the knee joint. The leg used for kicking should be straightened for a really powerful kick. It is also important for your hand to be held up and ready to guard when making the kick. It is important not to drop your guard so that the counter-punch does not get you.

2. Tae Chiang (A Diagonal Kick)

Tae Chiang also referred to as the diagonal kick mainly focuses on attacking the lower rib-cage. For this kick, the shin is used to attack. The kick is easily done by swinging your leg diagonally upwards towards your target.

To attain maximum efficiency, you should make Tae Chiang or diagonal kick at an angle of about 45 degrees against the floor. However, the kick is rather straightforward. All you need to do is use either the back of your foot or instep to hit your target. Incline your body slightly in the opposite direction to the kick. Swing the leg upwards in the fitting angle. Before impact, twist your foot so that the arch is facing downwards and the inset is ready to hit the back of your opponent’s neck.

3. Tae Kod (A Down Round Kick or Hook Kick)

Tae Kod also known as a down round kick or hook kick is also quite popular because of its power, which is usually greater than both the side kick and the diagonal kick. Tae Kod is so powerful because when you are making the kick, both your hip and body are fully twisted in the direction of your swing thus increasing the power of the kick.

Tae Kod can actually be used to attack your opponent even when he is either in a lower position or ducking down. However, Tae Kod comes with a major drawback in that in case you miss your target; you can easily lose your balance giving your opponent the opportunity to retaliate.

4. Tae Pub Nai (A Kick To The Inside Of The Joint Of The Knee)

Tae Pub Nai is a kick designed to target the region inside the knee joint. Tae Pub Nai manages to achieve this by stepping closer to your opponent and swinging the kick to the inside. Once your foot hits it target, your opponent’s leg will be blasted sideways thereby causing him to lose his balance. In this state you have many options to inflict further damage.

5. Tae Pub Nok (A Kick To The Outside Of The Joint Of The Knee)

Tae Pub Nok is a Muay Thai kicking technique that focuses on the region outside the knee joint. To make a proper Tae Pub Nok kick, you need to sway your body slightly away from your opponent and then move right up to your opponent with the kick in a sort of greeting gesture.

Final Thoughts

It is important to learn the five kicking technique in Muay Thai since they are the most powerful weapons you have available to you. This article has looked at how to perform these kicks properly and should serve as an excellent reference point when practicing your kicks.


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