The hands, feet, elbows, and knees are used to strike opponents in the majority of Muay Thai techniques. Some grappling on the feet is used in order to bind the opponent for both defensive and offensive reasons. The move, known as the clinch, occurs when an opponent enters your comfort zone. It can be very useful to use the clinch to execute knees and kicks from inside. The knees are used to pummel the stomach, ribs, legs, and knees of the opponent within the clinch. The knees are an important weapon to the Muay Thai fighter. Strikes to an opponents knees and elbows can really do the most damage and have the greatest impact, even thought they do not look as spectacular as high kicks to the opponents head.
A highly skilled fighter can quickly disable and sometimes even kill an opponent using these techniques. Two of the Muay Thai techniques have become very popular within other styles of martial arts are:
- the roundhouse kick
- the low roundhouse kick
The Roundhouse Kick When executed properly, this powerful kick can be effective in competitions and for self defense. During this kick a straight leg is used and the entire body rotates out from the hip. Just before the kick makes contact with the opponent the hip is locked. An opponent can be rendered unconscious with a properly executed roundhouse kick to the head.
The Low Roundhouse Kick utilizes the upper shin and is typically aimed at the thigh of the opponent. This kick uses a circular motion similar to the roundhouse kicky. This kick can end a fight if it is not blocked or defended. The bruising can make it impossible for the opponent to put pressure on his legs, causing him to crumble to the ground. The kicks of many other martial arts styles may be faster, but they can sometimes also have less power.
The shin instead of the foot is used in many Muay Thai kicks. The entire body is engaged in almost all Muay Thai techniques, whether blocks, kicks, or punches. Muay Thai has a strong reputation for its rigorous and demanding training. The aim of this training is to harden the weapons that will be used. Students with years of Muay Thai training will be able to absorb a brutal beating. Muay Thai focuses much more on powerful blows than grappling techniques. A strong stylist will often have no problem disabling an opponent with just one strike. Students should jump at the opportunity to study this powerful and popular style of martial art.