A majority of the offensive techniques that are used in Muay
utilize a student's hands, feet, elbows, and knees to strike an
opponent. In order to bind the opponent for both defensive
and offensive reasons, there is a small amount of grappling that is
used while on one's feet - the clinch.
The clinch commonly occurs when someone gets inside your circle of
defense, inside of your comfort zone. To execute knees and short kicks from the
inside, the clinch can be very useful. The Thai fighter makes
great use of the clinch, tying up on opponent on the feet then pounding
his stomach, ribs, knees, and legs with brutal knees. Knees are very
popular techniques with Muay Thai, as Thai fighters spend a lot of time
training their strikes - especially knees and elbows.
Muay Thai Technique: What NOT to Do in a Clinch
Study Muay Thai in Thailand
Although high kicks to the opponents head looks amazing during the
fights, experienced Thai fighters always say that knees and elbows have
a lot more impact, and they do the most damage to the body.
If a Thai fighter is very experienced and has enough power in his
strikes, he can quickly and easily kill someone with his techniques.
In all the various Muay Thai techniques, two in particular have become quite popular to the point of being incorporated into other martial arts.
The roundhouse kick
The roundhouse Muay Thai kick is a very useful technique for both for real-world self defense and martial arts competitions. Is is very efficient when it is executed properly. Muay Thai stylists will execute the roundhouse kick by a straight leg and the entire body rotating out from the hip. The hip is locked shortly before the striking leg makes contact with the opponent. If executed properly, the roundhouse kick can easily cause serious damage and even render someone unconscious.
The low kick
The low kick is a common Muay Thai attack, which involves a circular movement from the attacker's body to kick the opponent in his upper shin area. If the low kick is not blocked or defended against, it can quickly result in the end of the fight. After a few well placed low kicks, the opponent will be unable to get much support from his legs due to the bruising, and will eventually give way.
In many other martial arts forms, such as Tae Kwon Do, stylists use faster, snapping kicks which, however, have less power behind them.
Muay Thai on the other hand, teaches stylists to follow through with kicks, using the shin instead of the foot. Nearly all of the techniques involved with Muay Thai emphasize making use of the momentum of the entire body, which means rotating the hip each time the stylist kicks, punches, or blocks. These techniques are slower, though far more powerful than in more popular techniques such as Tae Kwon Do and Karate.
As those who follow martial arts might already know, the training and conditioning found in Muay Thai is nothing short of legendary for its intensity and rigorous effort. The training in Muay Thai aims to harden the weapons used in the martial art to a high degree. Students who have trained in Muay Thai for many years can absorb a lot of punishment, yet if they land a shin kick it will feel as if you have just been hit with a sledgehammer.
There is no doubt that Muay Thai is a very dangerous and effective martial art. It concentrates on teaching the delivery of punishing blows with very little grappling. Thai stylists have to be physically strong, capable of taking an opponent out with just one well placed strike. Muay Thai is also one of the most well known and most popular martial art forms in the world today - which is why, if you think it is interesting, you should not hesitate to study it.
If this article on Muay Thai has sparked an interest, you might also want to read a bit about Krav Maga.