Muay Thai is a fighting style that originated in Thailand. It is an excellent way to build strength, flexibility, confidence, and overall athletic ability. Kids and adults can benefit from the practice of this ancient martial art. The following are examples of basic Muay Thai moves for beginners.
Useful at close range, the hook can be thrown with either hand. Pivot the foot on the punching side inward 45 degrees and follow through with the hip. The elbow is kept in line with the fist, and the thumb is inside facing you as you connect with your knuckles. The elbow should be at a 90-degree angle when you throw a hook.
A jab is a quick punch that will stun an opponent. Use the forward hand, and step forward with your lead leg simultaneously, rotating your hand to end with knuckles up. As soon as you’ve completed the jab, return to the guard position to initiate a slower, more powerful punch or receive an opponent’s blow.
A more powerful punch than the jab, it is initiated from the dominant hand with a rotation of the fist as in a jab. Rather than stepping forward, however, pivot onto the ball of the back foot and twist that hip forward. When the punch is complete, return to the guard.
1. Round Kick
This is one of the most effective moves in Muay Thai. The kick can be low, aimed at the middle of the body, or high to the head. Open your stance, and lead the kick with the shin of the dominant leg. Your weight will be behind this kick, but don’t overextend; this may cause you to spin around if the target is missed.
2. Teep Kick
A quick kick used defensively or to unbalance an opponent. Use the lead leg to snap out and up toward the middle of the target. Keep the dominant hand up by the chin, and use the lead hand to swing back to maintain balance.
3. Push Kick
This kick is performed by the dominant leg and is powerful but slower than a Teep kick. Step forward and kick up and through the opponent’s midsection with the middle of the foot. Return to guard position after the kick is complete.
914 Training Center, in Scarsdale, NY, offers fitness and self-defense training for kids and adults. Their programs include Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and fitness. They pride themselves on an ego-free and comfortable atmosphere where everyone can learn and progress. Call (914) 437-5353 for more information, or visit the website for programs, a class schedule, and testimonials.