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Introductory pointers from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muay_Thai
This is a non-striking, non-sparring, non-choking, contact limited only to safe grappling introductory Muay Thai. The development plan has a structured framework specific to age, ability and relative performance measures. This program has key development phases and objectives which are critical in the sporting and pedagogical development of student-athletes. The development pathway of all student-athletes is closely monitored and adjusted according to individual needs. The program strategy is built on holistic development of all athletes, coaching and life skills through sports, developing habits for a healthy life.
Description of each session:
This is a non-striking, non-sparring, non-choking, contact limited only to safe grappling introductory Muay Thai.
In Learning Muay Thai, you will:
- Gain Self-Confidence – With a strong, healthy body, you will look good and feel good. Your effort translates directly to a tangible reward: healthy hormones and quite possibly those ripped abs you have always wanted.
- Build Explosive Cardio Strength – Muay Thai training builds your ability to output huge energy in short burst, and recover while still under demanding physical stress. This is very much like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
- Become Athletically Strong – Muay Thai trains your muscles and builds flexibility to realize your body’s full potential. This translates into the daily world in more ways than you might imagine; from being able to move that furniture, to catching the bus, to climbing that tree.
- Find Discipline – know how to be humble with your power will save you and others from unnecessary harm.
- Understand Self Defense – By knowing how to create distance, you can end a fight quickly.
- Find Calm – The focus of drills drives away all the background distractions of daily life. You will find yourself joyful in the concentration of the moment.
- Discover Non-contact Punching and Kicking! – Muay Thai is one of the few places it is not only encouraged, but necessary, to channel that aggression that modern society suppresses (for good reason). Of course, it is important to release that energy in a healthy, safe environment.
Stance, Balance, and Rythm
Balance is a cornerstone for any fight sport. You always need to be in control of your weight and movement, ready to attack, defend, or move out of the way.
Stance will dictate your balance and rhythm in Muay Thai. To find your stance, find a line on the ground. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with the line running through the balls of your feet. Now place your dominant foot (your stronger foot – the one you kick a ball with or is better to balance on) a half-step back. Place your other foot a half step forward.
Always stand slightly on the balls of your feet, with your knees slightly bent. Bring your fists up to the level of your cheekbones, wrists straight, knuckles facing out, palms facing in, at about a 45-degree angle to your face. Your dominant hand should rest an inch or two from your cheekbone, your lead hand offset another hands breadth away.
Keep your elbows a fist space away from your ribs. Always keep your chin tucked into your chest, and your shoulders slightly hunched up. Keep your torso straight. Orthodox stance fighters will have their left foot and hand forward, their right side loaded for more powerful shots. Southpaw fighters will have their right foot and hand forward.
Note: In many Muay Thai styles, the hands will be held further away from the body with the palms facing outward. This is a style that focuses more on controlling distance, important when clinches, elbows, and knees come in to play, but this is not a recommended style for beginners.
The Basic Muay Thai Non-Contact Strikes
These will be your bread and butter. They are the moves you will work on the longest, the moves you need to know before you can begin to defend yourself in your guard.
A few pointers to remember:
- Always throw a straight punch across your body, i.e., throw a left jab across your right side, connecting with the left side of your opponent.
- With any punch, try to connect with your first two knuckles on the index and middle finger.
- Punch straight out from the shoulder, do not wind up, i.e., draw your fist back before punching.
- After you throw a strike, immediately reset to your guard, anticipating the counter.
A Teep is thrown with your lead leg, it is the jab of kicks. Use Teep kicks to unbalance your opponent, and check an incoming attack.
- Push up on the ball of your dominant foot, snap your lead leg up and out to the target, the midsection of your opponent.
- Push your hips forward.
- Connect with the ball of your lead foot.
- You can rock your torso back slightly to push your hips out for more torque.
- You can swing your lead hand back as a counterbalance but always keep your dominant hand up to protect your chin.
Note: Some Muay Thai styles will emphasize staying planted flat on your dominant leg, your posture upright, and driving your Teep Kick through like a step forward. This takes slightly more flexibility and provides slightly less range in your kick, and can leave you in an unbalanced position, so is not recommended for beginners.
Muay Thai Guard
Now that we have covered the basic strikes, we can learn how to defend against them in the Guard. Your basic Guard is when a straight punch (jab or cross) is thrown at your face, you cover your jaw and cheekbones with your gloves and tuck your chin.
The Slip can be performed to help defend against a straight punch. All a Slip is, is a slight head movement so an incoming punch does not connect flush. In your guard, rotate your hips, torso, and head, about a handsbreadth to the opposite side of the incoming punch, i.e., if Slipping a left jab, Slip to your right. You do not need or want a large movement, just enough that the punch glances off your guard and does not connect fully.
If a hook is thrown, slide that guard part of the way back to your ear and move your shoulder up to protect your chin.
To block a round kick is a crucial skill in Muay Thai and will be your most utilized defense. To block, or Check, a round kick, raise your knee on the same side as the incoming kick and block their shin with your shin. Always keep your toe pointed down to the floor.
Keep your guard tight to the same side as your blocking leg, with your elbow behind and supporting your raised knee, your glove protecting your head. If it is a high kick, at the same time, cross your free hand over to the blocking side in front of your other glove to help slow a kick coming at your head. Return to your guard immediately after the kick has been successfully blocked.
To block a front kick you need to use your movement. A hop backward will put you out of range, or a pivot, to make the kick glance off you instead of connecting flush.