Is it possible to use your hands like a boxer, incorporating the footwork required to leverage the power from the ground and by your rotating torso whilst still being balanced and on the correct foot to use your legs to block quickly and to also throw effective May Thai kicks?
We think so....
More than that, we think it is possible and still make your fighting look like Muay Thai and not kick boxing.
If you study any Thai fighter, even the best, you will see that they have a punching style that involves leveraging power from the floor in a very different way than a western boxer does. If you really study their form you will see a severe lack of rotational power and none of the ‘whip’ motion that the correct application of a push and pull principle derived from specific footwork technique can deliver. You will see the Thai boxer push off from his back foot while throwing the punch and preferring the 'push' of the strike to deliver the power.
A western boxer will use the ground under his back foot to push off from to generate forward momentum and then at the crucial millisecond will apply the brake (pull) with his front foot to halt that motion but he will allow the energy that has been created to travel up his body and exit through his hands at the point of impact. The hands being like the end of a whip, the end of a kinetic chain that draws power from the ground.
This power is augmented by an addition push from a torso rotation at the critical moment.
Many commentators will argue that this rotation leaves the fighter off balance to be able to defend leg kicks and then deliver their own kicks but this is purely a question of training balance and the quick reset ability of the fighter.
Many commentators will also argue that delivering rotationally charged blows to your opponents body exposes the puncher to knee attacks to the head as the puncher dips slightly to rotate. This is true but only so if the body shot is thrown without the puncher setting up the shot in a way that forces his opponent to be covering up or not in a position to throw a knee in the first place. This is ‘fight IQ’.
One of the main reasons we feel that less technical emphasis is given to the Thai boxers hands is down to the scoring system in Muay Thai which devalues a punch compared to kicks, knees and elbows.
Because it has low scoring potential it does not get the training emphasis....
But it forgets that hard punches can win a fight by knockout more often than a head kick which is tricky to deliver.
This lack of emphasis has created a fighter that fights which his guard up but palms forward in preparation to parry and clinch and which are in a better position to throw an elbow.
The traditional western posture of guard up and palms towards face helps to deliver more power as the punch is thrown from a more coiled position to begin with.
For a Nakmuay to be able to punch like a western boxer but also be able to 'frame' correctly to be able to transition to defensive leg blocks, return kicks and to be able to chain punch and kick combinations together effectively, they must learn how to transition quickly from 'on their toes' to 'sitting on their punches' and they will almost certainly need to adjust their stance slightly.
It is a footwork technique that you can already see some fighters using mostly in K1 events and we feel these fighters should be part of your study. It is creeping into Muay Thai as western practitioners seem to naturally bring this style with them into Muay Thai but it is sometimes washed out of them by their trainers who just want them to look 'traditional' Muay Thai.
Don't get us wrong, traditional Muay Thai can often beat a fighter with good footwork and rotational technique but this is usually your Buakaws beating plucky westerners who put in a solid first round, all technical and rational but who cannot beat the durability of a tough traditional Thai. The durability wins in the end...
DeathBlo wants your take....do any of you train with a conscious thought to your hands and the correct application power through push,pull and rotation?
Hit us up....
The DeathBlo Collective
As some new to MT I find this article is so insightful!
When you wrote this article. Did you have any Thai fighters in mind?
I’m new to MT and want to improve my technique. I watch fighters from time to time but I feel I may need to watch beginner friendly fighters!
P.s my Brooke Farrell hoodie is awesome! I wear it on my runs.