What comes to mind when someone mentions Muay Thai? Muhammad Ali or perhaps the popular Dragon Ball anime. Well, your guess is close but not correct. Muhammad Ali was a professional kickboxer and not a Muay Thai fighter. Before going over Muay Thai punches, here is a little about Muay Thai.
Here is what you need to know about Muay Thai. It is a noble martial art whose origins trace back to the 14th century. Back then, it was a tactic used by soldiers to guard the legs of elephants during the war. These soldiers used parts of their bodies, such as the knees, feet, and elbows as a form of weapon.
It is important to note that most of the history behind Muay Thai got lost when the Burmese raided the city of Ayutthaya in Thailand. As a consequence, various debates by modern scholars concerning the art’s origin have arisen. Muay Thai is can best get described as the eight limbs art. This is so since the sport uses body parts to mimic weapons used in war.
It involves the use of eight limbs strikes that are two elbows, two fists, two knees, and two feet. The game goes for five rounds, with every session lasting for three minutes. There is always a two-minute break before the start of the next round.
Muay Thai is a Thailand’s boxing national sport that has today taken a world stage, giving rise to games such as kickboxing and boxing. Therefore, to avoid any confusion between kickboxing and Muay Thai, remember that the former uses four strike points that are punches and kicks, whereas the latter uses eight.
How Deadly is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai has been a controversial sport due to its violent nature. In 2018, for instance, a teenager aged thirteen, Muay Thai boxer Anucha Tasako, succumbed to severe head injuries as a result of being hit five times in the ring.
He was then rushed to the hospital, where he got diagnosed with intracerebral hemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke that is characterized by seizures, loss of vision, headaches, numbness of particular body parts, and nausea.
Muay Thai is not that extreme when in a learning and respectful environment. You’re not going to beaten up when trying to learn Muay Thai, in fact, it is the opposite. There is a lot of benefit in practicing Muay Thai to your health, fitness, habits, emotional among other. If you want to learn more, we have writen an article about Muay Thai benefits; advantages and disadvantages.
The Muay Thai Elbow Punch
It requires the attacker to close the distance between them and the opponent. The attacker must combine speed, precision, and force to achieve a total knockout. You start by blocking the opponent’s swing, move closer then deliver a strong elbow strike on the opponent’s face.
The aim is to get blood oozing on their eyebrow, which will blur their vision leading to a total knock out. There are various types of deadly elbow strikes, such as the horizontal elbow punch, the vertical, and the spinning back elbow punch.
The spinning back elbow is perhaps the most common one delivered by Chris Mauceri during the 2015 Lion Fight event.
The Superman, a.k.a. Cobra Punch
It is a flying punch that requires you to lift your rear leg and tilt the upper body back to switch your weight. The upper body then leans in as the other leg kicks backward. Once in this position, you take a small hop with the grounded leg, kicking it backward while at the same time throwing a punch forward. The energy is then transferred from the arm into the opponent’s face.
The Flying knee Knock Out Punch
It is a fighting technique that requires some distance between both opponents. The attacker starts by slightly bending their knees upwards, which is then followed by turning the hips and then flexing the desired knee forward.
In 2019, Jorge Masvidal delivered a high-flying knee knockout within five seconds of the game becoming the fastest knockout in the ultimate fighting championship history
The Deadly Muay Thai low kick Punch
The attacker will first throw a fake low kick by turning the hip then dragging the foot slightly. The opponent will then step back and put his feet down, making it the best time to throw the low kick pushing the opponent backward as their feet land on the ground.
There are two types of low kicks: the lead and the low back kick. The former is used to target the opponent’s balance. The low back kick is deadlier because it aims at hitting the opponent’s outer thigh, which is made up of soft and vulnerable tissue.
India’s Surya Kumar utilized this technique to deliver a total knock out on Sor Pornthip of Thailand at the Max Muay Thai event in Thailand this month. Surya Sagar began by setting up an inside leg kick followed by a right cross combination that pushed his opponent backward. Surya then followed this with two deadly body punches.
After a combination of both low kicks and elbow punches, his opponent Pornthip fell flat, leading to a knockout win during the first Muay Thai round.
Recommended Level/Ranks to Perform
Muay Thai in Thailand initially lacked a definite ranking system as opposed to western countries’ categories. This is because traditionally, Thai boxers engaged in the Muay Thai to earn a living and not to win belts and titles.
This practice has slowly changed as modern practitioners have introduced an armband ranking system. These armbands known as ‘Praciat’ were initially a symbol for good luck. Parents would don their children with armbands for good luck. The symbolic meaning hasn’t completely changed, and these armbands are viewed as good luck charms.
Thai boxers wear both armbands and headbands for good luck and protection. These headbands are worn before they enter the arena. Thai boxers take their bands to monks to pray over them. Some of the requests include knock out power, defense, and speed.
Related article: Top 8 Popular Muay Thai Stances
Today, the World Thai Boxing Association(WTBA) has set up a three-level ranking system, namely: beginner, advanced, and instructor level. Their armband colors differentiate these levels.
The instructor level, also known as the ‘Kru,’ is the highest level that most Thai boxers aim to reach. It takes between five and ten years of discipline, integrity, and mastery of the art to get to this rank.
This you like our Muay Thai Punches overview? Let us know by giving this article a share in your favorite social media.