muay thai defense techniques

The majority of muay thai defense techniques training sessions are spent on the offense. It’s not difficult to understand why this is the case, given that practicing offensive is such a blast and provides a solid workout.

The issue is that if you’re a fighter or someone who simply likes to spar a lot, only training offense leaves you extremely exposed. You don’t want to be the fighter on someone else’s highlight reel or the guy who gets knocked out in sparring.

This is why training your guard is so crucial, even if it isn’t as much fun. To train your defense, you must first understand how to defend each hit and when to do so.

you must first understand how to defend each hit and when to do so.

How Can You: Defend Yourself in Muay Thai?

Muay Thai, as the art of eight limbs, requires you to learn how to defend against a variety of strikes from various angles.

It’s difficult to know what to do when a Muay Thai fighter is hit with all of the kicks, punches, knees, and elbows that he or she faces. Let’s take a look at some defense techniques you need to know in Muay Thai.

How Can You Defend Yourself: Against A Muay Thai Kick?

Kicks are the most important weapon in Muay Thai, and you’ll have to watch out for them the majority of the time. Teeps and roundhouse kicks are the main kinds of kicks that you’ll encounter in Muay Thai. Fortunately, because of a variety of options, you may defend against these attacks with ease.

How Can You: Block Kicks In Muay Thai?

Kicking is a frequent Thai boxing technique, and blocking is one of the most essential defenses. Kicks can be blocked in a number of ways, the most common being “blocking”. Blocking is employed to defend against kicks, however, the form of the block varies depending on the target. To block kicks to the body and head, bring both arms to one side.

There’s nothing better than a basic check when it comes to blocking low kicks. Bringing your leg up so that the calf of your shin is pointing toward where your opponent’s leg will be kicking is all it takes to block a low kick.

The forward elbow block (or Uppercut Elbow), when done correctly, will not only avoid injuring you but will also inflict damage on your opponent. Muay Thai’s most common and successful kicking block.

Blocking isn’t typically your best option when it comes to teeps; instead, stick with a different strategy.

How Can You: Catch Kicks In Muay Thai

Kicks are only effective if you allow them to reach you, and one of the most difficult methods to defend against them is to merely catch them. Kicking is certainly a difficult art, but catching kicks may offer you some intriguing offensive possibilities. The objective is to get a grip on a kick just before it can do the most damage.

Roundhouse kicks and teeps to the body are relatively simple to defend against. All you have to do is move out of the way of the kick so you don’t get all of the force. Move out to the side of the kick and grab over and around the kick, similar to a wrestler’s overhook, for the roundhouse.

For the teep, keep moving backward just a bit and grab the heel of the foot with one hand while also grasping the top of the ankle or in step with the other.

Catching a roundhouse kick is also simple if you’re searching for a method to defend yourself against them. You’ll still step out to the side, but you’ll block with your close arm. You’ll reach under and over with the far side arm, sort of like a wrestler’s underhook, to grab the kick. Kicks to the legs are possible in Muay Thai, but they’re not advised. This is because catching a low kick in Muay Thai is a high-risk, low-reward strategy.

The danger of trying to block a low kick is that your head will be exposed, which a high-level kicker will take advantage of. Also, catching a low kick isn’t worth it when checking low kicks are often so much better.

How Can You: Dodge Kicks In Muay Thai

Deflecting kicks is a fantastic technique to avoid kick contact. If you want to avoid any contact with the kicks, Muay Thai is an excellent alternative. There are several kinds of dodges for various target areas for kicks, naturally.

Moving out of the path is one method that you can employ for almost every technique, and it’s a good idea in most cases. While this is a great solution on occasion, it isn’t always an option.

The lean back is the best option if you want to avoid a Muay Thai head kick. This isn’t like the lean back in boxing, which is used to deflect assaults; rather, it’s similar to Neo’s dodge in The Matrix. You’ll bend backwards from your low back while allowing the kick to pass over you.

Kicks to the body can be evaded by retreating your hips and raising your forearms. You’ll find yourself in a C form if you execute this dodge correctly. Avoid remaining in this posture for lengthy, because any follow-up strikes from your opponent that land, while you’re in this position, will be very successful.

You may perform a similar leg-dodging technique for kicks, but rather than concentrating on moving your body and hips out of the way, you’re focused on the legs and feet. The boot of the kicker should pass just in front of your thighs when executing this maneuver.

If you try to avoid a low kick with this method, you are vulnerable to one if your opponent misjudges the distance and still strikes. If they hit you with a low kick while you’re in this posture, there’s a good chance you’ll be swept to the ground.

If you want a low kick dodge that doesn’t leave you this exposed, there is another alternative. Instead of simply retreating, you may bring your lead leg back and change stances completely. If you’re OK with counter-attacking from the other stance, this will deflect the kick and put you in a good position to retaliate.

How Can You: Defend Against Punches in Muay Thai

When it comes to defending against Muay Thai punches, you may try to do so as you would in Western Boxing, but this is not the greatest idea.

There’s a good chance you’ll get hit with a knee or a head kick if you attempt to say Muay Thai rolls under blows.

Why? Because if you don’t defend against blows in a way that doesn’t make you vulnerable to a knee, kick, or even an elbow, then you’re leaving yourself open for one.

How To: Block Punches In Muay Thai

The first thing that springs to mind when defending against punches is blocking. Punch defense is very easy.

All you need to do to defend against uppercuts and straight punches are simply a cover-up. This block, which has been seen in many combat sports cards, is a good example of this. Simply stick your gloves to your head and hang on for dear life.

This isn’t the greatest option for obvious reasons, since you like being able to counter properly and your head is still taking a hefty amount of force.

It is also rather simple to block hook punches to the head. Bring your glove to your ear and maintain your forearm as near to you as possible, exactly like if you were on the phone. You also want to have a gentle bend in your legs so that the strikes aren’t quite as harsh. This way, rather than your head, the majority of the force is absorbed by your arm.

You should quickly put your elbow in front of your opponent’s aim when it comes to body shots. Whether they’re straight jabs or hooks, dropping the elbow and forearm in front of the punch will block it effectively.

How To: Parry Punches In Muay Thai

Parrying as a defensive measure is one of boxing’s most distinctive features. Uppercuts and straight punches can be parried, although you’ll mostly parry straights. Simply smack your opponent’s glove downwards to parry.

A light slap to the side of the glove will deflect a straight punch without forcing you to be stubborn.

You can also parry uppercuts; however, be cautious. You’ll need more force to completely stop an uppercut, but you will be vulnerable for a time.


How To: Slip Punches In Muay Thai

As previously said, slipping/utilizing head movement to defend against punches is not advised. At best, you avoid a punch in such a manner that your legs are vulnerable to kicks. At worst, you don’t even attempt to avoid a punch and get kicked in the face for your efforts.

Slips should be used only when absolutely necessary, and you don’t want them to appear too frequently because this might cause confusion. You also don’t want to utilize rolls with hooks, so no rolling beneath them.

Slipping against straights is something you’ve probably witnessed before. Simply put, move your head slightly to the side of your opponent’s. If the punch goes just past your ear, you’re executing it correctly. You’re not too far out of position, allowing you to defend yourself while also launching counters.

After slipping, you generally want to move outside of your opponent’s other glove, which means you don’t want your head facing his or her opposing glove. It also implies leaping to the side when your opponent uses his left hand and leaping to the other side when your opponent attacks with his right.

Consider slipping with your shoulder near the other knee. When you slip, you don’t want to twist from your core, but rather bend toward the leg that’s been passed. Keep your knees bent and loose, and you can lower yourself further while also loading up for a counter shot.

How To: Defend Against Knees In Muay Thai

When defending against knees in Muay Thai, you have a lot fewer defensive options than punches or kicks. Knees are thrown in two circumstances, each of which has its own set of techniques for defending yourself.

How To: Defend Against Knees From The Outside

When you’re being assaulted from the outside of the Clinch, there are only two choices. Fortunately for you, both of these options are quite simple and effective. The first option is to utilize your footwork to move away.

Knees from the outside are line strikes, so stepping to your left or right will keep you safe and out of the way. When your opponent knees, you can step out and pivot on your lead leg to get outside his strike. This will allow you to face their attack from the side, allowing for a strong angle.

You may teep your opponent as they approach. This will cut them off and knock the wind out of them, which is always useful.

How To: Defend Against Knees From The Clinch

Defending against a clinch knee, on the other hand, is a completely different issue. You’re really only left with one option in this scenario, and that’s to grasp the knee as it approaches its aim. You will not only keep yourself from snagging him, but you’ll have a simple sweep in your hands.

In a Muay Thai clinch, you can have more indirect methods of dealing with your opponent’s knees. The first is to spin when your adversary attempts to knee you. As they are only on one leg, this will stop their knees as well as throw them around.

Aside from that, the best way to defend against clinch knees is either to dominate the clinch or to eliminate it entirely.

How To: Defend Against Elbows In
muay thai defense techniques

Elbows are the weakest form of defense in Muay Thai. Even if you’re on the inside or outside, you only have two options. Get out of the way or block it. If possible, avoid being struck by an elbow by moving out of its way.

Keep in mind that elbows are short-range techniques. If you put yourself between your opponent and his or her arm, you will be spared from being hit or worse, having your flesh cut.

You must block if you can’t walk for whatever reason, whether it’s in the clinch or against the ropes. This isn’t ideal, but at least it’s better than getting hit on the head. You may block elbows as well as punches by doing so. Keep in mind that blocking your arms this way might result in their being damaged.

If you’re in a clinch, turning can also stop an elbow. If you can’t turn, try your best to escape or get anything between your head and your opponent’s elbow. It’s preferable to get hit on the shoulder rather than the head.

Muay Thai and MTK Gym

Are you interested in learning some Muay Thai kicks and tricks? Visit us today at MTK Gym!

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