The Art of Eight Limbs
Muay Thai boxing is a fighting stye that involves various strikes and clinches. This martial art originated from techniques ancient Thai warriors developed. It is sometimes referred to as the art of eight limbs because of the use of knee and elbow strikes in addition to the use of kicks and punches. This is a martial art that focusses on subduing an enemy through blunt force.
Although many types of fighting techniques focus on punching or striking with the hand muay thai boxing does not. There are all of the basic types of punches taught in this style. Of course the use of punches is important but it is not the main focus of this style of fighting because of the other arsenal it brings to the table.
Muay Thai has much focus on kicking as a form of striking. The notorious Yaang Sam Kun, a.k.a. the thai shuffle, a.k.a. thai boxer’s walk, keeps the fighter light on his feet which makes kicks fast and powerful.
The Muay Thai roundhouse kick is a powerful kick delivered to the body of an opponent. Also leg kicks are focused on as a way to set an opponent off balance when timed correctly. A teep kick is a key Muay Thai kick that can be used as a strong direct offensive move or a defensive move to keep an opponent at a distance.
Muay Thai Clinch
A special part of this type of boxing is its coverage of grappling type moves. This involves grappling while standing up and trying to knee the sides or stomach, and to pull the head down while bringing up the knee. This makes this type of grappling very unique. However, a well executed Muay Thai clinch can lead to punishing blows from the knee, very capable of ending a fight.
In Muay Thai punches are rarely thrown to the stomach area because the knee is a much more effective weapon. A Muay Thai knee is powerfully thrown by stepping in, throwing the knee straight upwards, standing on the toes of the down foot, and always keeping the guard up. The hips are rolled like the shoulders are in a punch to put even more power behind the strike. Lastly the knee can be a useful body strike or as high as possible, in the opponents face if possible.
The elbow is used very often as the knockout blow from a Muay Thai fighter. It is a very versatile strike as well being used in uppercut, hook, and overhand styles. Posture, footwork, and technique are all very important in the use of the elbow. These are all essential to get the most out of every strike thrown. The elbow becomes a deadly weapon in the hands of a master being able to quickly and efficiently end a fight.
A well known saying that goes along with Muay Thai tehcniques says, “kick loses to punch, punch loses to knee, knee loses to elbow, elbow loses to kick.” This, simply put, means one needs to master every aspect of Muay Thai striking to become be a successful fighter.