Want to ramp up your Muay Thai experience by getting into competitive fights? Well, you can’t just jump to a fight ring but just learning offensive moves. Like any combat sports out there, learning Muay Thai defense must also be part and parcel of your fighting arsenal as a means to protect yourself from any serious hit causing injuries or worse, debilitating circumstances or even death.
Failure to block an opponent’s strike is one of the most crucial tipping points in Muay Thai. Think about being kicked full-force in the jaw and you’ll know why. Even the fittest fighter won’t survive a fight with an inexperienced opponent when he/she doesn’t know how to block, avoid, or evade an incoming strike. When thinking of going into competition, training as early as now on various defense tactics must be done.
1. Blocking. One of the most direct and subtle Muay Thai defense technique, blocking is meant to stop or deflect an opponent’s attack. It’s main purpose is to protect the part of the body focused to be attacked. It is normally done by placing a leg, both arms, and so on across an opponent’s offensive move. One of the most popular blocking technique in Muay Thai is the 45-degree block. This is meant to stop elbows, high kicks and even punches known to effectively counter a strike. Here’s a tutorial on proper blocking—
2. Redirecting. A favorite among underdogs, redirecting is actually taken from the Law of Physics. Regardless of one’s size, strength or weight, learning effective redirection defense technique allows one to deliver a reaction that will change an attacker’s offensive direction. It is usually done via soft parrying like say a downward tapping motion to a knee or a jab preventing strike from going on point. Here’s how to do it right —
3. Avoidance. This is done by not actually doing anything to defend yourself from an incoming attack. One simply moves the body away from the range of strike but not far enough that the defending Muay Thai fighter is already out of range and can still do a counter-strike. To counter with a roundhouse kick, for instance, you can move your front leg backwards to avoid a low kick. You may also dock from an incoming jab and process to counter attack with an upper cut. Here’s some avoidance defense techniques to practice–
4. Evasion. This technique meant “getting out of the way” in layman’s term. It closely resembles avoidance only this one is more deliberate and with a goal in mind– getting your opponent frustrated by not hitting you anywhere making him/her lose his/her cool thus, giving you more control of the fight. You can lean back or take a step back with the purpose of stimulating an opponent to move closer or change planned offensive move midway. Here’s how to do it–
5. Disruption. A favorite Muay Thai defense technique when facing high kickers, this is literally done to preempt an offensive giving you more leeway to deliver a counter attack. You can thrust a foot to target the leg of an opponent while doing a heavy rear leg kick, for instance, will make him lose balance and make it harder to turn to do a counter. Check this out–
This adage heard from various trainers and coaches in Thailand rings true to form– Offense make a fighter score points, Muay Thai defense wins the belt.” When thinking of entering its competitive ring, learning how to defend yourself from all points must always be taken as seriously as learning offensive strikes. From blocking to avoiding, parrying, countering, and so forth, practicing these skills require time and diligence. So beef up your training regimen and set your eyes to the goal. With enough patience, you are bound to achieve all that and more!