Two fighters grapple at each other looking for a way out to topple the other. Suddenly, a straightforward kick find its way out of nowhere landing on the jawline of another. Knockout! Exhilarating, isn’t it? The Muay Thai Flying Knee technique is a popular move that turns many fighters into badass champions of their league. But it’s not for the faint of heart though. It is quite a challenging movement that has to be perfected and throwing requires a lot of this: timing.
The flying knee technique is one of the bastion of awesomeness in Muay Thai fighting styles. Young Thais are being trained with this move at such a young age that every fight in the region always have each opponent throwing spear-like knee offensives as Western boxers throw jab to each other. Of course, many believe that it’s all because of the points it brings to the scorecard. The more important point though is this– the knees can be used regardless if it’s in a long or close range attack. It is one effective body “blade” which can be used to topple an opponent.
So, when thinking of learning the flying knee technique for the first time, these tips should be taken into mind.
1. It is important to learn the composition of your knees before you start. The three bones– femur, tibia and patella (kneecap)– are what composed the very knees you will be throwing out there. Point of contact happens right at the patella or kneecap but all these bones are supported by your leg and thigh muscles as well as the surrounding tendons and ligaments. Thus, it is important to note that a flying knee movement is necessarily a collective effort.
2. There are two types of knee strikes for you to pursue– from a neutral position and from a clinch. Neutral position usually allows you to deliver the Muay Thai flying knee technique while a straightforward knee move is often seen from a clinch as there is less space to maneuver between you and an opponent. Advanced agile fighters, however, can still make do with as little space as they have to land a flying knee.
3. Unlike the other knee strikes– straight knee (khao trong), curved knee (khao khong), diagonal knee (khao chiang), horizontal knee (khao tat), long knee (khao yao), etc.– the khao loi or flying knee strike is often used by a fighter when an opponent is off-balance or in a disoriented state. It’s main target– the head. It’s purpose– total knockout rendering an opponent unconscious.
4. To land a flying knee technique right at your opponents head, proper form and timing will be needed. The non-kicking foot must be perfectly rooted to the ring, locked in place. The hips and surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments of both kicking and non-kicking leg must be utilized while you lean back in a rigid angle gathering momentum before a strike. Your goal is to drive it straight to an opponent’s head like a spear.
5. As mentioned, the strength, power and speed of a knee strike comes from the collective effort of surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments from the hips down to the balls of your feet. You need to train for flexibility to facilitate perfection of such movement. Incorporate box jumps into your training regimen to acquire more height in throwing a flying knee strike. This move helps to improve not just a fighters agility but also explosiveness in a vertical movement. Add jump squats, too. Take note that you will be squatting down a little to maximize vertical movement particularly when you’re not as tall as your opponent.
6. When throwing a flying knee, it is important to properly estimate the perfect angle to land a blow on the head and to make sure that you are well within a potent striking range. Bend it a little in preparation but make sure to do it in a manner that will not affect your upward jump. As you jump, gather all your strength and power from the lead hip rotating quickly from rear to front– while quickly pointing your patella or kneecap upon a strike.
7. Giving a flying knee usually opens your defenses leaving you vulnerable for counterstrikes. So make sure to use those arms as a long guard. Pay particular attention to an opponents kicks and jabs as you land.
8. When to throw and how to effectively do it are important aspects in a Muay Thai flying knee training or any knee strikes for that matter. You need to practice consistently and with constancy to perfect your move. Along with this, it is also crucial to train on how to calculate any dire consequences when throwing a high knee allowing your defenses to be ready for a counterstrike. To learn more about how to throw a flying knee in Muay Thai, check out this VIDEO.
Without a doubt, learning how to properly execute a Muay Thai flying knee technique is a symbol of ultimate badassery. It requires extensive training and a lot of learning on your own strength and power. As much as possible, use this technique as a surprise attack. Throwing one must be done cautiously, too, as it can backfire leaving you open for an opponents deadly chops.