Muay Thai Drills - How to Kick like an Elite Level Pro Fighter
Elite level Pro Muay Thai fighters are able to not only execute consistently correct and powerful kicks, they make what is actually a difficult movement seem like the easiest thing in the world. How do they achieve this? Well, a lot of training for one. However, your ceiling on how good you are is set to a certain point by the standard of training you have access to. Muay Thai drills are essentially what your coach or pad man is using to not only teach you how to kick, but also how to utilise them effectively within fighting/sparring in a range of different fight based scenarios.
I have had the absolute pleasure in visiting some of the best Muay Thai coaches in the world in order to film with them for the Warrior Collective. Here below are some of my favourite videos from these trips and an explanation as to why I think they should be included in your training regime to help further your kicking ability!
How to kick
This video features former Rajadamnern Champion and renowned Muay Thai coach Jompop Kiatphontip as he demonstrates how kicks within Muay Thai look and differ from those found within other systems or disciplines.
This was actually one of the first videos I filmed for the Warrior Collective and now stands as one of the most watched on the channel. Not for no reason either, Jompop is not only an exceptional coach, his execution of technique is flawless.
A lot of fighters and coaches can sometimes under appreciate how consistent practise of fresh air kicking with correct technique can lead to major improvements both on the pads and in competition.
Muay Thai Drills
This video features Muay Thai World Champion and renowned One Championship fighter Panicos Yusuf as he demonstrates a series of Muay Thai drills you can utilise with a partner.
These kicking specific drills are done in a give and take fashion, similar to what you might see in gyms that adopt a more Dutch Kickboxing style approach.
The idea behind the series is that you must practise repetitively in order to remain balanced both at the start and the end of the kick. This poise can then be used to quickly counter your opponents kicks as shown with the video as it progresses.
The power is not what is important here. What is important however is good technique. These drills are a great way to ensure not only the development of your kicks, but also as to how effective you become at timing the execution of them within sparring or fighting.
Panicos Yusuf has a full length instructional volume called 'Tricks for Elite Muay Thai Training Series' featured on this site. Click on the link to learn more about it and download your copy today.
Power Body Kicks
Although Muay Thai is well known for it's low kicks, the ability to consistently deliver powerful kicks to an opponent's body is one of fundamental importance.
This video features former Muay Thai Champion and renowned UK coach Gary McAllister, alongside his son, top pro fighter and Muay Thai World Champion Reece McAllister. In it he goes through how stance, footwork and rhythm are necessary components in ensuring you maximise the effectiveness of your body kicks.
The ideas touched upon and developed throughout the video include how to mask your intent prior to throwing the kick, how to stay balanced to counter your opponents attacks with it and how to set it up. The power comes from correct technique, explosive application and retention of all the fundamental components mentioned within the video.
Somapat Sitiwajana (or sometimes better known as Master A) is the brother to world renowned Muay Thai figure Master Toddy and a highly regarded UK based coach in his own right. In the video below he goes through how flow is more important than power for a student or fighter wanting to develop their kicks and knees.
By using only hands (as opposed to pads) you can enforce more control from your partner and the need for greater accuracy. Also, this can be utilised in a manner that allows you to check range by touching hands/fingers and gives each the opportunity to correct the other throughout the training session.
Power Low Kicks
Multiple times Muay Thai World Muay Thai Champion and renowned striking coach Damien Trainor was well known as a fighter for using fast combination attacks. Throwing leg kicks singularly can sometimes allow them to be blocked or avoided by Elite level opponents. A lot of experienced coaches thus go through set piece combinations on the pads to instil different ways to set these up.
In the video below Damien showcases one of his favourite ways to practice power low kicks on the pads. By using a combination of Thai pad, Belly pad and Kick shield, he is able to string together techniques from different ranges without losing speed, flow or power.
Combination No 1 - Jab, cross, lead hook, rear low kick
Combination No 2 - Add on to Combination No 1, cross, lead hook to body, rear low kick
Combination No 3 - Jab, rear low kick, catch your opponents rear body kick, rear low kick whilst holding leg, drop the leg as you throw the cross, lead hook, rear low kick
Combination No 4 - Double jab, rear hook, lead low kick to opponents back leg, rear uppercut, lead hook, rear low kick
Combination No 5 - Cross, lead hook, rear low kick, lead uppercut, lead hook, rear low kick
Damien Trainor has two full length instructional volumes featured on this site. 'The Fight Game - Strategies for World Class Striking' and 'Fighting Concepts for World Class Striking' are both available to purchase and download today. Click on the links to learn more about them.
If you enjoy this article then you may well love Muay Thai Low Kicks - 3 Sneaky Ways to Use them in Sparring/Fighting or How Elite Muay Thai Fighters Use the Teep to the Leg to Destroy Balance as already featured on this site.
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