How to throw a powerful Muay Thai front kick

Muay Thai front kick, also known as Muay Thai push kick, has a longer reach than any other strike in Muay Thai. Or any other strike in any martial art for that matter.

Push kick is mainly used as a defensive weapon in order to push your opponent back. Learn how to deliver a push kick and how to defend yourself against it.

Muay Thai Push kick technique

What is the main use of the Muay Thai front kick?

The main purpose of a push kick is to keep the opponent outside of his punching range and to disrupt his strikes.

But is also possible to use it as an offensive move. Anderson Silva proved it in a fight against Vitor Belfort. He used a front push kick to knock his opponent out by kicking him straight in the face.

He was a bit lucky because the opponent didn't expect that and didn't even raise his hand up to block it. But even a blocked Muay Thai push kick is still very powerful and can inflict a lot of damage.

Just to be clear: there is a difference between a straight front kick like the one used in Karate and Muay Thai push kick.

The regular front kick is an offensive move. Push kick can also be used to attack but its main purpose is creating more space in the ring by pushing your opponent away. There is a lot of confusion about naming this particular technique. In this post, I will describe a traditional Muay Thai teep.

How to throw a proper Muay Thai push kick:

The kick should be executed in one fluid motion:

  • Raise your leg and extend it out using your hip
  • Hit the target with the ball of the foot
  • Put your leg back

Don't forget to extend your arm in front of you: this way you will be able to defend yourself if you miss a kick. The sole of your rear foot should be kept flat on the floor for better stability.

What is the main target for a Muay Thai push kick?

It all depends on how stretched you are. If you are fast and well stretched you can even kick your opponent in the face.

In general, you should aim for the stomach and the abdominal area. The kick should be as swift as possible. This way your opponent will have no chance of dodging it - or worse - catching your leg.

Abs and core

How to defend yourself against a teep kick?

There are a few ways of doing this:

  • You can deflect it with your hands or your shins

  • You can step sideways and catch it. This will require great speed and agility but it will also give you an opportunity to throw your opponent on the ground with a leg sweep.

  • You can also dodge backward and step away from the kick

How to develop a more effective Muay Thai front kick?

The best way is to practice it with a heavy bag until you are able to use it effectively in sparring.

  • Kick the bag and then catch it with another kick before it swings back
  • You can also kick the bag with one leg and then switch to another leg before it swings back
  • You can also swing a bag sideways and then try to kick it right in the middle

This way you will develop hip flexibility and build up leg strength needed for a powerful push kick.

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