Effective Muay Thai techniques: how to dominate in the ring

Muay Thai Techniques employ eight points of contact: feet, knees, fists, and elbows. That leads to diverse fighting tactics and striking combinations.

All of that heavily relies on a fighter's movement speed and agility which is an important category itself. It all has to be combined with strength training and body conditioning to create a complete fighter.

When you master those skills you will be prepared to face even the toughest opponents.

A list of Muay Thai fighting techniques

In general, we can divide Muay Thai techniques into 5 major categories:

Elbow strikes:

Elbows can also be used as a head-kick defense measure.

Elbow strikes are a very effective close-range attack. It is utilized to block the opponent's vision by cutting his eyebrow, so that blood may obscure it.

A cut that is deep enough may even end the fight by TKO. An elbow slash is also effective in delivering a spectacular knockout by hitting your opponent's chin. Read more about elbow strikes

Types of elbow strikes in Muay Thai

Muay Thai clinch:
Various techniques are used in clinch and neck wrestling skills. It includes:

  • throws
  • knees to the body targeting the stomach, liver, and solar plexus
  • side knees targeting ribs and the kidney section
  • knee to the face from a dominant clinch position
  • knee leg attacks aimed to cripple the opponent's movement
  • leg sweeps

Clinch and neck wrestling are integrated parts of Thai boxing. It gives a fighter a perfect opportunity to use devastating knee and elbow strikes.

One of the effective ways to set it up is to throw a combo of a few punches, close the distance with a short hook, and then follow up to a clinch position. Read more about clinch techniques

Types of clinch techniques in Muay Thai

Kicks, which include:

Kicks are one of the most powerful strikes in every Muay Thai fighter's arsenal.

The main difference between Thai boxing kicks and any other martial art kicks is that they utilize the shin instead of the foot to deliver a blow. This makes them more powerful and reduces the risk of an injury to a kicker.

Many of Muay Thai kicking techniques have also found their way into an arsenal of modern Dutch Kickboxing. Fast and precise, a truly devastating weapon.
Read more about Muay Thai kicks

Types of kicks in Muay Thai

Punching techniques:

  • jab
  • cross
  • hook
  • shovel hook
  • uppercut
  • swing
  • overhand
  • superman punch
  • and advanced techniques like spinning back fist
Traditional Muay Thai punches were initially very limited with straight jabs and circular punches being the most used strikes. It all changed with the globalization of Thai boxing.

Western Boxing techniques have been adopted by Muay Thai practitioners and enriched Thai Boxing with a new kinds of strikes and combinations.

On the opposite side, Western kickboxers implemented some of the Muay Thai kicking techniques and Dutch-style kickboxing was born.

Some of the most exciting matches between native Thai fighters and "Farangs" [Western fighters] are being fought in this formula. Read more about Muay Thai punching techniques

A list of punching techniques in Muay Thai

Knee strikes:

  • knee strike:
  1. straight knee aimed at the stomach, ribs, and solar plexus
  2. side knee which targets ribs and a side of the abdomen
  3. flying knee aimed at the same area as a straight knee
  • knee defense, like
  1. mid-section knee block in the clinch
  2. or a nasty low-kick knee block that may injure your opponent. Chris Weidman used it against Anderson Silva in a UFC fight to break his leg.

"The knee is the king". There's no doubt about it. Muay Thai knee techniques are one of the most powerful strikes in any martial art.

It possesses a knockout power - especially flying knee strikes - and it is great for wearing down your opponent in a clinch. Read more about Muay Thai knee strikes

A list of Muay Thai knee strikes and techniques

And of course combinations of the aforementioned techniques. Effective use of Muay Thai employs using all sorts of setups. There are combinations crafted for most of the situations encountered in a fight:

  • defensive combos, where you protect yourself first and foremost even when attacking
  • offensive combos, where you unload on your opponent and taking risk of a counter-attack or just go for an exchange
  • counter-attacks, where you wait for your opponent to attack and block/deflect/evade his strike to be able to hit back straight after

It all depends on whether you are a more offensive or a more defensive fighter.

Buy Me A Coffee

At the end of this post, I would like to share with you a solid list of Muay Thai combos.

I've picked them up while training and sparring in the gym. I'll share with you those that I have found most useful:

My advice is that you start with simple 3-count and 4-count combinations. This will give you a solid skill set that you can improve later on.

› Muay Thai techniques