My second new client on Monday requested a basic muay Thai course for a creative way to improve overall fitness. Today we looked at footwork as well as basic defences to the head and body as well as the jab, the cross and the teep.
The lesson began with dynamic stretching and muscle activation exercises before we moved onto the basic guard and footwork. There are different types of muay Thai guards, but the basic one I was taught is an even, parallel hand position held high with the shoulders rounded and the chin tucked in and the torse held firm. The stance is square-on with the hips pointed towards the opponent. Unlike boxing stances there isn’t so much weight put onto the front foot which needs to be easily lifted whilst retaining balance. The elbows are tucked in, although nak muays tend to flare them more than western boxers due to the goading nature of muay Thai that invites attacks to create opportunities. A final note on the guard position: the arms and hands need to be firm but active and should not be static.
We moved through the forward, backward, lateral and pivot steps with the guard and then moved onto some basic blocks. We used a sequence of cover, left high, right high, left body and right body blocks to defend straight punches, uppercuts, hooks and shovel hooks. These were then paired with the footwork which were trained as solo drills before being applied. I then brought in slips and rolling. Rolling in muay Thai is a very short dip compared to even the most conservative of boxing styles due to the risk of getting hit by knee strikes.
I then introduced the jab and the cross that were layered onto the previous material. Finally, the teep was brought in. I mainly focused on the lead teep but also used the rear teep during the last exercise – a three minute round of Thai pad-work.