The eighth hour of my two clients’ current online course had us go back through the earlier combinations. One of my clients you will recall is currently recovering from surgery so he is having to adapt some of our work. We followed the usual format of 5 x 10 minute rounds. The first round consisted of warm-up exercises. The next four rounds brought up to combination five. We addressed issues with adapting and also the lead round kick.
Adaptations were made by my injured client who had to sit down for some of the combination work, using different counter techniques with his hand that he would have with his legs. For example, we switched out the shin-check for a Dutch block and trap.
When it comes to throwing power lead round kicks, many trainers skip straight into shifting, pendulum step and switch-kicking. All of these methods will make the lead kick more powerful. However, quite a number of people struggle with the plain lead kick. Unlike the snappy version of the round kick seen in savate, modern karate, tae kwon do and many other strike-based martial arts, the Thai round kick relies a lot on waist torque and drives more with hip. Arguably a lead Thai round kick is more difficult than its snappier cousin as it requires full body activation that can be hard to generate without dropping the lead foot back in some way or at least taking some form of step with the rear leg. However, it is achieved by emphasising the full torque of the body, using both arms and driving the lead hip forward.