My Journey into Muay Thai lead me through a Lot of Nasty Bruises…
Everyone goes through it in the beginning. I knew that the Leg Kick was a devastating move, but I got my first real taste of it in my first sparring sessions. I remember trying to check the kick like my instructor showed me but the leg wouldn’t budge when the kick came. The result was a black and blue leg and limping around for a few days.
The ability to successfully check came after weeks and weeks of additional practice in drills at class and training the technique in my shadowboxing. Later on, I was able to check automatically, that it gave me that split second opportunity to dissect my opponent and capitalize. I want to show you the fastest way to get this technique down so you don’t have to go through the torment to get to ‘automate’ the leg check so you can dominate your opponents.
Perfect Practice of the Leg Check Makes Perfect
The ability of the leg check to absorb impact comes from 1) bringing the knee to the inside of the elbow 2) Flexing the foot up (this makes that upper shin all the more massive) and 3) Catching the check perpendicular to the kick and on that thick upper shin bone (a bit of accuracy to aim the check on your part)….all while staying balanced on one foot…Wow! If you thought that was a mouthful, you’re right.
If you’re going to successfully perform the check in sparring or a fight, you need to be able to do this move when you’re completely alone. Keep Practicing to get the form down right it until you can do it at a fast, medium, and slow pace while maintaining total control of your balance on one foot. That’s how you’ll know you have control over the technique. Without the balance, you’ll stall for a split second during sparring and it won’t execute.
Next, You’ll Want to Practice it with a Partner
Next, we want to train our eyes to recognize the strike coming so we can integrate the check with the visual cue. Find a partner to drill the leg check…sometimes by itself, sometimes off a punch combination. This will train the eyes to stay open and look out for the kick and automatically check the kick. Remember, Muay Thai is fast so we want to take the training process in small bite sized steps! You should start to feel the groove of automation of the move and that’s when you know you’re ready to give it a spin.
It’s Go Time – Time For Some Real Muay Thai Sparring
If you followed the steps above, you should be checking most or all of those leg kicks coming your way. If you’re doing it right, they should be making contact with that upper shin…ouch for them. To take the check to the next level, be sure to keep the eyes fixed to look for openings after the kick so you can deal out some payback. A nice solid cross down the middle usually achieves this.
If you follow these guidelines, I know you’ll get to a point where checking Muay Thai Kicks will become easy. Keep doing it and you get to a point where you can start really dishing out some sweet revenge! The next level check if you’re really mean? The Muay Thai Cross Check – If you don’t know what it is, look up ‘Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman’.
As always, love to hear what you think. Hit me up with Questions and Comments.