Mastering Muay Thai Footwork….Starts at the Lead Foot
Watching Muay Thai, it’s hard to tell how important the feet are.
But if you watch closely, you can see it…no step is wasted (pun intended).
In particular, when starting out to learn Muay Thai…the very first part is learning the mechanics of movement. The movement of the feet, the hips, the torso, the shoulders, the hands….etc…
For me, looking back at my 8 years of intense training in Muay Thai….if I were to do it all over again…I would have spent a ton more time developing my feet first, before trying to focus on developing the other parts of the body. I believe it would have shaved off 4 years of time to get to where I’m at.
Most people coming in to Muay Thai, living in the Western world….are accustomed to wearing modern footwear. …and this footwear…as great as it is for getting around, has caused our feet to grow weak….
We step forward and land with our heels instead of on the balls of the feet…
Our toes are practically unused…for men and women who wear fashionable footwear…that get super pointy at the tops…crams the toes unnaturally together…
The first part of learning Muay Thai, is learning the footwork..
- Developing the strength of the feet and toes to ‘grip’ the floor
- Creating the mind body connection between our toes and our brain
- Learning to balance ourselves to move gracefully on bare feet.
Check out this typically Muay Thai fight and just watch the footwork….watch how the feet move in line with everything that’s going on up top.
With that strong footwork…these fighters look as if they’re floating about the ring, moving gracefully..instead of stuck in place
Where to Start Training the Feet for Muay Thai
Training the strength of the lead foot (toes included) to move as you want it is the first step to developing a strong striking and moving base…..This week, we’ll be focusing on developing a stronger lead feet, which will be the base of the majority of your strikes and your ability to move.
- When moving, the lead foot stays pointed in the direction of the opponent…the straighter the better…like a compass pointing at the north star
- For underdeveloped feet, the big toe will want to come up, actively force it down in your strikes.
- Utilize the toes…gripping them down into the ground for added power and stability.
- Continuing to train for power on the bag, without the strength to keep the feet rooted to the ground
- Turning the foot away from the opponent when moving or striking – this is natural since our feet will always move us toward anatomical neutral unless we act upon it.
Also….the most difficult technique to maintain that lead foot strength is for the rear knee…..I made a vid…haven’t made the corresponding blog article but it’ll be up later this week. In the meantime..for bonus points…check out these vids on the breakdown of the knee.
See y’all in class!