6 Common Foot Work Mistakes in Muay Thai

 

1. Flat Feet

Being flat footed slows down your movement.  This is why jump roping is often a staple in fight training.

2. Tippie Toes

The opposite of being flat footed, many beginners believe they need to always be up on their toes this is not true.  Many movements such as evading punches, checking kicks etc. may be done with one foot flat for added stability. As a rule you always want to have at least one foot elevated.

3. Moving the Wrong Foot First/Crossing

When moving in any direction the foot closest to that direction must move first. If you move the wrong foot first while traveling to the left or right you will surely cross your feet resulting in compromised balance.

4. Moving Feet too Close Together

This is really similar to #3, however your feet may cross due to over stepping your second foot. If you take a 3 inch step one way your trail foot must take an equivalent step in order to maintain the proper balance.

5. Dragging Feet

Dragging your feet is like having an anchor tied around your your ankle. Picking your feet up will increase the speed you move in all directions.

6. Stance too Wide

Having your stance too wide will negatively effect you power out put on kicks and punches, it also will make it very difficult to defend kicks.

 

Check out our video on Proper Stance and Movement in our free online Academy. All you need is an email!

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What’s the point of shadow boxing?

When most people shadow box they simply see it as a way to warm up, but where you will see the most results is when you began to slow it down. Virgil Hill a multi time boxing champion and trainer, is said to have his student’s shadow box so slowly that it is painful!  As described in a previous post, the best way to learn a skill is to go slow.

A majority of the time, when working the bag or shadow boxing there is no one coaching you. So what should you do?…….Be your own Coach!

 

Photo Cred. @Watthana Instagram

A great tool for shadow boxing is a mirror. Most fight enthusiasts can tell the difference between good technique, and bad even if they don’t know why. Looking in a mirror gives you the opportunity to scrutinize and correct what you are doing wrong in real time. If you do not have a mirror a little focus is necessary. Start by scanning your body while moving slowly through technique.

Things you should ask yourself while shadow boxing:

I am I balanced throughout the technique?

I am I protected throughout the technique?

Is there any wasted movement?

 

Shadow boxing should not be a mindless exercise, you must consciously analyze technique, slow it down, correct it, and then speed it back up again. I typically spend 20 minutes each morning shadow boxing. I do not like setting a timer for short rounds, I believe this messes up the mental focus and flow. This type of shadow boxing when done correctly is almost meditative. Once you lose track of time focusing on the nuances of a jab, only then will you know that you are shadow boxing correctly. Shadow boxing slowly will not only improve your technique, but will also let you find and create new patterns and combinations. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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How to Break Down Technique: The Muay Thai Body kick

The best way to learn a skill is to slow it down enough to find and correct error. I often times like to slow things down so much that they are no longer one fluid movement (macro movement) , but several small movements (micro movements).

The advantages to this is now I can look at a technique, let’s say a body kick, and identify the key micro movements one of my students is doing incorrectly. Once I identify the key missing piece, I can then have them drill that piece separately from the whole movement. By doing so I can increase the rate at which students learn, by focusing on key missing pieces. Once a missing piece is mastered I will then have them continue the entire movement. Often times I will warm up with mirco movements that relate to the marco movement of the day.

 

 

Here are some of the key mirco movement that make up the body kick.

 

What piece are you missing? 

Muay Thai Master Saenchai at work!

What are some of your favorite drills to improve your body kick? Did you like the article? If so be sure to sign up to our newsletter!

 

 

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