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The muay thai is a very diverse fight, with a variety of techniques for both attack and defense. So, this martial art has several blows that involve the hands and fists, as well as the feet, knees and legs as a whole.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of the main muay thai moves used during a fight. These movements are not as simple as they seem, requiring a lot of training, practice, dedication and physical strength.

So let’s take a look at the main muay thai moves and how they work within the sport!

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Muay thai moves: complete list

  • Jab;
  • Direct;
  • Hook;
  • Uppercut;
  • Front kick;
  • Circular kick;
  • Knee kick;
  • Elbow.

Muay Thai moves: learn more about them

jab muay thai

Muay thai moves: jab

In muay thai, the jab is a blow used mainly to measure the distance between the fighter and his opponent. It is then thrown with the fist forward quickly, making it possible to assess the distance needed to hit the target using other types of blow.

In addition, the jab works to control the center of the ring, keeping the opponent at a safe distance so that he can’t advance easily.

The jab can also be a way of distracting the opponent, creating openings for other blows to hit him. This is usually done by throwing the jab repeatedly, which makes the opposing fighter try to react.

You can then use crosses, hooks and even kicks to hit him. But the jab is also a defensive tool, interrupting your opponent’s attacks and keeping a safe distance so he doesn’t touch you.

The blow can also be used to exhaust the opponent or as a starting point for combining different attacks.

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Muay thai moves: direct

The direct is also essential in muay thai. As it is a very powerful blow, it requires a lot of skill and physical strength from the fighter.

The direct is a blow delivered with the rear fist, usually using the fighter’s dominant hand, which then rotates the body and transfers the weight of the rear foot forward. All this happens while he extends his arm in a straight line towards the opposing fighter.

The blow also generates a lot of power and speed at the moment it is executed, causing as much damage as possible to the opponent, since the fist is propelled by the rest of the body and hits the target with a lot of force.

The direct hit is also effective at medium and long distances, which is why it needs to be thrown as precisely as possible to hit the target effectively.

The move can also be used, like the jab, as part of a series of more elaborate attack combinations. Using the jab to distract the opponent, for example, the straight right can follow to actually hit and cause damage.

It’s worth noting that the direct is also an excellent defense tactic, intercepting the opponent’s attacks. The blow also has different variations, such as a hook, which is thrown at a sideways angle, an upward hook, thrown from the bottom up, and others.

Muay thai blows: hook

The hook is a circular blow that is made as a curved arm, in a movement similar to the swing of a hook. This type of blow can be used to hit the side of the opponent’s head, which will cause the opponent to overbalance and lose their advantage, especially if they are hit in the temples or chin.

The blow can also be aimed at the body, especially at the opponent’s ribs and abdomen. Using the hook is a great way to weaken your opponent!

The move also has a variation called an upward hook, which is thrown from below to hit the opponent’s chin or body. This type of hook is ideal for use when the distance between the two fighters is quite short.

But hooking can also be a great defensive option, intercepting your opponent’s attacks and acting as a counter-attack. This type of strike also has other variations, such as the wide hook, which is broader, and the short hook, which is faster. As with the other strikes mentioned above, you can also use combinations.

Muay thai blows: uppercut

Another very important type of blow in muay thai is the uppercut. It is very effective when the two fighters are in close proximity, with limited space, and is used to hit the chin or ribs.

The uppercut is also very effective at breaking the opponent’s guard, as it has a lot of impact power due to the movement made to hit the target.

This type of blow also has different variations, such as the straight uppercut, which is done in a straight line, and the wide uppercut, which is thrown more widely. The uppercut is an excellent defense option, especially when combined with other types of blow.

Muay Thai strikes: front kick

In muay thai there is also the front kick. This type of blow is made by raising the front leg and extending the foot towards the opposing fighter.

It is executed using the top of the foot or the sole, and the leg must be retracted quickly after hitting the opponent. The front kick is a very effective blow to keep the opponent at bay, controlling the space between the two fighters, preventing the opponent from advancing and consequently making further attacks.

The move is also crucial for throwing the fighter off balance, but it needs to be done very precisely so that he is thrown backwards. Just like the other blows, it can also be used as a form of defense, as well as having different combinations and variations.

To successfully execute the front kick, you need to focus on speed and precision.

front kick muay thai

Muay Thai strikes: roundhouse kick

Muay Thai also includes the circular kick. This type of blow is delivered with a hip rotation movement, while the leg is thrown towards the target horizontally, causing the foot or shin to hit the opponent.

This type of kick is very powerful and has a high range, as it can be used to hit the opponent’s head, body, legs or arms.

The roundhouse kick needs a lot of technique and speed to be effective. If the blow is thrown quickly, the opponent can be taken by surprise, and if the kick is slow it can give the opponent time to defend themselves.

To master this type of kick, fighters need to practice a lot and have plenty of physical conditioning, especially flexibility, strength and, of course, a lot of technique.

Muay thai strikes: knee kick

The knee kick is also a very powerful blow in muay thai, as it can hit the opponent’s body and head, especially the ribs, face, thighs and legs in general.

The move is very impactful and can cause crucial damage to score points and achieve victory. This type of kick can also be combined with different other types of blow, such as punches and elbows.

It is also essential when it comes to defending yourself and making the best counter-attack. To be able to execute the knee kick in the best way, fighters need to train hard, strengthening their legs and improving their flexibility.

Muay Thai blows: elbow

The elbow is also a very powerful blow in muay thai, generally used when the athletes are within striking distance of each other.

The blow is executed by the fighter bending the arm and using the outside of the elbow to hit the opponent. This can happen from different angles and directions, all depending on the current situation.

Elbows can be used to hit the face, chin and temples, or even the opponent’s legs. The blows are so powerful that they can knock out the opponent, depending on the force and angle at which the blow is struck.

To be able to deliver the best elbows and master the blow, the fighter needs to train his strength and flexibility a lot, not least to keep himself safe during the fight.

Muay thai blows: complete list

  • Jab;
  • Direct;
  • Hook;
  • Uppercut;
  • Front kick;
  • Circular kick;
  • Knee kick;
  • Elbow.

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