The Muay Thai Roundhouse

Cthulhu

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This may be difficult, but could anybody with experience describe how the traditional MT roundhouse kick is done? If possible, describe how it is set up, chambered, delivered, etc. I'd like to compare with the roundhouse kick taught in my system, karate, TKD, and other systems.

I've seen one person deliver the kick without their support foot fully planted on the ground (he was on his toes), and he stated that the lead arm was twisted out of a proper defensive position since it was being used to provide torque to the kick.

I'm just being nosey :D

Cthulhu
 
Ok, keep in mind I haven't been doing this a tremedously long time (about a year), and my experience with kicking in other arts is severely limited, but here goes:

We're going to assume a left lead stance and you will be kicking with the rear (right) leg. First off, take a step (or hop) about 45 degrees to the left from straight ahead, to your opponents right. Now, your support (left) foot will pivot outward, ideally ending with the heel pointing at your target. The foot should be flat on the floor to provide max stability. As you pivot, turn your hips, kind of like you are turning around to look behind you, but don't actually go that far. While your hips are rotating, your kicking (right) leg will lift off of the ground. Let it swing, like a baseball bat, at the desired level (thigh level is good). Don't tense your thigh muscle, just relax and let the kick make contact. You should be hitting with your shin, not the foot.

About halfway through the kick (experiment for the right timing), drop your right hand back behind you, this adds counter balance to the movement so you don't spin like a top (unless you want to). Be sure to keep your shoulder up to protect the chin though, otherwise a counter punch has your name on it.

On contact the knee should be bent, and the force of the blow should contact the target at about a 45 degree angle inward (not straight in from their left side - 90 deg. - and not straight in from the front - 0 deg). Again, don't tense up on impact, just let it swing like a baseball bat or axe, right on through the target.

That was a little longer than I thought it would be, but I hope you can understand that. If you have any questions or points you need clarified, just ask. I'm sure IFAJKD has been doing this kick for awhile also, so maybe he can fill in any gaps here.

To sum up, the major points - support foot is flat, hips completely turn over (the biggest problem with newbies), the hand is dropped to provide torque, but the shoulder be kept up for defense, and don't chamber the kick, just let it go. I'll look around and see if I can find any good clips online.

[edit]forgot to address the hand issue[/edit]
 
Hmm....sounds interesting. The force of your momentium provides the impact?

Clips definatly good. I'm having some probs visuallizing this accurately I think.

:asian:
 
Yeah, that's the basic idea. Your leg muscles do come into play, but the idea is to be as relaxed as possible. I'm having trouble tracking down some good clips, but for now check out this one. The angle isn't the greatest to see his mechanics, but it's a pretty good shot.

Clip
 
Kumasan, thanks! That was very well-written and easy to understand. Good thing, too, as I couldn't view the clip for some reason.

Some more questions...

I've seen people teach that it's okay to go up on the toes of your support foot for the MT roundhouse. I've always found this counter-intuitive and have always believed that this may take some of the power out of the kick, though it may give a slight height advantage (whoopee). Your thoughts on this?

I agree with you on newbies and hip pivot. It's always a hard thing to teach for me. I can demonstrate the difference in kicking with and without hip pivot on a shield or bag, but I don't think a student can truly appreciate the difference until they learn how to put their hips into kicks for themselves. Have you seen any effective ways to teach this to new students?

Thanks again for the response, I enjoyed it!

Cthulhu
 
As far as the foot thing, what my instructor did to demonstrate how important it is to try and keep it down was just foot jab (push kick) my hip whilst I tried to round kick. If you're on your toes, you go flying backwards. If you keep your foot flat, you usually only stumble backwards for a few steps :)

For the hips, what helped me the most is the "turning around" metaphor. Tell them to turn their hips into it like your are about to walk in the opposite direction.

Here's another clip. Again, not the greatest angle, but Maurice smith can sure throw a mean kick. If your having trouble, try going to http://kagemaru.freeshell.org/vid/ and see if you can download them from there. If not, don't worry. The first clip was just Gilbert Yvel knocking out Gary "Big Daddy" Goodridge in Pride 10. The second clip is Maurice Smith knocking out Conan Silveira in Extreme Fighting 3.
 
Tried couple of dif ways...can't get any to play. I'm using Win98/WM 7 on this pc.

Thanks for the info though...am definately gonna try that one sometime.:)
 
For some reason, Windows Media Player is puking on the clips. No biggie...I saw the Smith fight a while back, so I know what you're talking about.

Cthulhu
 
I usually have the same problem here at work for some reason. I have to right click and choose "Save File As...", then run it from my hard drive. Dang windows...
 
hi guys im new here, i just thought id throw in what i know.

well i dont see how you could possibly throw a MT round kick with your foot on the ground flat. (you could do some serious damage to your knee as your leg twists) you pivot on the ball of the foot and instantaneously lift leg up and throw with hips at target, but also pivoting at the same time. pivoting on ball of lead leg does not decrease power by the way. there is no chambering. im 95 kg and 6'2" and can kick a similar sized opponent sideways quite frequently whilst they are standing in a solid stance with the thai pads. (leg lunges, squats and leg curls, sitting down and standing up exercises can all help for power in kick)
stepping forward at 45 degrees would also be a no no as it telegraphs the opponent that you are going to throw a kick.
ideally your lead leg should be lined up in between your opponents two legs in his/her stance when about to throw kick.
the only time you would step it up or skip through for a kick would be after a punch combo e.g left jab/right cross/ skip out at 45 degrees and throw leg kick to front thigh.
the leg doesnt have to chop in below the 90 degree angle, it can be straight, this is for a rib roundkick.
you do use the right arm as a pump for the kick (if you were in orthodox stance as kumosan suggests) but it is important to keep the left hand in front of face whilst throwing for some protection.
The leg roundkick is a different story of course, best thrown straight after a jab or short hook, as you jump in and throw the jab, you land and pivot instantaneously on the lead leg and roll left shoulder over, bring through hips, your foot should definitely be at a 45 degree angle to the rear, and you strike just above the knee cap, but anywhere on thigh is fine (big nerves there to cause damage too) and you should be sideon.
 
Thanks for this info. thaiboxer. I am trying to learn this as part of Jeet Kune Do. I assume you practice this against a heavy bag or the like? Any advice as to how it "feels" when you've got it right?
 
Originally posted by arnisador
Thanks for this info. thaiboxer. I am trying to learn this as part of Jeet Kune Do. I assume you practice this against a heavy bag or the like? Any advice as to how it "feels" when you've got it right?

im new to this so please excuse me if i do something wrong whilst replying.
yep arnisador, i have a bag filled with saw dust that has compacted quite hard, its about 4' long, its a good workout for the shins, my kru (trainer) has rubber in his.
definitely do not hit your bone with objects such as coke bottles etc, this will lead to long term damage of the bone, but will certainly deaden your shins quick. depends which is more important to some people.
you will know when you are doing it right when you bend the bag in half :) with power and swing it aggresively after contact, also when training with another person, they will most certainly feel it through the thai pads or kick shield. It should feel smooth as well, should be a smooth action, as with everything else i suppose.
you do BJJ which one may i ask? im checking out a few BJJ classes where i live, one machado i dont know the other. can you give me some advise on these? thanks.
 
Originally posted by thaiboxer
you do BJJ which one may i ask? im checking out a few BJJ classes where i live, one machado i dont know the other. can you give me some advise on these?

Thanks for the advice on the kick! I have been studying BJJ for less than two months so I cannot give you very good advice I'm afraid. My instructor is a brown belt under Wellington "Megaton" Dias, who is a representative of Rickson Gracie. My understanding is that the Machado version is not significantly different from the Gracie version (see this thread.

See also the Grappling forum here.
 
Sweet! About time we got another Muay Thai type person around here. First off let me say welcome, and thanks for pointing out some of my mistakes. I'll probably be asking you for some help with some variations in techniques I've seen (my training is currently split up between Muay Thai/JKD/FMA/BJJ). Now I'll go ahead and address some of your points...

Originally posted by thaiboxer
hi guys im new here, i just thought id throw in what i know.

well i dont see how you could possibly throw a MT round kick with your foot on the ground flat. (you could do some serious damage to your knee as your leg twists) you pivot on the ball of the foot and instantaneously lift leg up and throw with hips at target, but also pivoting at the same time. pivoting on ball of lead leg does not decrease power by the way.

Good point. I wasn't very clear. Yes you pivot on the ball of your foot, but we train to plant the heel just before impact. Since writing this I've heard quite a bit that the planting is a no-no, but, well, that's what I was taught.

stepping forward at 45 degrees would also be a no no as it telegraphs the opponent that you are going to throw a kick.
ideally your lead leg should be lined up in between your opponents two legs in his/her stance when about to throw kick.
the only time you would step it up or skip through for a kick would be after a punch combo e.g left jab/right cross/ skip out at 45 degrees and throw leg kick to front thigh.

This is true, but for the reasons of my post, I stand by my description. I was merely trying to show the mechanics, not the strategy. We always teach newbies to do the step, then they progress to the skip. It's easier to get them to learn using the kick in conjuction with movement. Obviously it's much faster to just throw the kick, or lead up to it with some punching or other footwork.

the leg doesnt have to chop in below the 90 degree angle, it can be straight, this is for a rib roundkick.

I never really mentioned the vertical angle for the kick, just the horizontal. Another good point that I should have addressed. Thanks!

it is important to keep the left hand in front of face whilst throwing for some protection.

Whoops! I completely left that part out. Good catch.

The leg roundkick is a different story of course, best thrown straight after a jab or short hook, as you jump in and throw the jab, you land and pivot instantaneously on the lead leg and roll left shoulder over, bring through hips, your foot should definitely be at a 45 degree angle to the rear, and you strike just above the knee cap, but anywhere on thigh is fine (big nerves there to cause damage too) and you should be sideon.

I also like to leg kick the support leg when they are trying to round kick me. We call this the cut kick. What do you guys call it?

I see you have your location as Australia. Mind if I ask where? I'm not in a position to travel there like I once was, but I absolutely loved it when I did.
 
thanks very much for the warm welcome, glad to be here.
i wasnt having a go or correcting you in anyway i apologise if you thought this was so.
with regard to the way i described the roundkick, i have recently found out this is not the traditional way to actually perform the kick, it is an adaptation. And yeah i guess your foot could be planted at actual impact point.
We dont call it anything in particular, that kick to the support leg. I like catching teep kicks, spinning them around and skipping through and kicking the support leg.
yeah im from Queensland in Australia from an inland town approx. 90000 people here.
Good stuff
 
I know what you mean about scooping the teep. On the rare occaision kicking the support leg doesn't put them down, they're in a good spot to receive a couple of elbows ;)

How often are do you guys train the clinch? Lately we've been doing it quite often. Tonight my training partner bruised up my kidneys something fierce. I'm not the best at defending the curve knee.

The only places I've been in Australia are Darwin, Perth (for a whopping 6 hours), Adelaide, and Hobart, Tasmania. Had a damn good time in all of them (except Hobart - long story).
 
Originally posted by thaiboxer
i have recently found out this is not the traditional way to actually perform the kick, it is an adaptation.

What is the traditional way?
 
ill get back to you arnisador on the traditional way. have to ask my kru, he told me the mechanics, but i have forgotten some elements. so no use me trying to comment just now.
kumasan it would have been good to visit those places, all the cities are quite nice, ive only been as far south as sydney ( i hope you have a map of australia somewhere there) and as far north as townsville in my home state queensland.
we train clinch every so often, but we are encouraged to clinch in our sparring sessions after training. but sometimes we devote a whole lesson to it and then just do grapple sparring against multiple partners. wears you down after a few rounds of that i can tell you, amazing i never thought it would watching it.
yes ive had quite a number of bruises in floating rib/kidney area from the slapper knee (the one that goes straight back and up then comes around and strikes with inside of knee or slight point) only used when opponent is right up against you.
there isnt a hell of a lot you can do about it really, except you hope to manipulate their position so that you can fire in more slapper knees than your opponent in the clinch, or work them into a thrusting knee or knee to the head situation.
and i wont ask about hobart :)
 

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