Weaknesses of Thai-Boxing.

Odin

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From a strictly stand up point of view ( no grappling or self defense sorry ) what would you say are the weaknesses of Muay Thai from a strictly competition point of view?(full contact rules)
by this I mean in a style vs. style competition, if you were to go against a Thai boxer what would be the obvious ( or not ) weakness that you can think of?

This question also goes out to practicing thai boxers, is there anything over the years of learning have you found a weakness that you thought might need to be addressed?
 

savior

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so be honest, i cannot think of any weaknesses. Maybe the only weakness is that there isnt much head movement (i.e Bobbing and weaving) in Muay Thai. Therefore, your opponent can target your head easier than other arts such as Boxing (where bobbing and weaving are very common).
 

Boomer

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Having trained muay thai, there were habits I didn't particularly like that I exploited in others.

1) for some reason, many (not all) MT fighters rise up on the ball of their foot when throwing round kicks. This leave many unbalanced and open for attack if you only step into their kick.

2) The absolute exploitable weakness is the drop of the hand during round kicks. If the MT fighter is throwing a right round kick, he'll drop his right hand down behind his butt cheek. If your timing is good, you can step into the kick, effectively neutralizing its damage, and deliver a near unblockable right cross or left hook of your own.
 

savior

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i dont think that you can ever "neutralize" a kick by stepping into it... sorry
 

zDom

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i dont think that you can ever "neutralize" a kick by stepping into it... sorry

Um.. yes you can.

By stepping in closer to the kicker, say at their knee or even closer, you are too close for the weapon (foot or ankle) to make contact. Also, like a baseball bat, the power is all at the END of the leg, not in at the thigh.

I'm pretty sure this is what Boomer is talking about.
 

Boomer

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I'm pretty sure this is what Boomer is talking about

Yes, thank you much.
Perhaps I should've worded it better...
I guess I gave the idea of stepping into the force of the kick, and that of course would cause big hurt.
What I mean is to step into the kicker, which, as zDom said, makes you too close for the effective range of the kick, thus neutralizing it.
 

Zero

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Now I'm not a true MT or kickboxer myself but I do train at MT clubs from time to time for training and sparing to better round my own stand up game and for experience when fighting them. Taking your comment on excluding grappling/ground work etc and focusing on good MT fighters there's not much to criticise on pure stand up and power striking compared to other styles.

However, I have found that many are not the greatest just on the hand skills - coupled with the comment above on head weaving/bobbing etc they are not always the best in parrying head strikes, boxing combos and when you can get in close past the leg strikes they are not always the best at covering up. Just a general comment and not indicative of all by any means.
 
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Odin

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Yes, thank you much.
Perhaps I should've worded it better...
I guess I gave the idea of stepping into the force of the kick, and that of course would cause big hurt.
What I mean is to step into the kicker, which, as zDom said, makes you too close for the effective range of the kick, thus neutralizing it.


It does work but is in effect a high risk move, you would need to be quite close to begin with in order to cover the distance fast enough, and second if you do step in make sure you were throwing a technique over wise you could get caught your self with a punch or elbow while rushing in( since very view fighters throw just one kick in that sort of range, its usually the range that combos are made to work )

Also if you are stepping into kicks it may be a good idea to put up your shin guard while you step in, if you meet the kick with your shin it will cause much more damage to the other guys shin while protecting yourself.
 
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Odin

Odin

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However, I have found that many are not the greatest just on the hand skills - coupled with the comment above on head weaving/bobbing etc they are not always the best in parrying head strikes, boxing combos and when you can get in close past the leg strikes they are not always the best at covering up. Just a general comment and not indicative of all by any means.

This is true, I have noticed that in the clubs that teach more tradional Muay Thai....however there seems to be an evolution of muay thai coming from europe where by the boxing aspect of muay thai is refined, fighters like Ramon Dekker and Rob karman made this style famous and now more and more thiaboxers are following suit.
 

FieldDiscipline

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Um.. yes you can.

By stepping in closer to the kicker, say at their knee or even closer, you are too close for the weapon (foot or ankle) to make contact. Also, like a baseball bat, the power is all at the END of the leg, not in at the thigh.

I'm pretty sure this is what Boomer is talking about.

Many superb techniques actually require this.
 
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Odin

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In saviours defence most fight gyms dont actually recommend stepping into Muay Thai kicks due to the risk involved and the timing required.

I personally think the risk is greater then the gain and as such I dont, I would much rather use other techniques instead.
 

Jutt-

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My gym uses a training drill of once hit with a round kick , slide and low kick their standing leg.
 

4d5e6f

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Having trained muay thai, there were habits I didn't particularly like that I exploited in others.

1) for some reason, many (not all) MT fighters rise up on the ball of their foot when throwing round kicks. This leave many unbalanced and open for attack if you only step into their kick.

2) The absolute exploitable weakness is the drop of the hand during round kicks. If the MT fighter is throwing a right round kick, he'll drop his right hand down behind his butt cheek. If your timing is good, you can step into the kick, effectively neutralizing its damage, and deliver a near unblockable right cross or left hook of your own.
Why would you drop your right hand down to butt-level when throwing a round kick? Where I train Muay Thai, we do our round kicks with our hands up, ready to block.

Also, on the topic of getting close to the opponent: If you move in close to someone, you make yourself more vulnerable to knee kicks and elbows. Plus, the opponent will have an easier time getting you into a clinch, where he can deliver a few devastating knees or go for a guillotine.
 

FieldDiscipline

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Also, on the topic of getting close to the opponent: If you move in close to someone, you make yourself more vulnerable to knee kicks and elbows. Plus, the opponent will have an easier time getting you into a clinch, where he can deliver a few devastating knees or go for a guillotine.

I certainly wouldnt advocate getting in there and just chilling out! Get in there and counter, you've gotta bear in mind the kicker has just thrown a kick and his legs are (very temporarily) busy and his balance is easier to break. If you can get inside it and are quick, you're on to a winner.
 

Drag'n

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Stepping into a kicker and countering with a right cross is a common counter in MuayThai. Its particularly effective against guys who dont fully rotate their hips when they round kick. Its easy to get inside and jam them.

But by rotating your hips fully you can use your upper leg as a barrier when your opponent steps in. This a close range round kick.
When you see him stepping into your kick you bend your kicking leg. Your knee should be bent and upper shin rammed against his ribs keeping him at length, so as he tries to punch, all you have to do is move your upper body slightly back to stay out of range.
Even then, if hes really quick, theres a good chance he may still get inside before you can adjust and clobber you. Or just knock you off ballance with the force of his forward momentum.
So ultimately you need to be able to cover your intentions so you're kicking him when hes not expecting it.
Any technique is counterable really. Thats why feints and strategy are so important.

I dont think we're going to come up with a lot in this discussion if its just limited to gloved striking. I think the Thais have proven themselves superior in that field often enough.
Sure their boxing skills aren't as sharp as a boxers', but they make up for it with knees, low kicks, and elbows which give boxers a real hard time.
If you want to find the weaknesses in MuayThai I think you have to look at it in a no rules situation. Or at least a non Muay Thai rules situation.

For example, Thai clinching doesn't alow for sweeps or hip throws. This has a big influence on the way you clinch. The typical dick to dick style clinching position is suicide against someone with good wrestling or Judo skills.

Taking the gloves off can effect the way you defend too. Covering up doesnt protect you so well. You gotta move your head a lot more.
 

meth18au

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Sure their boxing skills aren't as sharp as a boxers', but they make up for it with knees, low kicks, and elbows which give boxers a real hard time.
If you want to find the weaknesses in Muay Thai I think you have to look at it in a no rules situation. Or at least a non Muay Thai rules situation.

Totally agree with this statement by Drag'n. Definitely, just because of the whole fact the Muay Thai is fought in a ring with rules, means that weaknesses will exist in the style. This is natural, as in a 'street' environment, there are no rules, hence rendering certain techniques either ineffective or in need of adjustment.

But then again, this theory also works in a vice-versa fashion. My example might be, in a ring clinch, knee's are exchanged to the ribs and the midsection. But elsewhere, where the Thai boxer may end up in a standing tussle, they could knee them in the balls instead, hip toss them to the floor and then kick them while they are on the floor. So I guess it kind of goes both ways?

:wink:
 

Boomer

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It does work but is in effect a high risk move, you would need to be quite close to begin with in order to cover the distance fast enough, and second if you do step in make sure you were throwing a technique over wise you could get caught your self with a punch or elbow while rushing in( since very view fighters throw just one kick in that sort of range, its usually the range that combos are made to work )

Also if you are stepping into kicks it may be a good idea to put up your shin guard while you step in, if you meet the kick with your shin it will cause much more damage to the other guys shin while protecting yourself.


First, I gotta say that in a thread like this one, understand that I'm generalizing. MT is a worldwide art, no doubt. The weaknesses, then, vary from fighter to fighter and camp to camp. The weaknesses I've listed are ones that I've been able to exploit in my opponents in my ring experience.
That said, I've never thought of stepping in as high risk at all. You've gotta put your licks in on the guy before he does to you. That's fighting. I see it as opportunity.
I don't think it's very hard to learn, teach, or do. It's all about learing timing - yours, and your opponents'. It starts here with the stance(make sure you hit the "play" button):

http://www.flashmavi.com/muaythai_combat_stance.shtml

A traditionally trained MT fighter will have this type of stance, with 70% of his weight on that back leg. Before he can kick with it, he must transfer that weight to the forward leg. That's your first hint that the kick is coming, and you begin your forward movement as well.
A more westernized fighter usually stands more 50% on both feet, so one must have better timing to utilize the step in strategem against a fighter like that. However I've noticed that against western stanced MT fighters, I've had wonderful success with a lead leg thrust kick when they throw theiir rear leg. All you need to do is knock them off balance enuf to negate their kick, then you follow in forward with your own rear leg low kick.


To teach beginners the step in, we use shields to get them comfortable. They hold the shield, and try to step inside the kick. The kickers, of course, try to land the blow effectively.

The front thrust timing can be learned the same way. The shield holder initiates a rear leg kick, and the kicker tries to thrust them off.
 
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Odin

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That said, I've never thought of stepping in as high risk at all. You've gotta put your licks in on the guy before he does to you. That's fighting. I see it as opportunity.
I don't think it's very hard to learn, teach, or do. It's all about learing timing - yours, and your opponents'.

I agree with you it does come down to Camps.

Its High risk in my camp because its a common counter used other here, alot of western fighters do not have shins that can take the amount of damage that the thai's can so alot of people use this as a way to save the pain, because of this its very common for people to opt to step in rather then block.
Watching the weight shift to the front leg will also get you in trouble the weight shifts to the front leg for lead hand punches which will hurt if your stepping in ( watching the hips movement is a better idea ) which is my main counter for those that want to get close.

Good post though dude...your points are noted.
 

Kieran

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Why would you drop your right hand down to butt-level when throwing a round kick? Where I train Muay Thai, we do our round kicks with our hands up, ready to block.

Also, on the topic of getting close to the opponent: If you move in close to someone, you make yourself more vulnerable to knee kicks and elbows. Plus, the opponent will have an easier time getting you into a clinch, where he can deliver a few devastating knees or go for a guillotine.

Depends on where you are really (on the topic of dropping your hand with round kicks) as it is taught both ways in Thailand as well as over here. Dropping the hand gives you a lot more power because you get the full movement PLUS the momentum from swinging your arm down whereas keeping your hand up will keep you guarded but your kick won't be as powerful. We get taught to keep our hand up but Richard Smith from Bad Company was teaching us to drop our hand.

Guillotine? :uhohh:

If you are going to step into the opponents kick it HAS to be to deliver your own counter, preferably step in while deliveing your counter. I don't do this as I'm not fast enough. I'd rather block or move backwards.
 
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