Thread: The Muay Thai Roundhouse Kick
12/24/2005 5:08pm, #1
The Muay Thai Roundhouse Kick
My experience is limited, so I'm hoping that more experienced specialists in Muay Thai will come around and offer some insight. Corrections will be edited in with credit due.
With the disclaimer out of the way, this is basically a quick and dirty explanation of the dreaded "Muay Thai Roundhouse".
For those without strike-based martial arts experience (and those that live under a rock), a "roundhouse" kick is a generic term derived to describe a lower body strike that is delivered in a circular manner to the outside of the opponent. Rather than driving straight in like a front kick...
...the kick is delivered with a twist of the hips in a "round a bout" manner.
Without further ado...
The Muay Thai Roundhouse
Often considered the most effective kick within the martial arts community, the Muay Thai Roundhouse is perhaps the pinnacle of lower extremity power.
To throw, the kick is NOT "chambered" (Chamber refers to the act of bringing the kicking leg's knee up, parallel to the ground, before delivery), but rather thrown from the floor with minimal elevation (relative to the target, of course).
This is the beginning of a "chambered" kick.
The leg is used as a club, and is delivered with the combined power of the hips, quads, hamstrings, and calf. The foot is flat/pointed, and the kicking surface is the shin (tibia).
Mechanics of the Kick
Be on the balls of your feet, your lead leg cannot be flat in order for your body to pivot around and transfer the power (Feedback).
The "bounce step" refers to the act of springing the kicking leg up and down slightly to gather momentum and distract the opponent before the delivery of a kick.
The bounce step should be made in a diagonal fashion, not just stepping forward, but also stepping in the direction you are kicking. And it's not just the calf that does this step, you're also launching yourself forward with your rear (grounded) foot (Bud Shi Dhist).
Kicking with your lead leg involves taking a large step with your rear leg that replaces the bounce step and effectively switches your stance (Bud Shi Dhist).
Muay Thai, dropping lead hand when kicking (Daigoro)
Thai boxers do typically drop one of their hands when executing a roundhouse kick. The reason, as you surmised is for both leverage and added power.
Though you were referring only to the lead side roundhouse kick, and the dropping of the lead hand, the same is true for the rear legged roundhouse kick.
For one, roundhouse kicks from the lead leg are naturally weaker b/c they do not benefit anywhere near as much from the body's rotation during the kick. When the lead hand "drops" it does not actually just drop, but is swung.
The swing is to:
#1-generate additional power while pivoting and
#2-help the boxer maintain his/her balance.
A third and not well known reason (unless you study Muay Thai) is that the swing arm can be used to interfere with your opponent. You are sticking it in his face and brushing either his punches or guard aside as you kick.
Further, the arm may drop, but the shoulder does NOT! When a Thai boxer kicks, he is leaning away from the kicking leg. Doing this adds more of the body's weight to the force of the kick AND gets the boxers head OUT OF THE WAY of a counterstrike.
Also, ONLY ONE arm drops! The other should come up in front of the face in a high guard position that places the elbow near jaw level and the hand practically above the head. This creates a more solid barrier. The shoulder of the arm that is dropped protects the jaw on the other side.
-- Khun Kao Charuad
Click this for a video clip on hand placement during a roundhouse!
Leading with the Hip
When [you] kick, lift [the] leg with [the] knee pointed at about 1:30o'clock and [the] hip thrusted out towards [the] target, then bring [the] hip around with [the] leg slightly behind (Kidspatula).
By leading with the hip, the body is then able to free up enough range of motion to "cut" downward and through the target, rather than just straight across. This allows the practitioner to drop the entirety of their body weight into a kick that, coupled with gravity, can create a much more powerful impact than a kick relying entirely upon muscular strength (Paraphrased from Omar).
(Continued Next Post)
Last edited by SuperGuido; 12/27/2005 10:32am at .
12/24/2005 5:09pm, #2
(From First Post)
Targets include the leg (most notable), ribs, and head.
Leg strikes are valued for their ability to destroy the base of an opponent, and most martial arts disallow leg strikes on this premise. Striking the outside of the opponent's thigh can gradually destroy any cognitive ability to control the fuction of the leg.
Repeated damage to the opponent's legs can also cause a disruption of the Siatic Nerve, which will cause paralysis of the leg in question.
Mid-level kicks are aimed towards the ribs, and have the potential to cause fractures and internal duress to the supporting framework of the "Core".
The liver is another notable target, this is located on the right side of the body beneath the rib cage. Kick it with your left leg from southpaw stance (Bud Shi Dhist).
High-level kicks are the hardest to land and control, but can be the most devastating if mastered.
Shadow Boxing: A method of practice that involves fighting a non-existent, or "shadow" opponent. Techniques are thrown to the air, with a projected opponent reacting to the strikes as necessary. This method of training has the benefit of requiring no training equipment or partner, and allows the practitioner to feel how a technique reacts when not cushioned by a body or a bag.
If you are shadowboxing and wish to practice this kick, never pull it, always penetrate through spinning yourself around in a full circle (Bud Shi Dhist).
--The Muay Thai Roundhouse has been deemed so effective that even non-stylist "Brawlers" and universal NHB/MMA competitors learn this technique EVEN IF kicks are otherwise discouraged.
Last edited by SuperGuido; 12/27/2005 10:33am at .
12/24/2005 6:14pm, #3
12/24/2005 6:34pm, #4
- Join Date
- Sep 2004
- Soviet State Of Kalifornia
Your missing the key body mechanics of the kick and the key points to remember. Wanna take a crack at it before I step in or somebody else with MT experience?
Also, the following is just plain tacky and should be removed. This isn't some mythical kick.
Care must be taken when training and performing this technique, and even strict Muay Thai stylists are required to wear special shin guards... So practice with caution, and seek a professional Muay Thai trainer before attempting to practice this technique.
Last edited by Red Elvis; 12/24/2005 6:37pm at ..
To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without spilling your Guinness.
Sun "Fu Man JhooJits" Tzu, the Art of War & Guinness
12/24/2005 6:42pm, #5
Just for refences.This is also the Thai roundhouse.
"God damn America" --Muammar al-Gaddafi
12/24/2005 6:57pm, #6
Some additional notes:
* The bounce step should be made in a diagonal fashion, not just stepping forward, but also stepping in the direction you are kicking. And it's not just the calf that does this step, you're also launching yourself forward with your rear (grounded) foot.
* Kicking with your lead leg involves taking a large step with your rear leg that replaces the bounce step and effectively switches your stance.
* The liver is another notable target, this is located on the right side of the body beneath the rib cage. Kick it with your left leg from southpaw stance.
* If you are shadowboxing and wish to practice this kick, never pull it, always penetrate through spinning yourself around in a full circle.
12/24/2005 7:11pm, #7
Excellent feedback! I'll edit in the stuff you guys added.
Christmas Spirit: If you read the thread, the picture of the front kick was used as an example of what the roundhouse kick ISN'T.
"Rather than driving straight in like a front kick...::picture::"
Also, I figured that this sub-forum will mimic the Grappling forum, in that various techniques and such will be explained and discussed.
Therefore, this thread is NOT to be taken as textbook material, but is to be used as a "living thread" to essentially compile a complete workup of a technique.
This way, we could have a single, complete, community compiled thread about techniques...and not a dozen or so incomplete threads.
Last edited by SuperGuido; 12/24/2005 7:16pm at .
12/24/2005 7:12pm, #8
Be on the balls of your feet, your lead leg cannot be flat in order for your body to pivot around and transfer the power.Tough is not how you act, tough is how you train.
12/24/2005 7:24pm, #9Originally Posted by Ru-Klas
Also, the following is just plain tacky and should be removed. This isn't some mythical kick.
12/24/2005 7:41pm, #10
1. In spite of what you see in those picture you can keep your same side hand up by your face and you should. A lot of Thai fighters/kickboxer feel compelled to throw back their same side arm (if kicking with right leg, throwing back right arm) for balance and some even think this adds a little extra oomf, it doesn't. Keep the hand up in anticipation of a particularly common counter to any kick: the cross.
If you need to throw your arm back to kick head height, then you do not have the necessary balance to kick to the head.
2. For the most part your foot will be point, however here's something you should try. Right there at your desk, rest your hand somewhere on the bottom third of your shin. Now poiont your foot, feel the striking surface, now bend your foot and really pull it in- feel the differance that makes on your striking surface.
This is very dependant on range.