Thread: Traditional Muay Thai Punches?
7/30/2009 2:51am, #1
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
- Richmond Hill, Ontario
Traditional Muay Thai Punches?
I've been doing Muay Thai for a few months now. I took it a few years back (also only for a few months). As I've been working more technique, I've realized that the punches i'm being taught are INCREDIBLY awkward (for me). In comparison to what I was taught a few years ago, in comparison to boxing, and in comparison to pretty much any other martial art that has punching. I don't have any images/videos of it (believe you me, I looked!), so I'll describe it.
It starts out like a regular boxing punch. All the foot work and hip movement is identical. It gets weird as you extend the fist. Instead of only turning it slightly, so that your palm is facing the ground, you continue to turn it until your palm is facing OUTWARD. While turning your fist, you "flip" your elbow, and dig into your target. This goes completey against the "snap" rule of punching in boxing, and i haven't really had a chance to try it out on a real opponent to see how effective it is.
My Kru's explanation of it: "flipping" (and thus locking your elbow) gives you a few extra centimeters of reach. The rotated fist allows you to hit your opponent with your two main knuckles pretty much 100% of the time (which is true). Pushing THROUGH your target apparently gives your punch knockout power.
Before you ask: I train at my University. Normally, I'd skip out on something like this. But this gym is a sister gym of Siam Number 1 (our Kru is from there, and we do blue shorts+ testing there), which, from what I've read, is the highest regarded Muay Thai school in Toronto. We're also affiliated with Kombat Arts (I think one of our Poo Choi's is from there). The advanced guys at my gym compete in amateur, and my Kru's colleagues are professional champions all over the world (she trains with Clifton Brown). My Kru herself has A LOT of accolades.
My Kru (Jenypher Lanthier):
- Amateur Fighter of the Year 2001 at Siam # 1 Muay Thai School
- Professional Fighter of the Year 2005 at Siam # 1 Muay Thai School
- IKKC Flyweight Professional California Muay Thai Champion
- Ranked 17th in the World for K1 Fighting Rules
- Ranked 16th in the World for Muay Thai
- Level 1 referee and official
So this isn't really an issue of not trusting what i'm being taught. It simply feels awkward for me. The advanced guys pull them off very nicely, and maybe I just have to get used to it.
Can someone explain this punch to me? Should I continue learning this technique? Should I revert back to a boxing type punch?
7/30/2009 3:25am, #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
I did MT for a few years and have never seen or heard of that before. It doesn't sound particularly practical or safe." The reason elite level MMAists don't fight with aikido is the same reason elite level swimmers don't swim with their lips." - Virus
" I shocked him with my skills on the ice becuase Wing Chun is great for hockey fighting." - 'Sifu' Milt Wallace
"Besides, as you might already know (from Virus, for example) - there's only 1 wing chun and it sucks big time" - Tonuzaba
"Even when I'm promising mayhem and butt-chicanery, I'm generally posting with a smile on my face." - Sochin101
"That said, if he blocked my hip on a drop nage, I would extend my leg into a drop tai Otoshi and slam him so hard his parents would die." - MTripp
7/30/2009 3:48am, #3
this is a method of punching thats pretty commonly taught over here at least, although i would never advise locking out the elbow in any punch because that is gonna lead to joint damage.
the idea is that the punch "sinks" into the target more, and the arm is in a stronger position. it also has a value defensively because rotating the arm makes your shoulder muscles rise up protecting the chin, and having the elbow pointing up and out knocks your opponents punches away.
The reason this became so popular over here is because one of my coaches Lollo Heimuli is a huge advocate of this punching method and he taught it to Ray Sefo. Who then proceeded to "teach" it to guys like Jerome Lebanner via stitches to the inside of his mouth. Since Lollo taught most of the guys who now run gyms in NZ, or at least had a hand in their teaching, its pretty widespread. you can see it especially when he throws his right in this vid-
YouTube - Ray Sefo Highlights
its pretty similar to an overhand.
7/30/2009 7:01am, #4
One of the private gyms i train at teaches it's boxing the same way as this. Most likely a similar effect as in NZ, Sefo has beaten up a lot of people.
If you plan to stick with that gym you may as well listen to the coach and learn something new while you are there. If you plan to only train a few months and move on again then it probably isn't worth the time.
7/30/2009 7:55am, #5
So the difference between this punch and a "normal" punch is that you're turning your fist just a bit more than what you've otherwise been taught? I've always thought of the full twist as being the "correct" way to throw a punch and every boxing coach I've ever trained under has taught me to fully extend my punches (yes, meaning as far as your arm will extend) and really turn it over (not just so that my palm is facing the ground, but so that my fist is really twisted). I think you're also mistaken in how punching this way goes against the "snap" rule in boxing. There's no reason why you can't fully extend your punch and pop it out there. Penetration does not = pushing with your punch.
All three of my different boxing coaches (from three separate gyms and three separate schools of thought on boxing), none of which can trace their lineage back to Ray Sefo, have taught me to punch in this manner.
Turning the fist over, fully extending your arm, and bringing your shoulder up to your cheek as you punch is a great way to punch. It's protective, maximizes reach, and gives your punch full penetration and stability (fully extended your arm is much more solid, making for a harder punch). It takes getting used to being able to both stay relaxed and be explosive so that you can pop it out there fast and hard, but after you've gotten the feel of this it won't be awkward.
7/30/2009 8:06am, #6
7/30/2009 8:08am, #7
7/30/2009 8:14am, #8
Chances are my boxing instruction really sucked then, i've always thought palm down was the accepted practice for jabs/straights and palm out for over-hands.
7/30/2009 8:20am, #9
This is seriously the norm in boxing? That just blew my mind, i might actually have to make an effort to start doing this.
7/30/2009 10:17am, #10
Yes, thumb down, not palm, is the norm. Watch this kid's jab YouTube - boxing left jab training His thumb is pointed towards the ground with his shoulder coming up to cover his face. His arm fully extends, with his elbow "locked out". Like the coach says, since he's throwing it from the shoulder, it's not going to hurt his elbow.