If you’re a Muay Thai practitioner, or just a Muay Thai fan, then you’ll that the fights knuckle down to your kicking ability. Due to the large amount of low kicks as well as high, it’s important to know how to check your opponent’s legs, blocking with your shins to take the brunt of the force and stop them scoring points. There are few important tips and tricks to remember when you are checking kicks, to help protect yourself and also your opponent.
Check Me Out…
Checking is a blocking movement, it’s their to protect the areas that are most vulnerable in a Muay Thai bout like your kidneys, ribs and thighs. Being able to check well, is meant to deter the guy across the mat from you trying to knock you down like a concrete post. Even the slightest hint that you are ready to check can be enough to prevent your sparring partner from launching into an attack, putting them on the back foot and leaving them open for you to dominate.
Checking is a simple movement; depending on the angle of the attack you bring your knee up to your elbow, closing down the target area. You hands move up to protect either side of your head in a roundhouse guard position. It’s the equivalent of going fetal, but standing up.
Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself…
Where it does sound simple, there are a few areas where you can go a little wrong. If you do get a check wrong, it’s going really hurt, either yourself or your opposition.
Firstly, it’s important to angle your leg in the right way when you go for a check. Your body has the least amount of protective fat over your shinbone, the front of that is almost sheer bone. It’s important to angle your leg at 45 degrees to you opponent to avoid possible nasty leg breaks. If you angle the leg the kick hits the fleshier, muscular area of your lower leg, cushioning the blow for both parties.
A prime example of getting the angles wrong is Anderson Silva’s break against Chris Weiderman in a UFC Championship match. Weiderman angle his leg facing directly at Silva, meaning Silva hit bone with full force as he went to land a routine low kick. Silva’s leg snapped, ending the match and putting his previously successful career on hiatus, emphasizing the importance of defending the right way.
Secondly, you need to stand strong. If you check and take a kick when you’re off balance on your one supporting leg, you’re going to find yourself introduced to Mr Floor and shortly acquainted with your opponents rear naked choke. Game over. Employ some strength and conditioning training to work on your balance and your quads so stop a routine block turning into a sweep from your opposition.
Finally, remember that is knee up to the elbow for the block, not the other way around. If you bring your elbow down to your knee not only is your block much weaker, but you open yourself up to take a kick to the head or shoulder area. By keeping your hands held high you face remains protected and your posture is much stronger lowering the chance of hitting the deck.
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