3 Muay Thai Counters You Need To Know

If you are ready to elevate your game, then it’s time for you to dive into finding successful counters. Having a solid game built off of both offense and defense will help you build up your Muay Thai game to new levels. 

While defending yourself during a round is of strong importance, what you do in the seconds that follow often determines whether you have the upper hand on your opponent, or whether they continue to determine who is on offense and who is on defense. Here are three counters you need to know to bring your game to the next level.


1) Check And Teep 

Checking a leg kick and following it up with a teep, or push kick, provides a quick and powerful counter. What makes this counter so useful is that there are many variations of this defense and counter move for you to explore and experiment with, so you will always have an option to try. 


Here Are Three Variations To This Counter

  • The first way to utilize the check and teep is to check the kick with one leg, and immediately fire the same leg up the middle at your opponent for the teep. This variation offers an extremely quick return, giving you a good chance of landing your teep before your opponent even lands their leg back on the ground. If your opponent has backed up, you can utilize a hop off your back leg to launch your body forward into range.
  • The second way to utilize the check and teep is to check the kick with one leg, land the leg back down, and then fire your rear leg up the middle for the teep. This variation is ideal for closing distance if your partner is a bit further away. Planting the foot back down will give you some forward movement, and the followthrough with your rear leg will cover any remaining distance between you and your opponent. 
  • A third way to utilize the check and teep is to check with one leg, then use a jumping motion to switch and teep with your opposite leg before you even let your checking leg back on the ground. This jumping motion creates a quick counter, as well as generates a lot of power.

The next time your opponent throws a leg kick your way, try to capitalize on defending with the check and immediately countering with a powerful and dominating teep. 


2) Parry And Knee

Utilizing a parry to keep a jab or a cross coming up the middle from hitting you is a simple and foundational defensive move. In fact, it’s often one of the first defensive moves new Muay Thai students will learn. Adding in some footwork by half-stepping in the direction of your opponent’s thrown hand, as well as some head movement, such as a slight slip, will make this fundamental move quite effective. 


Here’s How To Utilize The Parry And Knee

  • Parry the punch that is coming straight at you. 
  • While you parry, half step in the direction from which the punch came. If your opponent threw their right hand, half step to their right, and vice versa for the left hand. This movement keeps you from moving into the next oncoming strike. 
  • You can add a slight slip with your head to keep your head off-line from the strikes, as well. 
  • As soon as you take that half step, drive your rear knee straight up the middle at your opponent. 
  • To create even more control, reach your inside hand up towards your opponent’s shoulder to create some tension as you drive the knee while pulling and framing on their shoulder. 
  • After utilizing this counter, consider snatching up the clinch or even just pushing your opponent off and into a secondary counter strike. 

The next time you find your opponent throwing heavy jabs and crosses at you, consider this simple, yet effective defensive move and counter. 


3) Defend The Teep And Counter Kick

Learning to counter the teep is an important skill in Muay Thai. Teeps are very dominant, create space, and allow one person to control the range over the other. It’s vital that counters are learned to avoid teeps during a match. 


Here’s How to Defend The Teep And Counter With A Kick

  • Use a forearm parry to push the teep through. Use the same side arm to parry your opponent’s teep. For example, if they throw their right leg, you would utilize your left arm to forearm parry. Immediately counter with a right kick to the body as your opponent aims to regain their balance from their failed teep.
  • Use an over parry to pull the opponent’s leg through. As they throw the teep, use your opposite-side hand to come over the top of their leg and hook their heel as you pull the leg through. Utilize a quick kick to the body, or even try maintaining your hook on their heel as you kick to sweep their back leg.
  • Use a catch to not only stop their teep from landing but to also get solid control over their leg. When the teep comes toward you, simply take a half step back to give space and avoid the teep from landing. Simultaneously use one hand on the top of their foot, and one hand on the bottom of their foot to gain control. Quickly throw the teep to the side and counter with the body kick or even kick towards the back leg for yet another great sweep counter. 

The next time you find your opponent utilizing teeps to control the range, be sure to try one of these counters to set yourself back to a more dominant position as you deal with the teep and land a solid counter strike. 


Counters Are Vital To Your Muay Thai Game

You will have many opportunities for both offense and defense in Muay Thai, but learning to utilize counters as you defend will quickly put you back in the lead and show that you are the dominant fighter. Learn these simple yet effective counters and implement them into your Muay Thai game. 


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