If you’ve been training Muay Thai for awhile, and would like to find out if you’re making any mistakes, then you’ve made it to the right place!
All of us at Evolve Daily understand that you wish to be the best martial artist you can be, so we’ve put together a list of some common Muay Thai mistakes that might be preventing you from unleashing your greatness.
Ready to elevate your game by leaps and bounds? Today, Evolve Daily shares 5 Common Muay Thai Mistakes That You Should Stop Making:
1) Holding your breath when you execute strikes
When you forget to breathe and relax, your body tenses up, and prevents you from striking properly. This is because tension restricts your movement by adding unnecessary weight to your body. Hence, you wouldn’t be able to execute solid punches, elbows, knees and kicks.
Relaxing your body as you throw strikes will enable you to stay light on your feet and hit your target with explosive power. Once you learn to stay relaxed and breathe, you’ll find that your combinations flow better. Also, you’ll be able to move around more freely.
Tip: Whenever you throw strikes, remember to exhale on impact.
2) Focusing too much on speed and power rather than technique
Yes, we know that the thought of hitting like a truck or delivering a flurry of strikes at lightning speed can be rather exciting. But before getting carried away, we need to remember what’s most important – grasping and applying the various techniques properly. This is because once you get your technique right, speed and power will follow.
“Without knowledge of the basic techniques, you’d have nothing to build on,” shares multiple-time WBC Boxing World Champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. “In order to improve, you have to focus on the fundamentals, and make sure you nail down the techniques… It’s important to have a good foundation.”
Tip: Shadowbox in front of a mirror and check your techniques. If you aren’t 100% sure that you’re doing it correctly, don’t hesitate to approach your instructor for guidance. He’d be more than happy to help you out!
3) Not twisting your hip enough or going on the ball of your feet when you kick
“One of the most common mistakes that people make when executing roundhouse kicks is that of not rotating the hip and foot enough,” reveals multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Orono Wor Petchpun. “When you fail to fully rotate your hip, your kick would lack power; and when you don’t rotate on the ball of your foot of the supporting leg, you wouldn’t be able to pivot smoothly and generate power.”
Apart from that, people sometimes swing only one arm instead of both. It’s important to swing both arms because these movements would help you stay balanced and give you power.
Tip: Spend some extra time drilling. Pay close attention to your foot, hips, and arm movement. Are you pivoting, twisting your hips, and swinging your arms?
4) Not protecting your face when you’re striking
You might often hear your instructor say “hands up, guard up” whenever he’s talking you through the combinations of the lesson. Well, there’s a reason why he constantly emphasizes on keeping your guard up – it’s crucial for you to protect your face at all times, so as to prevent yourself from getting knocked out in an actual fight.
A good offense isn’t enough for you to thrive in the ring. After all, your opponent isn’t a punching bag, and he isn’t just going to stand there and let you hit him. What’s more, he would probably be attacking you as well – so it’s important for you to learn to protect yourself.
Tip: Check your hands when you’re training, and ensure that you have your guard up at all times (yes, even when you’re feeling tired!)
5) Shadowboxing halfheartedly, or skipping it completely
At the start, you might not understand the importance of shadowboxing. However, it’s crucial to include shadowboxing in your training because it helps build your body’s muscle memory and enables you to practice various combinations at your own pace.
So if you don’t shadowbox properly, or worse – skip it completely, you might find it more difficult to grasp techniques, and your muscle memory would take a longer time to process the various moves.
Tip: Have a goal in mind when you’re shadowboxing, so that you’d know what to focus on, rather than mindlessly throwing 1-2 punches or repeating the same combinations.
“Dedication and discipline are the two most important traits to possess,” says Pongsaklek. “Of course, it’s also important to have fun, so that you’d enjoy training and learning. After all, passion is what drives a person to keep going, even on his worst days. It’s what helps him to unleash his greatness.”
Practice makes perfect. So make it a point to attend classes regularly, pay attention to your instructor, and of course, avoid making these mistakes so as to elevate your game. Now go forth and train hard!