In Muay Thai, you must maintain good balance. Without it, you will often find yourself wide open for strikes. Knowing this, you can see how the opposite is true as well. If you want to land accurate well-timed strikes on your opponent and dominate them, getting them off-balance is a key factor in doing so.
The inside leg trip is an excellent tool for unbalancing your opponent. Used well, it not only throws your opponent off balance, but it allows you to find openings to land powerful follow-up strikes, or even a sweep. If you haven’t yet explored utilizing the inside leg trip in your Muay Thai game, here are some tips for learning and working with it.
What Is The Inside Leg Trip?
The inside leg trip is a tool for pulling your opponent off their balance. It is quite simple, though it requires some good timing and movement to pull it off without getting hit in return. When done well, your opponent’s legs are separated further than a good base allows, and often, their upper body is pulled forward closer to your body for easy striking. Here’s how to execute a basic inside leg trip:
- Utilizing your lead leg, target your opponent’s lead leg.
- Using your lead leg, trip your opponent’s lead leg by sweeping from the inside of their foot by moving from the back of their heel and pulling it forward with your foot.
- Lean your head out of the way and utilize your hands to keep from getting hit while you trip your opponent.
What The Inside Leg Trip Opens Up
As you complete this simple trip, you will notice that it offers a few different but significant benefits.
- You’ll notice that your partner has likely taken a large step forward to catch their balance, leaving their legs planted fairly wide apart.
- Your opponent’s head and torso will fall forward, pulling their upper body closer to you for striking.
- Your opponent’s guard will be broken as they try to catch their balance. This leaves their face and body more exposed to strikes.
Between these details, you will have many opportunities open up that allow for follow-up striking.
When To Use The Inside Leg Trip
The inside leg trip can be used at any point in time, however, like any strike, certain opportunities are better suited than others. Try using one of these situations to land a clean inside leg trip:
- When your opponent is heavy on your lead leg
- When your opponent tends to be moving their weight forward and over their feet to throw strikes
- When your opponent is bringing their leg back from a switch kick
These opportunities will allow you to easily land an effective inside leg trip.
How To Take Advantage Of The Inside Leg Trip
Once you know how to utilize and execute an inside leg trip, it’s important to build in some quick follow-up combinations. As your partner’s posture is broken, they will quickly attempt to regain it again. Striking before they have the opportunity to do so is key in taking full advantage of the inside leg trip. Here are some follow-up striking options to try after utilizing your inside leg trip:
- Switch Knee: The switch knee is a powerful strike that is an ideal follow-up. Since your opponent’s posture is pulling forward already, take advantage by landing this quick knee to their torso. Continue to follow up with a clinch and more knees, or even just other strikes.
- Uppercut: The uppercut is a great strike that also takes advantage of your opponent’s forward-falling posture. Since the guard usually breaks in an effort to regain balance, the face is typically wide open.
- Clinch: Try taking advantage of the forward-falling posture to take hold of the clinch. Once the posture is broken by the trip, it will be easier to maintain that broken posture.
- Push: In keeping with maintaining your opponent’s poor balance, try utilizing a push to your opponent’s shoulder immediately after the trip. They will already be off-balance, so a push in a different direction will cause them to continue working towards good balance while you have openings for other strikes.
- Sweeps: Sweeps are also a potential strike. Play with some of your sweeps as you observe how your opponent’s posture falls toward you.
- Cross: Another great strike to land immediately after the trip, even before your opponent has a chance to plant their foot back on the ground, is a cross. Landing this strike in the split second after you trip means that your opponent will be falling into the strike, increasing the impact and effectiveness of the strike.
Regardless of the strike, push, or sweep you choose to utilize after the trip, keep in mind that timing and speed are necessary to take full advantage. If you wait too long, your trip will not leave you with an opening as your opponent will be able to regain their balance. Trip, and immediately follow up.
Utilizing The Inside Leg Trip In Muay Thai
Trips in Muay Thai are fun to play with and explore. They provide a great opportunity to pull your opponent off balance, break their guard, and land a variety of strikes. Combined with good, quick timing, and keeping your head out of the way and protecting yourself, you will find many great strikes in the follow-up. The next time you step on the Muay Thai mats, be sure to play with the inside leg trip. You might find it will become one of your new favorite resources in your tool belt.
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