Once you learn the basic strikes in Muay Thai, you begin to string them together to form combinations. Combinations might include your favorite footwork patterns or be accompanied by head movement, but they will certainly always include strikes.
As you begin to experiment with different combinations, you will quickly come to find out that some combinations are a little more effective in terms of their effects on your opponent than others. Some combinations catch your opponent off-guard and leave them open for a strike to the head, prime for the knockout. This creates the ultimate win in a Muay Thai match.
One of the more incredible things about this is that many of the best combinations leading to knockouts are some of the simplest – they just require practice, precision, and timing.
If you are looking for some combinations to try to make your way to a knockout, give some of these combinations a try:
1) Low Kick-Punches-Low Kick
This is an incredible combination that does not just end in the typical headshot knockout. This combination of low kicks, followed by overwhelming punches, and returning again to a low kick is an incredible knockout combination.
This knock-out combo was beautifully displayed in Rodtang vs. Sok Thy at ONE: Warriors Of Light. The high-low action in this combo leaves your opponent guessing as to where you are going to be striking next, and it keeps them behind the curve. As they try to guess whether you will be going high or low, they will have a hard time defending themselves. As in the case of Rodtang’s incredible knockout, the final blow that dropped Sok Thy was the leg kick.
This is a great knockout combo to try the next time you are looking to confuse your opponent by putting them in a position to be constantly defending a second behind your strikes. It’s not your typical head kick knockout, making this a unique and incredible combination to add to your Muay Thai arsenal.
2) Right Hook-Left Head Kick
This is a simple combo with an excellent opportunity for landing a clean head kick. By utilizing a hook, you can back your opponent up a bit and possibly even get them on their heels. As they are rocked back by your strike, or at the very least, as they pull their guard up to their face, you can utilize the left leg head kick to land a clean kick on the side of your opponent’s head. This is a quick combination with excellent and powerful results.
Muay Thai World Champion Panpayak Jitmuangnon from the Evolve Fight Team used this combination to send Michael Savvas to the mat at ONE Fight Night 1 and is an incredibly quick knockout combination you should try.
The strike coming down the middle is ideal for drawing your opponent’s hands towards the middle of their body, exposing the sides of their head in the process. You can even use the cross as more of a push if the range dictates it.
This quick combination is easy to learn, and with practice, your timing will become quicker and more precise, giving you a great, quick combination for a knockout head kick.
Yet another quick combination leading to a quick knockout is a jab-elbow. This combo can be seen displayed perfectly in a match between Petchmorakot vs. Liam Harrison at ONE: Destiny Of Champions.
The jab is great for splitting the guard. As your opponent begins to respond to the jab by either loosening up the guard to return strikes or by creating space in their guard to get a better line of vision, you can utilize the gap in the guard to throw the elbow right through the middle of or around the guard and straight to the face.
This combo is great for use as a close-range knockout. The jab helps you to close any remaining distance between you and your opponent. The elbow lends toward a powerful knockout strike, and the jab through the guard used as a setup is a simple yet effective beginning strike. Many combinations begin with a simple jab, so it can certainly keep your opponent guessing as to what is going to follow the jab.
This is a frequently used combo, and as in the case of the previous knockout combinations, is quite simple to understand and learn. This combo plays off the idea of throwing wide strikes to draw the guard up and out so that the face and chin are exposed for the final uppercut. This combination can be seen by Nong-O when he faced off with Saemapetch Fairtex. He bounces between heavy hooks to the uppercuts, back again to the hooks, and eventually lands the uppercut that drops Fairtex.
This is another excellent close-range knockout combination. It allows you to swarm your opponent with a bunch of strikes in close succession. It’s ideal for opening up the center of the guard, as your opponent needs to cover the heavy strikes coming around the side. As you develop good timing, you will be able to find the opening to land the uppercut right up the middle.
5) Lead Teep-Left Head Kick
This combination is an excellent way to play with your lead leg for an incredible Muay Thai knockout. It’s a combination that is executed with a little more range. Throw a lead leg teep to back your opponent up and get them to respond. Immediately after landing your foot back down on the ground, lift it straight back up for a solid head kick. This combination can be seen executed swiftly by Lerdsila when he went up against Jacob Hebeisen.
If you like to play at a further range, this knockout combination is ideal. The teep gets your opponent to move and respond with their hands, and while it’s a simple combination, you’ll need to use timing as they respond to find the best opening for the head kick.
This is also another example of a great combination that switches from an up-the-middle strike to a strike around the outside, which is always excellent for confusing your opponent in the midst of their defense. If you need a knockout combination that gives you some range, give this one a shot.
Try These Knockout Combinations
Whether you like to fight at a close range or on the outside, these combinations will help you to set up some incredible knockouts. The beauty of these combinations is that they are all quite simple. They utilize basic strikes that you’ve probably already had thousands of reps with and put them together in simple, but effective combinations. As you drill these combinations, be sure to get a feel for the timing and precision of these strikes. The next time you are on the mats, give them a try!
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