The Ultimate Guide To The Muay Thai Spear Knee

The Muay Thai spear knee, or straight knee as it is sometimes called, is one of the first knees to be learned and hopefully mastered. This devastating and damaging strike is meant to punish your opponent and ultimately take the fight out of them.

The Muay Thai spear knee is a striking technique that gets its name from the powerful and piercing motion of a spear thrust. The knee is thrust forward with speed and force, by utilising the hips. The spear knee is an aggressive technique that requires strength, skill, and precision. 

What the Spear Knee should look like:

  • Begin in a fighting stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed.
  • Take a small step forward and slightly out with your front leg.
  • Push off the ball of your lead foot to drive your knee up and forward.
  • Flex your back foot to create a straight line from your shin down through your instep.
  • Tuck your heel toward your backside to flex your knee, ensuring maximum impact on your target.
  • Drive your hips forward to generate the most power, while leaning back to keep your head out of harm’s way.
  • Use your rear arm as a long guard or grab your opponent’s head for added stability and to break their posture.
  • Protect your head with your lead hand.
  • Step back into your stance.

This basic technique can be used in three positions. The spear knee is considered a short to mid-range attack but there is also a long-knee version. You can also throw this knee with a switch knee move. 

There are two ways you can execute the Muay Thai spear knee. One is by waiting for the opponent’s arm guards to open up and then driving the spear into their midsection, and the other is working this technique from the clinch position.


Muay Thai Spear Knee From The Clinch

In and of itself the clinch is a fight for dominance. You are working to control the opponent’s head or body position to deliver punishing strikes. Grappling for the right position while setting up for a strike. 

Once you have established a dominant position, possibly with one hand behind the neck and the other on the forearm, this is the time when you can deliver a spear knee to your opponent’s midsection. 

The arm positions while in the clinch can vary but the execution of the spear knee will fundamentally remain the same. 

The execution of the Muay Thai spear knee from the clinch:

  • Begin by securing a dominant clinch position with your arms around your opponent’s neck and under their arms.
  • Use your elbows to create space between you and your opponent, allowing you to move your hips back and create room for the knee strike.
  • Lift your knee straight up into your opponent’s midsection or head, using the power from your core and legs to generate maximum force.
  • Thrust your hips forward and pierce your knee into your opponent’s body, aiming for the target with the sharp point of your knee.
  • As your knee makes contact with your opponent’s body, continue driving forward with your hips to maximise the impact of the strike.
  • Use your arms to maintain balance and control as you follow through with the strike, pushing off with your back leg to reset your stance.
  • Repeat the technique as necessary, using the spear knee from the clinch as a powerful weapon to dominate your opponent and control the fight.

Repetition during practice either sparring or using a heavy bag, you can work on this technique and develop it into one of your most useful weapons. 


Common Mistakes

While the spear knee is a powerful and effective technique, it’s important to execute it properly to avoid common mistakes that can diminish its impact or even leave you vulnerable to counterattacks. Here are some of the most common mistakes that are made when utilising the spear knee, as well as how to avoid them for maximum effectiveness in the ring or in self-defence situations.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when executing the spear knee:

  • No Step: One common mistake is failing to take a step forward before throwing the knee strike. Without a step, you won’t generate the necessary momentum to drive the knee into your opponent’s body.
  • Not Extending The Hip: Another mistake is not fully extending your hip during the knee strike. Without a full hip extension, you won’t generate the maximum power and force needed to make an effective strike.
  • Not Pointing The Foot: Failing to point your foot during the knee strike can also limit your power and accuracy. Pointing your foot helps to direct the force of the strike toward your opponent’s target area.
  • Leaning Back Too Much: Leaning back too much can throw off your balance and limit the power of your knee strike. Instead, focus on maintaining an upright posture and driving forward with your hips.
  • Not Lining Up The Knee To The Target: A final common mistake is failing to line up your knee with your intended target. If you don’t aim your knee correctly, you may miss your target or fail to generate the necessary force for an effective strike.

To avoid these common mistakes and execute the spear knee with maximum effectiveness, it’s important to focus on proper form and technique. Here are some tips to help you avoid these mistakes:

  • Take a small step forward and slightly out with your front leg to set up the proper distance and angle for the strike.
  • Fully extend your hip as you drive your knee forward and upward, generating maximum power and impact.
  • Point your foot and flex your back foot to ensure a straight line from your shin down through your instep, maximising the impact of your knee strike.
  • Avoid leaning back too much during the strike, as this can compromise your balance and leave you vulnerable to counterattacks.
  • Make sure to line up your knee properly with the target, taking into account distance and angle.

By focusing on these key elements of the spear knee technique and practising proper form and execution, you can avoid these common mistakes and ensure that your strikes are powerful, accurate, and effective.

Remember to practice slowly and deliberately, focusing on proper technique and form. Over time, you can develop the muscle memory and precision needed to execute the Muay Thai spear knee with speed, power, and accuracy.


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