The switch kick is one of the most devastating strikes a Muay Thai fighter could ever have in his arsenal of weapons. Known for its power and the speed in which the kick is executed as well as its unpredictability, the switch kick has the capacity to knockout an opponent. Some of the greatest Muay Thai fighters, including multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Nong-o Gaiyanghadao, Buakaw Banchamek, and Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn are masters of this technique.
If you’re looking to add the switch kick to your Muay Thai game, you’re in luck! Today, Evolve Daily shares 4 Things You Must Know About The Muay Thai Switch Kick:
1) The Switch Kick Is Best Used Against Aggressive Fighters
If you’ve ever faced an aggressive fighter or watched one fight, you’ll know that they will always rush in and attack as soon as you touch gloves. They’ll go for strong punches and low leg kicks, and won’t stop until they’ve knocked you out. The switch kick is the best kick to use against these fighters because it is capable of generating great kicking power at a close distance, which is essential in countering a fighter who comes rushing in.
In this video, watch how Namsaknoi used his opponent’s weaknesses against him, in the typical manner of a Muay femur. Watch how he is able to set up the switch high kick by waiting for the perfect moment. Throughout the match, you can see how Namsaknoi tries to figure his opponent out, taking note of which moves cause him to lower his guard. Watch how Namsaknoi launches a perfectly timed switch high kick, knocking out his opponent.
2) You Must Switch Your Feet Quickly
One of the most essential elements needed for the switch kick to be effective is for the switch to be done at lightning speed. Doing so also prevents you from telegraphing your switch, making it difficult for your opponent to come up with the appropriate defense. You must switch your hips along with your feet as well. Without switching your hips, it will be harder to generate power!
In the video above, multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao demonstrates 5 different switch high kick combinations. Watch his feet as he launches the switch high kick — you barely notice the switch because of the speed in which Nong-O is executing them.
3) Focus On Switching Your Feet Wider Than Your Stance
One of the most common problems people face when executing the switch kick is footwork. Many people land with their feet too close together after executing the switch, making them get off balance. To prevent this from happening, focus on switching your feet wider than your stance and turn your right foot out slightly as it lands. This will make the rotation a little more natural and easier for you to reset.
In this video, take note of how Nong-O executes the switch kick. His feet are always wider than his stance, making it easier for him to rotate his hips into a kick.
4) Be Subtle
The whole point of using a switch kick is to be subtle and throw your opponent off guard. Jumping up while you switch or doing it in an exaggerated fashion would not only telegraph the kick, it will also prompt your opponent to counter with a hard punch. Stay level with your opponent — this way, the switch will be less obvious and easier for you to land.
In the video above, watch for Nong-O’s switch kicks and observe how he throws them with incredible speed and precision, making it difficult for his opponent to counter. Watch how his movements are well-thought out and deliberate instead of haphazard and random. Executing his switch kicks this way makes them subtle and hard to telegraph.
As with all Muay Thai techniques, the key to perfecting them is through constant application in sparring and drilling. Although the switch kick is a relatively simple technique, it takes awhile to be able to launch it seamlessly and subtly in sparring. So tell us, when will you start working on your switch kick for Muay Thai?