WATCH: Muay Thai 101: What Is Fighting Distance? (Videos)

In Muay Thai, fighting distance, or range, determines which techniques you would use against your opponent. Establishing your range is crucial in Muay Thai because it allows you to control the pace of the fight. To decide on which range strategy to use depends on your opponent. By taking a step in the direction of your opponent, you can decide which range to use, depending on how your opponent reacts. To learn more about range, read on as Evolve Daily explains Fighting Distance In Muay Thai:


Long Range

The attacks in long range are usually kicks. Forward kicks, side kicks, jump kicks, push kicks – these techniques require the attacker to take a step forward. Tall fighters with good kicking skills are usually masters in fighting in long range. Usually, distance fighters specialize in counter attacks because they can see what attacks are coming to them and thus deliver effective counters. Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champions Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn are great examples of distance fighters.


Mid Range

Punches (jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts), knees from a distance and kicks are used in the half range. This range is used to land your most powerful shots or exchange attacks. Low leg kicks are also considered to be in the half range. The more aggressive Muay Thai fighters such as the muay mat often launch their attacks in the half range. Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Anuwat Kaewsamrit is one of the most famous muay mat fighters to date.


Close Range

Fighting in close range is great for tiring out opponents who are physically weaker, with less endurance or who appear to be nervous. Hooks from the side, uppercuts, and elbows are usually used in this range. These techniques are used continuously until one of the fighters moves away or grabs ahold of his/her opponent’s neck for the clinch. Once in the clinch, knees and throws can be utilized as well as upward and downward elbows. The fighters who specialize in the clinch are often physically strong as they use the clinch to control and overpower his/her opponent. Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchboonchu FA Group is regarded as one of the greatest clinch fighters of all time, earning him the nickname “Deadly Knee Of The Mekong”.


Which Range Should I Use?

Through frequent training and sparring, you’ll soon discover the techniques that suit your fighting style the best. When you start sparring, you’ll find that you’re always trying to put yourself in the correct range to execute your favorite techniques. Eventually, with more experience, you’ll be able to predict your opponent’s reactions to your attacks and move into the proper range for your counter attack. Apart from this, you’ll also learn which techniques work against different kinds of opponents of varying skill and physique. When you’ve mastered this, you can decide which range you can best fight in.


The more you understand the categories of range, the easier it will be for you to devise a great game plan against your opponent. To practice working on changing ranges and using techniques that work for these ranges, use a heavy bag. Practice distance controlling techniques such as the teep or jab to keep your opponent at a distance or to determine which attacks to use. If you’re able to land a push kick, you know that you must step in more to launch your next attack. If you land a jab, you can still land mid range techniques but you’ll need to close the distance in more for knees and elbows. There’s no doubt that  being comfortable with range would certainly work to your advantage as a Muay Thai student. So go forth and train hard!

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