Use Your Leg Like a Baseball Bat: The Thai Round Kick

The following is taken from the online Black Belt Magazine, here.


Pivot on your front foot.

Rise up onto the ball of your foot. Don’t leap up off of the ground. You must push off of your lead pivot foot.

Always move your weight forward. Move into the opponent –don’t lean back.

Your pivot leg should be extended, not bent into a squat position.

Swing your arm on the kicking side backward and down.

“From the fighting stance, your left hand should swing aggressively down and as far behind you as possible. That takes place at the same time your left leg comes up to kick. The hand actually starts the leg—as though it’s connected to a string that runs to the target and back. Pull the string back with your left hand to launch your left leg toward the target. The stronger your hand swing is, the stronger your kick will be.

Beginners often object to dropping their hand because they think they’re lowering their guard and leaving their face open. What they need to do is heed the experience of muay Thai, which teaches that the leg is longer and stronger than the arm. When you execute the power kick, it’s so hard and fast that any punch that might land on your face will be insignificant in comparison. That’s why it’s the No. 1 thing you must learn to be a muay Thai fighter.”

Daniel C. Docto explains shin placement for a muay Thai kick in Black Belt magazine.
Author Daniel C. Docto explains to a young Thai boxer that the power kick uses the shin to make contact (above) and that when contact is made, the foot should point upward at a 45-degree angle (below).
Daniel C. Docto explains proper foot angling for muay Thai kickboxing in Black Belt magazine.

Kick at the Target

The kick comes upward into the opponent’s floating ribs. If you kick with the left leg like I do, the liver is a potential target.

Strike with the shin, upward at a 45 degree angle. The aim is to come up under the opponent’s guard.

Relax. You must be loose, not tense. The kick is whipped, not muscled through the target.

Daniel C. Docto explains shoulder placement for muay Thai kickboxing in Black Belt magazine. Daniel C. Docto explains muay Thai hip rotation in Black Belt magazine. Daniel C. Docto explains muay Thai kicking power in Black Belt magazine. Two additional pointers on the power kick: Move the kicking-side shoulder toward the chin as the arm is whipped to the rear (left). The power of the technique comes for the rotation of the hip (middle) around the pivot point created by the supporting foot (right).
Muay Thai kickboxing techniques are demonstrated in Black Belt magazine.
Throwing your weight forward is the rule of thumb in Thai boxing because it enables a smaller practitioner to kick as powerfully as a heavier person.

“Turn, Spin, Rotate

Using a counteraction, as your left hand swings back, you should turn your left shoulder forward in the direction of your chin. Simultaneously spin your left hip forward and rotate your right supporting heel toward the target. This twisting action requires you to make all the components function as one, but if you practice until you can do it, you’ll learn how to generate real power.”

Keep Your Guard Up

Be Ready to Follow up

Your muay Thai power kick isn’t finished until you retract your leg into a position from which you can kick again. Don’t make the mistake of dropping your foot right after you make contact.

Muay Thai training techniques are demonstrated in Black Belt magazine.

2 Responses to “Use Your Leg Like a Baseball Bat: The Thai Round Kick”

  1. Nice techniques. Muay Thai uses mostly legs to do the most damage to your opponent.

  2. […] In my post on the shoe as a weapon, I began thinking about kicking. If you read this blog you know that I am a believer in the effectiveness of Thai boxing as taught to me by my teachers, Khru Paul Metayo and Khru Ike Villaflores 0f Dumaguete, Philippines. I practice and prefer the Thai round kick (Seen here.) […]

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