Basic Muay Thai for Beginners: Blocking Attacks
In this week's edition of Basic Muay Thai for Beginners, Fighting Insider will give your some basics on how to block an opponent's attack.
Perhaps, many fighters would agree that it is best to fight in offensive than be the one getting attacked. It’s also safe to say that your opponent can hit you back whenever you strike. That’s why it is also important to learn how to defend and counter attack. Though defense alone can’t make any fighter win, a solid blocking technique can save you some brain cells.
Basically, the best way to defend yourself is to avoid any hits. But blocking can be just as effective and is also a better strategy. Blocking in Muay Thai is done with shin, knee, arm, elbow and hand. It still hurts because you’re still taking a strike, but not as much as if you did not block. Learning to check or block your opponent’s kick is considered as a Muay Thai basic. And below are some things to bear in mind when blocking attacks.
1. You start by blocking your opponent’s kick with an arm. If it’s coming from a strong opponent, you’d better check his kick with your shin.
2. For a midsection kick, pick up your leg so that your knee comes to the inside of your elbow. The leg will cover the lower part of your body, while the arm protects the upper half. This makes a good barrier between you and the kick. Bear in mind also that your raised leg must be angled at 45 degrees in relation to your opponent. Otherwise, his kick can either land on your thigh or ribs.
3. Use the outside of your forearm to block high kicks. Though it can result to a broken hand, like what happened to Randy Couture against Gabriel Gonzaga, at least you didn’t get a blow in the head.
4. Of all the body parts, the head is the most important. And the best way to protect it is through keeping your hands up. Bringing your arm up and securely placing it on the side of your face and head is the best way to block head kicks and hooks. Lean away before or at the point of impact to lessen the blow. For a straight hit on the face, keep your arms tight to cover your head. Other than that, you can also block with the elbow.
But a fight doesn’t really end with just a defense. Remember, no fighter wins with blocking alone. So after successfully blocking a strike, look for an immediate opening and make your own attack. Whatever you end up as a check, it is imperative to use an effective blocking technique. Also remember to shift most of your weight to your leg that is on the ground to maintain your balance, and to fire off a counter.