Basically, there are only two types of kicks in Muay Thai which are the push - straight - thrust kick and the round house kick. The push -straight and thrust kick is usually directed in a linear fashion and often used as a defensive maneuver while the round kick is usually directed in a circular fashion and often used as an offensive maneuver.
The forward leg is usually where the push -straight and thrust kicks are executed while the rear leg is usually where the round kicks are performed, however, it is possible to deliver any of these kicks from either leg. The toes, sole, heel, bottom, and ball of the foot can be used as the striking surface in push -straight and thrust kicks while the shin or instep is used as the striking surface in round kicks. The reverse round kick uses the heel as the striking surface. Each of these kicks can be delivered to the opponent from basically three different body levels which are low, medium, and high.
There are no snap kicks in Muay Thai with the half-exception of the snap-thrust kick which is a front push -straight and thrust kick delivered so high that the motion of the kick begins to resemble that of a snap kick. The force of a Thai kick is not whip-lashed out and back like in a snap kick, however, it is thrown outwards with full impact towards the target area. In all of the round kicks, there is no exaggerated chambering of the kicking leg before striking and the bottom-half of the kicking leg does not recoil back into its previous position after striking.
The entire kicking leg is simply lifted off from the ground and returns to the starting position after it has followed through its target by circling back which enables the Muay Thai fighter to maintain the basic fighting stance. Double or more round kicks are performed by dropping one's entire kicking leg to the ground without transferring one's bodyweight into it and allowing that leg to prepare itself for the next kick....
1998 USMTA Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004