Weaknesses Of Muay Thai 

Although one can develop an incredibly strong body and become an amazingly strong fighter by studying and training in the art of Thai, there are some negative aspects that one should be aware of while  undertaking such a journey. 

First of all, there are age limits which means  that the older you are the more likely you are to be  physically less effective in using Muay Thai during combat situations despite the ease with which  most of the techniques can be taught. Another problem within the system is that using too much of ones own  physical  strength instead of effectively using your opponents, can lead to ones downfall, no matter how long you think you can last in a fight.

  An opponent with larger bones and muscles is more likely able to defeat  one with smaller bones and muscles. As a fighter passes his  peak, he begins to lose the ability to defend his or her self using Muay Thai because of the process of age.  The human body is like a machine and,  like all machines  it will eventually breakdown with wear  and tear over a period of time. Back problems are likely to arise because of the  constant backward and forward bending movement of the back during technique execution. 

Joint problems such as 'arthritis' may occur due to the accumulation of too much 
"callus" upon the bones. (How ever, this is not seen too much  in fighters who begin training at an older age where the bones have  already grown to their peak.) Some neck problems are also a possibility due to the  constant bending and clinching and neck and of pulling  the head forward towards the chest which is meant for keeping the chin  protected from attacks. 

Although the length of time needed for a person to  acquire the self-defense capabilities of Muay Thai remains far less than in most  other martial art styles, its usefulness is only short-term due to its undue  dependence upon the body's limited physical strength. 

Strengths Of Muay Thai 

Muay Thai is classified as one of the most powerful styles of martial arts known to day and because Thai fighters utilize the maximum power in every technique which is  generated by the twisting  the hips and the turning of the waist in execution of the movement.  Bone strength, endurance, and stamina must be achieved in order to become a  proficient Thai fighter.  

The art of self-defense where  the elbows, feet, fists, and knees are used to pummel the opponent. The fists and feet are used for long-range combat while the elbows  and knees are used for short-range combat. 

Muay Thai is sometimes called "Thai  Boxing" or "Thai Kickboxing" because the techniques of this style are not  practiced in sets commonly referred to as "forms -  Kata's or Koso's"
which can be found in Japanese, Chinese and Korean  martial arts. They are, however, practiced in much  the same manner as in regular  western boxing (hence the addition of the term "Boxing" ), which allows the practitioner to develop power, speed,  and a spontaneous reaction to attacks. The practice of "forms" do not properly  develop the qualities which are the most essential elements in becoming a good  Thai combatant. The simplicity of the footwork and techniques are some of the main  reasons why Muay Thai has been considered to be one of the most effective styles  of Asian martial arts. 

Also, techniques that were believed to contain less destructive  power such as finger strikes and "snap" kicks were completely removed making it  a more efficient fighting art. There are many types of grabbling which can involve  the arms, body, leg, neck, and shoulders of the opponent. Clinches can  aid the Thai fighter in maintaining balance while striking with the knees, in  maximizing the force of a blow by pulling the target area closer to the striking  weapon, and in preventing one's adversary from getting away while offensive 
techniques are being executed. 

A Thai fighter usually delivers an elbow,  knee, punch, or kick while grabbing the opponent rather than a "push  kick straight or  thrust kick,  which is mainly used for defense and for creating  distance between his opponent. No other fighting art  has adapted this form of
close range combat and in the specific  use of the elbows and knees more than Muay Thai. The length of time needed for a fighter to acquire the self-defense attributes found within Muay Thai is much less than in most other martial  arts. 



There is only one stance in Muay Thai. Every technique is performed from this  fighting position. One leg is placed in front of the body with the foot of that  leading leg facing straight towards the opponent and the heel of that foot is slightly raised off the ground. The other leg is placed behind with the foot of  that rear leg facing at approximately 45 degrees away from the leading foot. The rest of the body is also turned at  a 45 degree angle in sync with the rear foot. 

A side-on stance is much more advantageous to the fighter than frontal-stance because it minimizes the target areas. Frontal-stance exposes most of the bodies vital points while side-on stance makes it extremely difficult to effectively deliver any of Muay Thai's most powerful techniques. The distance between each foot should be about shoulder-length and shoulder-width apart from each other and most of the bodyweight should be in the rear leg. 

The shoulders are raised and the forearms are lifted in front of the face. The hands can 
either be in an open or closed position depending upon the personal preferences 
of the boxer in question. Some Thai fighters choose to bounce their leading legs up and down in order to be able to execute a "push, straight,  or thrust  kick at any given moment. The footwork prevents the legs from being crossed during combat as doing so puts a fighter of balance. 



BACKWARD :Move rear leg straight behind. Lead leg follows it while  maintaining basic fighting stance. 

FORWARD: Move lead leg straight ahead. Rear leg follows it while  maintaining basic fighting stance. 

LEFTWARD: FOR SOUTHPAWS, move rear leg backwards and to the  left. Lead leg follows it while maintaining basic fighting stance. 

FOR STANDARD BOXERS, move lead leg forwards and to the left.  Rear leg follows it while maintaining basic fighting stance. 

RIGHTWARD: FOR SOUTH PAWS, move lead leg forwards and to the  right. Rear leg follows it while maintaining basic fighting stance.

FOR STANDARD BOXERS, move rear leg backwards and to the right.  Lead leg follows it while maintaining basic fighting stance. 



Most of the blocks in Muay Thai are direct impact which requires the fighter to  develop the strength of his or her bones. The Thai fighter usually does not divert or neutralize the force of the opponent's blows as in most other martial art styles. A Muay Thai stylist would prefer to condition his or  her body so that it becomes physically strong enough to withstand the force. The forearms and shins are the common tools with which Thai fighters use to shield their 
bodies from incoming offensive attacks.

Most Thai fighters from Thailand start at a young age while their bones are still in the process of growing, therefore it is a lot easier for them to  strengthen their forearms and shin bones by accumulating a high degree of "callus" in order  to turn them into versatile blocking implements.

Most Westerners start at an older age, usually entering competitions  in the mid teens, which makes it a lot harder for them to toughen their shin and fore arms as their bones have usually passed the stage of continues growth. It is therefore better to begin training as young as possible.

..to be continued...


Copyright 1998 USMTA Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004 .