How To Block a Punch in Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is one of the most interesting combat sports around. Originating from Thailand, it has its own unique techniques, most of which use the body as weapons, specifically the fists, elbows, knees and feet. Referred to as Na-wa-arud, using these parts of the body for both offense and defense is important for a fighter to gain a basic understanding of Muay Thai.For both basic and advanced fighters, there are different defensive techniques used in blocking different sort of attacks. In this discussion, we’re going to focus on how to block punches in Muay Thai more than anything else. Though, most of these techniques could still be used for blocking other types of strikes.
- Blocking – The 45-degree block is one of the most basic, yet most effective blocking techniques employed in Muay Thai. It’s highly effective in blocking hay maker punches, stopping elbows and at times, it’s useful against high kicks. Stepping in with a 45 degree block up is a great way to close the distance between you and the opponent while making it easier to counter off a strike.
- Redirection – As its name suggests, this is a defensive technique using soft parries to change direction of different strikes. A good example is using a downwards tap to redirect a jab so that it misses its intended target.
- Avoidance – A good example of this technique is a defender moving their head back from an attacker to avoid a straight or a jab then counterattacking with their own. The same can be done against kicks and when counterattacking using one. With this technique, what’s important is moving a certain body part out of the way or range of a strike and yet still remaining in the range for a counter-strike.
- Evasion – This is similar to avoidance but different in that the defender moves his whole body out of the way of a strike. This is best used against kicks and is also effective when defending against attackers with much longer range.
- Disruption – By using jabs and other disruptive techniques, the defender is able keep the attacker at bay to prevent any lethal strikes.
- Anticipation – One of the more advanced defensive techniques, this is best for defenders who have ample combat experience. A good example is catching a roundhouse kick or a straight hook or jab and counterattacking before it connects.
- The Wall – This is a rather advanced defensive technique that those new to Muay Thai aren’t likely to use. The concept of this technique is using different portions of the body to block different kinds of strikes. A good example is by blocking punches by using the hand on the same side of the incoming strike.
In Muay Thai, peak physical conditioning is a definite must. If one is not physically fit, one will not be able to make use of the different Muay Thai techniques that use the whole body for both offense and defense.