Low kicks are one of the most feared weapons in Muay Thai because of the pain they inflict. It is quite common to see someone limping around for a few days after a few well placed leg kicks in training.
An effective low kick can change the outcome of a fight. Damaging an opponent’s legs will change their fighting style, making them more defensive throughout the course of the fight.
While every fighter should have a diverse arsenal of attacks at their disposal, the low kick is one of the most effective tools that can be used.
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for all of the sore legs that will result from this article. Use these combinations at your own discretion and assume your training partner will be using them on you.
6 Effective Low Kick Combos
Jab – Right Low Kick
One of the most basic low kick combinations that is highly effective is the Jab – Low Kick combination. The purpose of the jab in this combination is to distract your opponent so he doesn’t have time to react to your low kick. While a strong jab can set up this combination effectively, it doesn’t need to land in order for the combo to be effective.
Smart Tip: You might find that after a few clean low kicks, your opponent will wisely smarten up and start checking your kicks after you jab. If this happens, wait a split second after you jab to allow your opponent to check your kick early, once their leg comes down fire the low kick.
Left Hook – Right Low Kick
The left hook- right low kick is one of the most common low kick combinations you will see used. This combination is great because it puts your body in a position for your hips to turn and throw the right low kick. The left hook doesn’t have to land on target, but your opponent should react to it.
Straight Right Body Punch – Left Hook – Right Low Kick
If you have good distance and timing then this combination is a great one to use. By changing the level of your punches, your opponent won’t know what level you are planning on striking next. This is a great combination to use because it targets three different areas of your opponent’s body.
Jab – Right Straight – Left Hook – Right Low Kick
This fourth combination is a great option for people who are looking to add a nice punch combination prior to the low kick. It is important to remember that whenever you are using punches to set up a low kick, you need to make your opponent respect your punches. If your opponent doesn’t respect your punches, they will not react to them, allowing them time to block your low kick.
It is important to pay attention to the rhythm of JR’s punches in this video below. He does not throw the punches in rapid succession, he uses his punches as he is coming forward, aligning his body for good positioning of the low kick. Changing the rhythm of your strikes will make it more difficult to predict what you are going to do.
Left Body Hook – Right Low Kick
This is one of my favorite body kick combinations because it target two vulnerable spots of the opponent: the liver and the lead leg. If you are able to land an effective left body hook it will put you in a great position to come across and throw the leg kick with bad intentions.
You can either throw this combination when an opponent his coming forward or you can step and throw a long left hook to the body and a low kick. It is a great setup because your body will naturally swing over when you throw the right kick at the end.
This one is a variation to this which adds a right punch before the left body hook
Stutter Step – Jab – Right Low Kick
This is one of my favorite low kick combinations that I use all the time. The stutter step is used to get into a better position to land your low kick, while at the same time showing your opponent a jab. Setting up this low kick requires you to use footwork in order to get yourself in a position to land an effective strike.
Other Combinations (no gifs)
Right Punch – Left Low Kick
Unlike the previous combinations that target the front leg of the opponent, this combination goes for their rear leg. One of the advantages to going after the rear leg is they are usually not as conditioned to take leg kicks. Since the rear leg can’t take as much damage, it is smart to attack it.
In order to land this combo you will need to step take a small step to your left side and come across with your left leg for the low kick. The right punch is effective in putting your body in a position to target their rear leg.
Jab – Left Low Kick
This combination works well after you’ve thrown the jab – right low kick combination a few times prior. If your opponent is smart, he will raise his leg to check your right low kick, giving you an opportunity to attack the rear leg with your left kick. The jab is used to disguise your left kick that will follow shortly after.
This combo is a great way to add more variation to your striking and provides you with more openings if your opponent is blocking most of their kicks. Be patient and don’t kick if you notice him going to check the rear leg.
Note* These combinations are ideal against orthodox fighters
Keys to the Low Kick:
- Patience – The old English proverb ‘good things come to those who wait’ is very true when talking about the low kick. Sometimes sitting back and waiting for an opponent to make a move will create openings for you to exploit.
- Timing – Timing is everything. If you don’t have good timing you will probably find it difficult to land low kicks on a skilled opponent.
- Variation – Don’t use the same technique over and over, switch things up. If your opponent starts to read your strikes, change them.
- Footwork – Good footwork will help you create angles and openings to attack your opponents legs.
- Combinations – Combinations are going to help you land your low kicks without getting blocked against skilled opponents.
Practice Makes Permanent
In order to effectively use these combinations in a fight you need to create the neurological connections in your brain so they become second nature. Attempting to do them a few times in sparring is not enough. You have to work on each technique on the heavy bag, shadow boxing, padwork and sparring.
Using your combinations in sparring is a great way to build your timing and develop footwork. Sparring helps you implement the techniques that you learn in training. The key is to pick a few things you want to work on and get good at them. Don’t run through the list and try and master everything at once. Everyone has a few go to moves that they like to use, find yours.
Practice is essential to developing good low kicks in Muay Thai. Don’t be disheartened when you initially get blocked whenever you throw your kicks. Keep working on it and remember to change your rhythm and pace of the kicks.
Do you want to learn more?
If you enjoyed reading this article make sure you check out my two books called Muay Thai Strategy and Counters. These books were written to help you develop a complete Muay Thai game and will teach you all about strategy and counters.
This is a great resource for people who are looking to learn things that you won’t learn in your Muay Thai class. If you want to learn more about the books you can click on this link HERE.