When I first came to Thailand, I struggled a lot with the basics. The problem was that I had already trained for years in MMA and Karate when I was a kid. This meant that I had developed MANY bad habits that would take years to try and undo.
The hardest adjustment I had to make was learning how to turn over my hips when I kicked. Years of bad habits developed before I came to Thailand, were extremely difficult to break. Even to this day, there are a few bad habits I still have, that I have to be conscious of not doing. These are things that creep up when I get tired or when I am stiff before training.
Not turning over your hips when you kick is the #1 mistake the Muay Thai students make when kicking. Most people resort to a Soccer kick that is straight up, compared to the Muay Thai kick that comes up and turns over at the end. The hip turn gives the kick its devastating power, and also allows the shin bone to cut into your opponent.
Muay Thai Kicking Drills
The best way to learn how to turn over your hips is to work on specific drills that emphasis hip turn. This should be done in addition to stretching and any hip mobility exercises that you are using for your hips.
I know that some people have extremely tight hips and very little flexibility, this will make it more challenging to turn over the hips. However, it can be done if you spend the time working on these drills to help you improve the hip turn.
The following video breaks down 3 drills you can use to improve your hip turn.
Practice Makes Permanent
What you practice in training, will become permanent over time. This means that if you put in the effort to unlock your hips and improve your hip twist, it will start to become second nature after time. The key is to practice the correct technique every time, so you don’t fall back into bad habits.
If you don’t know how to execute a Muay Thai kick perfectly, watch this video for a full breakdown on how to throw a Muay Thai kick. Once you understand the basics, you can go ahead and work on improving your kick.
Learn the Right Technique at the Start
The start of your Muay Thai journey is one of the most important parts of your learning curve. What you learn and the habits you form early on will carry you forward into the future. This means that if you practice the right techniques at the beginning, you will save yourself countless hours trying to unlearn bad habits that have formed later on.
You need to take the time to make sure you perfect each Muay Thai movement and technique. Think of your techniques as building blocks to your house. If you don’t have a good foundation, you will have a house that will fall down when things get tough.
The Muay Thai body kick is the most important weapon in Muay Thai. If you don’t have a good kick, you will be lacking a fundamental weapon that scores the most points. Spend the time now to master your basics, and it will pay off in the long run.