This guide will teach you an essential muay thai weapon – the right cross! Some of the most devastating fighters in the sport utilize this technique to get a lot of knockouts. The right cross is an essential component of muay thai. Along with the jab, the cross is the most utilized punch that you will see in muay thai competitions. If you want to get better at muay thai, it is essential that you know how to throw the right cross effectively.

Right Cross Theory

The right cross is often known as the power shot. You generate the most amount of power behind a properly thrown right cross. It is a technique that is often used at the end of a combination to ensure it lands on your opponent. This is going to be one of your “bread and butter” Muay Thai Punching techniques.

The right cross is the punch that is often preceded by the jab. Most Thai boxers will throw a jab first followed by a right cross. The right cross is a more powerful punch than the jab because more distance is traveled for the punch to arrive at the target destination.

It also involves turning the hips into the punch which helps generate a lot more power into the punch. The cross is often known as the knockout punch because there is a lot of power generated from the punch. A good right cross should cause your opponent to fear your knockout punch, which will help all of your other attacks land more effectively.

Picture Demonstrations of the Perfect Right Cross

Stright punch

Although Buakaw’s right hand should be higher on his chin, we’ll forgive him cause he’s Buakaw. Notice the extension on his arm and the rotation in his hips. This helps generate the power behind his big right hand.

Right Cross Floyd

Even though Floyd Mayweather is a not a muay thai fighter, he demonstrates the perfect right cross in the above picture that lands right on his opponents chin. When it comes to boxing there is nobody better than “Money” Mayweather.

Note* the following description is for orthodox fighters (regular stance) if you are southpaw (right foot forward) then you have to use the opposite side for everything

Basic Mechanics of a Right Cross

Step 1

Start from a Neutral Position – Before you throw your straight right punch you need to be in the basic Muay Thai stance. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with your left foot a half a step forward. You want to have both arms up in a defensive position (this will deflect punches and block kicks) with the left arm extended slightly forward. The right hand should be right by your chin keep you protected from the different attacks your opponent might throw. Now you are ready to throw a right cross.

Step 2

Shift Your Weight and Extend Your Arm – Shift the weight on your feet to the front foot, twist your shoulder and extend your right arm straight to the opponents face. Make sure you do not pull back your arm (cocking your punch) before you extend your arm. Simply extend your right arm straight forward to your opponents chin.

Step 3

Protect Your Chin with Your Shoulder – At the end of the straight right punch your right shoulder will be touching the chin of your face and your right fist will be facing downwards towards the ground. You are striking with your knuckles and your arm should be a parallel distance with the floor.

Step 4

Tuck in Your Chin – Your chin should be tucked down and your eyes should be focused on your opponent upper chest, right below their face. Your left hand should move back when you punch to cover the left side of your chin. This will protect you from a counter punch from your opponent.

Step 5

Return Your Arm Back to Neutral Position – After you have fully extended your right arm you will then snap the arm back into a neutral position protecting your chin. You should never leave your arm out because your opponent can take advantage of this weakness. Always make sure your arm is snapped back into the neutral position as quickly as you can.

PRO TIP: Utilize your jab to effectively land your right cross more frequently. If you start by leading with a right cross it can be easy for your opponent to block. By doing a jab, jab, cross combination, your opponent will be distracted by your left punch giving you a better chance of landing your right punch.

When practicing the right cross make sure you alternate it with the jab and work on throwing a jab-cross combination. This is going to be the bread and better of your Muay Thai boxing combinations. You want to move around and practice moving forwards and backward while throwing a right cross. The best way to improve your cross is to shadowbox in the mirror and perfect the technique.

PRO TIP: If your opponent has the Southpaw stance (right foot forward) your right cross will be the most effective punch. When you are fighting someone in this stance you will want to utilize your right cross more than an orthodox fighter.

The best way to improve your right cross is to work on it shadow boxing and ultimately start using it in sparring. Following the jab, this is the second most frequent punch you will using in Muay Thai. It is known as the power punch because of the force generated from the hips when you punch. Remember to use the right cross effectively in your Muay Thai combinations to make yourself a difficult person to spar with.

Make sure you see our other technique articles: How to Throw a Jab and How to Throw a Muay Thai Knee