The Purpose of Muay Thai Footwork

The Purpose of Muay Thai Footwork

Footwork To Go In and Out

The point of having good Muay Thai footwork is to go in and out.  Don’t waste your legs and footwork skills by just plodding forward all the time or running away all the time.  The point of “footwork” is to use your legs to go in all directions and change directions as needed.  At the very minimum, you should use footwork in Muay Thai to get yourself IN and OUT of punching range.  You should be using hit and run tactics all the time.

Timing Your Muay Thai Footwork

You should always time your  footwork so that you are moving when your opponent is punching AND punching when your opponent is moving. If you think carefully about that, you’ll realize that this means your opponent is doing the same thing you are…so what’s the difference? You are trying to use your footwork so that you are punching when your opponent is moving in whereas your opponent is punching as you’re moving away.

How To Move In and Out

  1. CREATE SPACE – When he starts to punch, step back and create some space. You want to backstep just enough to be out of range and make him hit air. Again you’re NOT running, you’re just making space.
  2. IN and PUNCH – Right as he’s finished punching (it won’t be long since you’re out of range), quickly STEP IN and throw some punches. Chances are, he probably stopped punching and started chasing you when you jumped in and caught him with his feet off the ground.
  3. REPEAT Step1 – You’ve stopped his forward momentum by landing some punches and he’s finally found his footing and started throwing back counter-punches but it’s too late because you already created space again.
  4. REPEAT Step2 – He realizes the counter-punches are too late and right as he stops punching you have once again slid into range and threw more punches.

What To Do When He Catches On

I actually find this to be a funny situation when your opponent catches on to your hit and run tricks. He’s most likely going to get frustrated and do either one of two things:

  1. He’ll stand still – He’ll stop moving and decide to wait for you instead. If he does this, just throw some hand fakes and foot fakes to get him to counter-punch first or move first and then come in and hit him with some shots before backing out again. You can also use this opportunity to calmly circle around him to catch your breath if you need.
  2. He runs away – He realizes you have superior footwork and he doesn’t know how to come into you so he starts running away or circling you defensively. At this point, you just have to walk him down with cautious jabs and force him to waste energy running away from you. At some point, he’ll give up all of his ground and be backed helplessly into a corner.

-Coach Huerta


Did you know that Robot Fight and Fitness is the best Muay Thai gym in Los Angeles?  We offer a lot classes at every time of the day with our exceptional coaching staff.  Interested in trying us out?  Schedule your free trial class and see for yourself!