How to Have the Best Defense in Muay Thai
Hey Nak Muays!!
The defense in Muay Thai, when done correctly, leaves little to no openings. Often times, the only way to land a solid weapon is to break your opponent’s balance. The easiest way to do this is to parry their strikes. To parry means to deflect a strike away into another direction. It’s more effective than blocking as you use your opponent’s momentum against himself. When you learn how to parry, you can create openings for counters while using little energy.
Essential Tips For Parrying
Only parry straight punches: You cannot parry hooks. The easiest punches to parry are the jab and cross because they are easier to time and predict. (Use left hand to parry right punch and right hand to parry left punch)
Don’t Parry With The Wrong Hand: Ensure that you always parry with the correct hand and in the correct direction. Failure to do so will leave you as an open target for your opponent’s other hand.
Don’t Parry Too Many Punches Consecutively: You don’t have to try and parry every straight punch thrown in your direction. It’s not even recommended because you will eventually mis-time one and get caught. You should only parry a single punch at a time.
Parry Teeps: Use the side parry to deflect your opponent’s leg. The stronger their teep is the more off balance they will be when you parry.
Be Subtle: Parrying is based on subtle motions of your hand. Don’t overdo it by slapping your opponent’s hand or leg with too much force. It’s not necessary because a tap is all that’s needed to send the punch or teep flying off course. If your opponent throws a feint and your hand moves too far from its position, then your opponent will spot this and try to take advantage.
Parry Then Counter: When you successfully parry a punch or teep, if your opponent is wide open, then make sure that you immediately follow up with a counter. If you hesitate to counter, the opening will no longer be there and you will then be at risk of being countered yourself.
Combine The Parry With Other Forms Of Defense: Don’t forget that parrying is only one form of defense which should be combined with other forms. Do not get into the habit of trying to parry every strike. Your opponent will notice and use feints in order to create openings in your defense.
Other Forms of Defense Against the Teep: Catch and Sweep, Drop Step, Catch and Scoop, and Check.
What is a Catch and Scoop?
The “Catch and Scoop” is a technique that is used to counter leg strikes. The objective is to control your opponent’s leg and toss it to the side in order to get them off balance and create openings.
Why Catch and Scoop instead of Parry?
The Catch and Scoop gives you options when you catch the kick or teep. You have time to sweep your opponent or scoop out their leg which will have a similar effect on the opponent as the parry. By scooping out their leg you will be forcing your opponent to give you their side or back.
Counters using the Catch and Scoop: Catch left teep with left hand, scoop your opponents leg out towards your right side, and use right cross+ left hook+ right kick. Catch right teep with right hand, scoop your opponent’s leg out towards your left, and use left hook + right cross + left kick.
Common mistakes: When catching the teep make sure to catch below the calf and above the heel. Catching the heel will cause you to lose grip when controlling the leg. If you start below the calf you will have more leg surface to work with. When scooping out the leg you want to scoop it up and not out to the side like you do with the side parry. You should scoop the leg out using the same motion you use when throwing an uppercut. The rotation from your foot when you pivot will create momentum for the following weapon to start off the counter attack. Gauge your distance when ending your combination with a kick. Only take steps forward with your punches if your opponent is moving back. If they are not you will be too close when you throw the kick. If your opponent is moving back use a step-kick, if opponent is not use a switch kick.