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Muay Thai Stance: Here is everything you need to know

LockerRoom Team
23 April 2022

If you are a beginner in Muay-Thai, the first thing you would want to learn is the Muay-Thai stance.

Muay-Thai stance basically refers to the way in which you are standing during your Muay-Thai fight. Muay Thai athletes, like Western boxing athletes, are either right-handed (orthodox) or left-handed (southpaw), referring to the two stances.

You won't be able to attack or defend if you don't know how to position yourself properly, and sparring will become irritating rather than enjoyable. Furthermore, you won't be able to generate much power with the pads or bag.

Here are some things to keep in mind when you practice your Muay Thai stance to help you create a strong foundation. There are mainly five things you need to keep in mind. Below are the details courtesy of ONE Championship.

  • Orthodox And Southpaw Stances
  • Foot Positioning
  • Arm, Elbow, Hand, and Head Positioning
  • Weight Distribution
  • Muay Thai Footwork

Orthodox And Southpaw Stances

Athletes in Muay Thai, like in Western boxing, are either right-handed (orthodox) or left-handed (southpaw), referring to the two stances.

Orthodox fighters stand with their left foot forward and use their right side more often. Southpaw fighters, on the other hand, stand with their right foot ahead and use their left side to produce power.

On a side note, Muay Thai fighters' anklets can sometimes reveal which side they prefer. Some boxers just wear one anklet on their power side, while others, such as Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, "The Boxing Computer," wear an odd-colored anklet in contrast to their shorts and opposite anklet.

Foot Positioning

Theoretically, your feet should be slightly wider than your shoulder breadth. In actuality, top-level fighters, such as Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, will change the distance between their feet.

Because of his wider posture, Nong-O can defend and absorb incoming kicks without being knocked over. Other times, you'll observe the World Champion throwing teeps with his feet closer together.

ALSO READ | 5 Strength and Conditioning Exercises for Martial Arts

For the time being, try to keep your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Maintain a small bend in your knees. After you've become used to it, you can start adjusting the distance.

Furthermore, unlike in a boxing posture, your hips should face your opponent's hips. You don't want to be like a boxer and stand sideways.

Arm, Elbow, Hand, and Head Positioning

Bring your thumbs to your brows (palms facing each other, not the forehead) and let your arms drop down naturally. When done correctly, the gap between your elbows and your hands should be slightly broader.

It should not, however, feel as if you're shoving your elbows outward or inward. Of course, you'll need to draw your arms close to your body to defend yourself, but that's the only time your elbows should be pinned to your body.

As previously said, your hands should be brushing against your forehead, and your chin should be tucked just enough to be shielded by your shoulders if a hook is thrown from either side. Your head should be tilted toward your chest, but your chin should not rest on your chest.

Weight Distribution

In general, you should distribute your weight evenly between both legs. You'll be an easy target if you lean too much forward, especially for lead-leg low kicks, because it will take much longer to shift out of the way or lift your leg to check kicks if you lean too far forward.

If you put too much weight on your back leg, on the other hand, it will be difficult to put any power behind your assaults, especially punches, and you will be easily knocked off balance.

The trick is to know when to equally distribute your weight, when to place it on your front leg, and when to place it on your back foot. Of course, weight distribution is contingent on the situation.

Muay Thai Footwork

You'll reach a point where you're comfortable with the fundamental Muay Thai stance and are ready to start working on your footwork. Keep in mind that Muay Thai and boxing footwork are two different disciplines.

In boxing, you rarely see an athlete bouncing around on the balls of their feet or fast darting in and out of range. Because of the various weapons available in Muay Thai, the footwork is a little different.

You should keep your normal Muay Thai posture as you go forward, backward, or from side to side. When moving forward, for example, avoid approaching with your back leg first. Instead, take a stride forward with your front foot and follow with your back foot. When retreating, start with your back leg. Also, when travelling to either side, take the first step with the foot on the opposite side.

While training, make sure that you have all the safety equipment in place to avoid injuries. Use a mouthguard, proper gloves, wrap and headgear to avoid injuries. 


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