We broke down the technical how-to on the TMA "roundhouse" kick in the above post. In this post, we'll break down the Muay Thai Round Kick ("Te").
As noted above, the earmarks to a MT Style Round kick are as follows:
- The kick is proceeded with a step forward.
- The kick is thrown with minimal chambering of the leg at the knee.
- The contact point is the shin and not the foot.
Just like the TMA Round Kick, we will assume an orthodox stance with the left leg leading. The following steps are for a kick using the rear leg. To throw a Round Kick MT style:
1) Push off the toes of your rear leg and take a short (4 to 6 inches) 45 degree step forward with your front foot toward your target.
2) While stepping forward, rotate your rear shoulder toward your target. This will create useable torque to...
3) Begin rotating the rear side of your hip toward your target. Your hip will always preceed your leg when kicking
4) Bring your leg around in a wide arc into the target, in a loose "dead leg" style while pivoting on the ball of your supporting leg. This will allow a wider rotation of your hips.
5) Kick through the target making contact with your lower shin, approximately 2 inches above your instep and 6 inches below your knee.
6) Return your to your fighting stance.
The reason why the Thai Style kick creates so much force so easily is because it is very sound mechanically. The torque created from the rotation of the shoulders, hips and pivoting of the foot (which allows a greater range of rotation on the hips) creates a great deal of acceleration on the kicker's leg. Further, the step forward into the strike commits the kicker's body mass into the attack. Remember: Force = Mass X Acceleration.
So why the dead leg? Well simply put, there is more rotational force created if the leg is at a fuller length. You want an example of that? Take a pencil and hold it an inch from the eraser with your index finger and thumb. Using only your index finger and thumb, flick the eraser end of the pencil into an object. Not too much force created there, right? Now move your grip another 2 inches from the eraser and do the same thing. More force is created right? If you continue on, you will notice that you get the maximum amount of force when holding the pencil from the very end. The same principle applies with the kick.
In contrast to the TMA style Round Kick, the MT Round kick has less technical details to train. The individual motions of the technique are easier to learn, and offer less of a chance of breaking the momentum created while initiating the kick. This makes it very easy to teach and learn.
On the bad side, the kick dedicates a lot of momentum and force into the limb that can be taken advantage of if the competitor throwing it misses their target. The momentum of the kick will bring the competitor off balance, or completely around on their foot if they miss. Both scenarios are prime opportunities to counter attack.
With that, here's some show and tell --
first video shows both high and low kicks.
second vid is an instructional clip from Rodney King who breaks down the kinesiology of the kick rather nicely.
third vid is just a demonstration of the low kick.