Many of us start our Muay Thai training wanting to have the most powerful kicks and knees or the most devastating punches and elbows. Maybe some of us want to step in to the ring and prove how much punishment one can take and still keep fighting. Or maybe some of us just want to learn some self defense to be able to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Either way, when I first started learning Muay Thai over 20 years ago, this was one of the first things I was taught before I threw any of my 8 weapons….footwork. Alongside learning one’s fight stance, this is the first thing I teach any student. “Crawl before you walk and walk before you run”.
For me, that means: starting out as you did as an infant. Crawling in Muay Thai would be learning the basics of stance and footwork. Walking would be equivalent to working on your basic offensive & defensive techniques through drills. Running would compare to sparring and/or competing. There is a progression that every Nak Muay must follow to be a proficient stylist. Without this learning process the individual will find themselves backtracking in their training which will lead to slowing down the learning curve.
Why is footwork important?
Footwork is the major force behind both offensive and defensive tactics. It doesn’t matter how hard you can hit if you can’t properly manage distance, and distance is dictated through efficient footwork. If your footwork is off by a few inches you might land a kick with your feet and toes instead of a devastating shin bone. On the other side, defensively, if you are trying to catch a kick without moving your feet properly you might be catching as your opponent lands a shin on the rib cage. Just a slight step on an angle would help you take the kick with the foot and ankle making you more able to secure the leg. Or in a full out scrap as both combatants tend to fatigue, the one with the sharper and more stable footwork will still look more controlled and composed, sending a message to the judges and crowd that you are the stronger fighter.
Footwork is how you control where you place your opposition in the ring and YOU want to be the ring general. Footwork will help you evade the heavy hitter as you break down their confidence in their ability to land telling blows. “Make‘em miss, then make’em pay”.
Do you get the idea? Footwork will take your skills to the next level, and keep you two steps ahead of your opponent! “Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong”.
Download my FREE full length footwork training video at www.chrisromulo.com/footwork