A quality lead push kick (Teep) is an underutilized and misunderstood tool/weapon of Muay Thai fighting and/or training.
Also known as the “Foot Jab”, it is equivalent of the jab in Western Box-ing. If and when used properly, the push kick can gauge distance, be used to set up offense, used as defense, used as a feint, or a counter weapon, etc. Other advantages as opposed to a boxing jab, the push kick can be used to the head, body, or legs, giving you more options and targets.
Here are 5 Steps To Landing a Rock Solid Push Kick.
Step #1: STANCE
As always, start with a strong foundation! Your stance is where all of your techniques begin from. With out a strong stance, all of your weapons will suffer from weakness. Just like with any of your strikes, your lead foot should point directly at your target. Back foot should point at a 45 degree angle away from your target. Both feet should be shoulder width apart and arms and hands should be up in the guard position.
Step #2: FOOTWORK
Understand and know that a powerful push kick comes from gauging proper distance. Too close or too far from your target will put you in the danger zone. This is where footwork and practice come in. Inching your way in to ideal striking range with subtle footwork will allow you to land your push kick so that you don’t telegraph your attack. Using minimal but concise foot-work will hide your intentions.
Step #3: SHIFT YOUR BODY WEIGHT
When you have negotiated the right distance from your target you must now be quick and precise. Shift all of your weight to your support/back leg, driving your foot flat and grounding your-self. Fully extend your supporting leg so that the muscles flex from your foot to your hip, giving you a strong base to push off from.
This is where the other half of the power will come from for the teep. By flexing at the hip, knee, foot and toes you will be chambering for the push and the hit. Remember that you are not just pushing. Like the jab from your lead hand, your foot should punch through on contact causing a jolt to your opposition, pushing them on their heels.
Step #5: FULLY EXTEND YOUR LEG
Since you chambered your power now, like a rubber band, let it snap, pop and fire with con-trolled, accurate force. Your body, hip, arm, knee and ankle will extend in to one pin pointed area of your choice. Keep your toes flexed (pulled back) so that you can land with the ball of the foot.
The push kick can become a major weapon in your arsenal for offensive and defensive scenarios and should not be underestimated. Practice using it to disrupt the balance, rhythm , and timing of your opposition with the lead leg push kick in the same way that western boxers use their jab. The teep aka “foot jab” can and should be your first line of attack when gauging the skills of your adversary.
Check out the slow motion push kick here:
Check out my Highlight reel to see how the teep can be used offensively and defensively in a live scenario: