When most people are exposed to the inside leg kick it is quite likely not their favorite kick to use. Since it is not a “strong side” technique most people feel awkward throwing it and/or receiving it (especially the fellas) and it therefore becomes underutilized and underappreciated. As with all your other weapons, the inside leg kick can have a variety of purposes so don’t forget to keep this tool sharp!
The key to throwing an efficient inside leg kick is based off of how you move your feet, aka “footwork”. The kind of footwork you are going to use will depend on your distance from the target. If you are already with in jabbing range, you will use the shuffle/pendulum step. If you are outside jabbing range you will be better off using the 45 step.
With either choice, your primary target will be the soft tissue and muscle on the inside of the thigh (half way between the top of the knee and the groin). Landing on this target requires patience, timing, accuracy, and proper distance. This is where footwork plays a crucial role!
Alongside the footwork and the kick itself, there are some fine tuning tips to ensure you don’t land an illegal shot directly on the knee or groin area.
1. Start out at a medium range distance from your target.
2. Being that you are in medium range you will use the “Shuffle Step” to keep the same distance. You will do this by sliding your rear foot to replace your lead foot position as the kick is being thrown.
3. Assuming that you are starting in long range you will use the “45 Step” to close distance as you look to land the inside leg kick. Your feet will step on a 45 degree angle off the center line to create proper momentum and angling to deliver your kick to the target.
4. No matter how you close the distance be sure to change your levels to avoid being too tall, place the kick with your shin and instep, keep your guard high to deflect punches and avoid aggressive clinchers, and most importantly land with quality!
Be sure to keep these 3 points in mind when learning to deliver your Inside Leg Kick:
#1- DON’T STAY TALL: Get low and change your level to avoid punch counters
#2- Use your arms to deflect punches coming in or clinchers attempting to close the distance
#3- Remember to get back in to position you started from. Don’t let your kick hang out there as your opponent is likely to be firing back at you. Get back to where you can follow up, defend or counter attack.
As with every technique of Muay Thai, drill with a training partner to enhance your likelihood of using this technique in a life scenario.
Check out the video breakdown on the Inside Leg Kick:
Go to www.chrisromulo.com/footwork to learn how you can fine tune your footwork for Muay Thai!