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The 'UK Muay Thai Kick' / The Golden Kick - Differences?


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 So a little bit of background - most UK in the Muay Thai is informed by the few influential coaches who trained out in Thailand and brought Muay Thai back with them (usually after fighting them in kickboxing) and Master Sken, who like Master Toddy was a TKD guy who sort of knew muay thai a little bit then packaged it as Thaikwondo and begun to teach it in the UK some 40 years ago. 

I was taught by Thoethai Srikrotriam - a Thai stadium fighter from the 70s/80s and he taught me via watching me train and occasionally correcting things he didn't like until I got to where I am today. The way we are usually shown to kick by the English coaches (several of whom have been taught by my teacher) is very similar to how it's taught in this video. To my eyes that looks pretty much the same as the Golden Kick, but not quite as slick as the sort you'd see from Karuhat, Sagat etc. 

Wondered if anyone else would like to have a look and see how it measures up to what they understand of the golden age kick! 

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5 hours ago, AndyMaBobs said:

 So a little bit of background - most UK in the Muay Thai is informed by the few influential coaches who trained out in Thailand and brought Muay Thai back with them (usually after fighting them in kickboxing) and Master Sken, who like Master Toddy was a TKD guy who sort of knew muay thai a little bit then packaged it as Thaikwondo and begun to teach it in the UK some 40 years ago. 

I was taught by Thoethai Srikrotriam - a Thai stadium fighter from the 70s/80s and he taught me via watching me train and occasionally correcting things he didn't like until I got to where I am today. The way we are usually shown to kick by the English coaches (several of whom have been taught by my teacher) is very similar to how it's taught in this video. To my eyes that looks pretty much the same as the Golden Kick, but not quite as slick as the sort you'd see from Karuhat, Sagat etc. 

Wondered if anyone else would like to have a look and see how it measures up to what they understand of the golden age kick! 

Great video explanation on what I was taught as well. My coach at the time used a wall to help keep the leg from swinging out in an arc. Ive used walls, cage walls, etc to help teach it. 

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The explanation sounds a lot like the Golden Kick, although the execution looks a bit different to me. That might go down to experience. The "up the side of the body and then twist to turn it over" is very much a Golden Kick. 

It would be interesting to me to learn where this pedagogy originated, for it to be so widespread in the UK. I don't think we have a "standard" way of teaching the kick in the US and a lot of the kicks I do see are more "roundhouse", akin to Karate. I reckon that would be from the backgrounds of the teachers in all these different schools, a lot of whom come from Tae Kwon Do or Karate and then turned to Muay Thai after many many years in those other arts. So it's hard to change what your body knows already. Did the UK not have a Tae Kwon Do and Karate phase the way the US did?

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7 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

The explanation sounds a lot like the Golden Kick, although the execution looks a bit different to me. That might go down to experience. The "up the side of the body and then twist to turn it over" is very much a Golden Kick. 

It would be interesting to me to learn where this pedagogy originated, for it to be so widespread in the UK. I don't think we have a "standard" way of teaching the kick in the US and a lot of the kicks I do see are more "roundhouse", akin to Karate. I reckon that would be from the backgrounds of the teachers in all these different schools, a lot of whom come from Tae Kwon Do or Karate and then turned to Muay Thai after many many years in those other arts. So it's hard to change what your body knows already. Did the UK not have a Tae Kwon Do and Karate phase the way the US did?

This is more hypothesis than fact - but it's quite hard to find a Muay Thai Gym in the UK that isn't aware of every other Muay Thai Gym in the country. Because England in particular is so small (for comparisons sake it's a little bit bigger than Florida geographically) you can't really get too far away without finding the next gym along. Every coach seems to know each other and a lot of the gyms have coaches that were taught by coaches from other gyms. 

That and in London there are quite a few Thai coaches who are teaching. My coach Thoethai fought from about 1972/1973 on wards so he had a lot of the very old technique. Double K Gym has Rittijak Kaewsamrit on the their coaching team, Jompop Khiatphontip etc. 

I am not sure how it compares to America's development but Muay Thai hit the UK in the 70s, it's always been a niche thing, but I think something in the time that the martial art started taking off over here had something to do with it. The UK did have a karate boom and Sken's influence over the scene may have something to do with it, as like Toddy he wasn't a muay thai fighter - so his TKD background could have had some influence too!

 

Out of interest, what is it in application of this kick that looks different to you? I can almost see it, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

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9 hours ago, Coach James Poidog said:

Great video explanation on what I was taught as well. My coach at the time used a wall to help keep the leg from swinging out in an arc. Ive used walls, cage walls, etc to help teach it. 

That's the same drill I use with my younger students!

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18 hours ago, AndyMaBobs said:

Out of interest, what is it in application of this kick that looks different to you? I can almost see it, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

It doesn't elevate to the same degree that the Golden Kick that I see among the top fighters of Thailand does. His explanation of kicking "up" and then more or less twisting it in is what it looks like when they do it, but it's not two separate parts, which his is. It's like his has a joint and the Golden Kick doesn't... it kind of bends. When Karuhat does it, it's like his foot traces the line of the opponent's body, right up the side, before bashing inward. But you never see it take that turn toward the body. You can see that moment in the video demonstration, as well as the fight examples included therein. Almost like a word that can be pronounced as either one syllable or two.

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3 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

It doesn't elevate to the same degree that the Golden Kick that I see among the top fighters of Thailand does. His explanation of kicking "up" and then more or less twisting it in is what it looks like when they do it, but it's not two separate parts, which his is. It's like his has a joint and the Golden Kick doesn't... it kind of bends. When Karuhat does it, it's like his foot traces the line of the opponent's body, right up the side, before bashing inward. But you never see it take that turn toward the body. You can see that moment in the video demonstration, as well as the fight examples included therein. Almost like a word that can be pronounced as either one syllable or two.

That's interesting. Is Karuhat's kick functionally more like a stereotypical muay thai kick then, but with a much narrower arc? That might be the distinction of why his comes up and over in a narrow arc rather than in a two step more karate like motion. There's a good chance that there is some karate influence in the UK kick, seeing as how karate kicks are chambered in a 1 - 2 

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4 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

His explanation of kicking "up" and then more or less twisting it in is what it looks like when they do it, but it's not two separate parts, which his is. It's like his has a joint and the Golden Kick doesn't.

 

46 minutes ago, AndyMaBobs said:

That might be the distinction of why his comes up and over in a narrow arc rather than in a two step more karate like motion. There's a good chance that there is some karate influence in the UK kick, seeing as how karate kicks are chambered in a 1 - 2 

In recent research on the history of Taekwando and Karate techniques recently I came across this argued historical point. The Karate round kick early on after the introduction of Karate to Japan evolved into a wide, circular power strike. It was meant as a single strike, and some of this came out of the lack of sparring, board-breaking and such. Taekwando, because it eventually took on very strong competition scoring point values which "scored" even lightly thrown kicks, completely took out that wide circular kick of original Karate, from which TKD derived, and created a very fast kicking style, with the upward knee action, and then a little flip, which chambered the kick. So you had a spectrum, in history. The big circular Karate power kick, and the super fast, but very lightly landing TKD kick. The Golden Kick is a really beautiful optimization of both of these. It removes the chambering of the kick (most often), but comes from the same very fast upward action. Because it's not flicking, but really ripping through with the hip or torso turn, it maintains a lot of the inner dynamics of the old circular power kick. There really is no "one" Golden Kick of course, it's a biomechanics tendency. Some of these great Golden Age kickers also have very subtle means of generating power through their kicks. You don't see the 1st stage, 2nd stage transition, but because of their high repetition training their bodies kind of swallow it, and turn it into a graceful transfer of power, like how an an elite western boxer can generate huge power on a hook without seeming to twist and load the punch. The speed and power seems to come out of nowhere, because it's not very visibly expressed. Rather the tendons and muscles in the body have learned how to generate the torque, subtly, and they might not even know how they are doing it. It just came out of 10s of 1000s of repetitions. Karuhat is an interesting example. He feels his power generation as a kind of chest-rising action. He feels like he's rising, or floating up, when he teaches it. But not many Thais even had his kick. It's particular to him. All this is to say is yeah, it could be that in the UK there was some Karate or TKD influence in technique, but my guess is that Wooten is doing the Golden Kick pretty good, but just hasn't reached the level of smoothness and expression that may have evolved if he kicked this kick 1000s of times since he was a kid. All that internal, personalized transition isn't quite there. Which doesn't mean that the kick isn't awesome as it is.

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On 6/11/2019 at 12:11 PM, Snack Payback said:

Those were actually the guys I was talking about in the first post. They weren't 'proper' Muay Thai - but they definitely proved that it was possible for it to do well here - and from there we got actual thai boxers and westerners who trained in Thailand coming home and bringing it here properly. 😄

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