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Middle Kick preponderance in Muay thai

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There seems to be a high regard and focus given to the middle kick in Muay Thai.
Both in training and scoring.
Besides the tactical tool of emptying the opponent's energy as an investment for the latter rounds; KO's from middles seem rather rare ?

Other styles of Kick Boxing could be perceived as investing much more in low kicks and "spectacular" high kicks.

What are the explanations and backgrounds for such high focus and regard of middle kicks in Muay Thai ?

Cheers,

Cédric

 

 

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On 1/25/2021 at 6:09 PM, Céd said:

What are the explanations and backgrounds for such high focus and regard of middle kicks in Muay Thai ?

Middle kicks are very likely rewarded in Muay Thai because they are all about demonstrating control of space. They penetrate the central zone and demonstrate balance. If you control the central zone of the fighting space, theoretically, you then should be able to control the fight, which also means being better able to set up for knockouts, if that's what you are looking for. You see this principle in all kinds of sports and strategic games. Defense up the middle in Baseball. Control the center of the board in Chess, etc. But knockouts stemming from that control are generally not the aim in Thailand's Muay Thai.... You get legends of the sport with over 200 fights and only a handful of KOs. It's not about trying to finish the fight as fast as you can. There are lots of reasons for this, but one of the is that Muay Thai in Thailand is about becoming truly dominant over the fighting space - not flashing a (perhaps) lucky shot that is going to look great in highlight reels. It means - at least to me - that it's about building a deeper skill set, and a much more sophisticated approach to fighting. 

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It's a great weapon to weaken a puncher's arms and neutralize their attack. With the power a good middle kick presents, you will be far more inclined to cover up in defense than to take the kick to the body. It also requires a great amount of energy to throw a good Thai kick, so keeping it as a staple technique to practice in training will help to maintain the high level of endurance needed for a fight.

For a great example on how middle kicks can be used for neutralizing, check out Buakaw vs. Mike Zambidis.

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Hello Kevin,

Thanks for relating

At first I pragmatically thought that the fact that the bouts lasted for 5 rounds meant that investing in middle kicks at the beginning was helping to build up opponent tiredness and set up cleaner points/KO's at latter rounds.

Finding the center and controlling the center of the body to show dominance is an interesting perspective.
Although the risks of getting the leg caught are so high. Which may also be a factor that helps in maintaining the rounds and stakes interesting?

Is it the sport that shapes the reward system or the judging system that shape the sports ?
Egg or Kitchen question...
Mix to that the culture, the audience, the gamblers, the foreigners ...

Cheers,

Ced

 

 

 

 

 

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First time ever taking a hard body kick from someone who really really knew how to do it? Hurt like fuck. Probably what it feels like getting water-boarded in Guantanamo or something. But no seriously, it actually felt like the most disgusting sensation ever. Thoughts rattling through the head along the lines of, 'Please... just punch me in the face 10 times instead of doing that again'

Afterwards you walk home thinking, damn...maybe I should learn how to do that too. So you do. But it takes fucking forever - that's the reason it's not really a thing in Western fighting. It just takes way too long to develop so most people don't bother. Hate to be simplistic about it, but..

 

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Other reasons:

1. Thais are small people, Thailand being a developping country and all. It is difficult for small people to knock out their opponents with punches, especially if you don't benefit from a huge english boxing influence to develop proper punching mechanics (Europe).  So you spam kicks.

2. If you want to spam a kick, that's the best kick to spam. High is too tiring, low is too easily defended.

That's one of the reasons Dutch kickboxing looks way different thant Muay Thai. Look up Siam Boxing sparring videos and you'll see two different worlds in MT sparring / KB sparring

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1 hour ago, Sirop de genou said:

especially if you don't benefit from a huge english boxing influence to develop proper punching mechanics (Europe). 

Unfortunately this is a complete myth. Western boxing has had a powerful influence on Thailand's Muay Thai ever since it modernized in the 1920, under a King who basically grew up in England. Thailand has had a huge number of western boxing world champions, almost all of whom were Muay Thai fighters before they became western boxers, a nice list of several of these can be found here:

https://www.siamfightmag.com/en/muaythai-en/reports-en/others-reports-muaythai-en/1084-the-champions-of-muay-thai-and-the-boxing-in-thailand

There is no combat sport in the world that I can think of which has a greater representation of western boxing world champions.

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23 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Unfortunately this is a complete myth. Western boxing has had a powerful influence on Thailand's Muay Thai ever since it modernized in the 1920, under a King who basically grew up in England. Thailand has had a huge number of western boxing world champions, almost all of whom were Muay Thai fighters before they became western boxers, a nice list of several of these can be found here:

https://www.siamfightmag.com/en/muaythai-en/reports-en/others-reports-muaythai-en/1084-the-champions-of-muay-thai-and-the-boxing-in-thailand

There is no combat sport in the world that I can think of which has a greater representation of western boxing world champions.

 

Indeed,

DaZn just sent me a reminder https://www.dazn.com/en-IL/home/acs6yb3nyw43co7lkphaok25s

Thailand ranks 16 at the Olympic games boxing medalists....that's more than China, Mexico and Canada... just to give proportions.

 

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