Muay Thai Combos You Need to Master

Developing your Muay Thai combinations is like adding to a library of information you can call on. The more you rehearse that library, the greater number of devastating weapons you’ll have at your disposal. There are of course, levels to this stuff, so we’ve outlined our favorite Muay Thai combinations for beginner, intermediate, and expert practitioners. As always, the more your practice these Muay Thai combos, the more naturally they’ll come to you in the ring.

Note: all of these drills will be explained with the assumption you are right handed/footed. If you are left dominant, just reverse accordingly.

And if you’re looking for more: check out these muay thai drills.

Beginner Muay Thai Combinations

Jab, Cross

When you think Muay Thai combos, you usually think of kicks as hard as baseball bats (1), more so than flurries of punches. But you don’t need to be a Muay Thai pro to know that a few well placed fists to the dome can be just as effective as a combo of kicks. And even if each punch doesn’t have knockout intent, they can set up clinches and kicks to batter your opponent all day long.

The jab, cross/overhand right is probably the most simple of Muay Thai combos, but it’s arguably the most effective in terms of punches.

On the flip side, if you don’t time the jab, cross properly, you might be on the receiving end of a counter leg or body kick.

With practice, we’ve found that setting the jab, cross combo up with a hard jab (not just a touch) is crucial. A hard jab will make them drop their hands down, which allows you to follow up with a heavy overhead right that smacks their exposed head from above. To ensure you lead with that power jab, push forward with your left/lead leg drive weight through your whole body to launch the lead jab.

Practiced well, you’ll look like Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee:

Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee muay thai combo takedown

Now go and start drilling! Make sure you’ve got the best Muay Thai gloves to drill with, and don’t forget your shin guards.

Jab, Right Leg Kick

For what is one of the more basic Muay Thai combos, the jab, right leg kick is immensely satisfying.

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, it’s such a sweet feeling to snap that jab into your opponent’s face and then follow up by digging your shin deep into their thigh.

Bonus points if you can see them wince.

To work the basic Muay Thai combo, jab, right leg kick:

  1. Step off your back/right leg and stick your jab with your left arm while stepping forward with your left leg.
  2. Take a half-step out to a 45 degree angle with your left leg. This sets up your pivoting foot and helps you avoid your opponent’s counter right hand.
  3. Swing your right shin into the outside of your opponent’s left thigh.
  4. Reset your stance.

A punch should stay like a treasure in the sleeve. It should not be used indiscriminately.

Chotoku Kyan

Intermediate Muay Thai Combinations

Ok, you’ve got your sparring gear and are ready to step it up a notch.

Straight Right to the Body, Left Hook, Right Low Kick

Moving on to Muay Thai combos that are slightly more advanced, but still very achievable, we have the straight right to the body, followed by a left hook and then a right low Kick. It’s one of the prettiest Muay Thai combos to pull off, and it’s actually not that hard to do after a bit of practice.

Covering three separate parts of your opponent’s body, it can also be one of the more effective finishing kickboxing combos against the ring or cage.

  1. Step with your left leg outward 45 degrees to your left as you throw your straight right to the body. This will take your head of the center line to avoid counters.
  2. Immediately after your straight right, throw a left hook to your opponent’s head.
  3. After the hook, hop of your rear right foot and onto your left foot to create momentum for your right low kick.
  4. Slam your right shin into your opponent’s left thigh.

If all goes well, they’ll be so busy worrying about their upper body that the leg kick comes as a complete, unguarded surprise.

Left Knee, Left Kick, Left Teep

The left knee, left kick, into left teep is another relatively easy to master Muay Thai combo that is very effective. It’s a great combo for softening up your opponent, and then pushing them away to create distance.

  1. Step forward and throw a left knee strike to the right side of your opponent’s body.
  2. Immediately step back, and throw a left leg kick either at their upper body or their head, depending on your flexibility. It doesn’t really matter, as you are baiting your opponent to counter that left kick.
  3. Follow up with your left teep to push them away.

This combo is all about the timing, so keep an eye on how your opponent reacts to your left kick, so you know when to push the left teep.

Expert Muay Thai Combinations

Left Lead Hook, Right Low Kick, Right Teep, Flying Knee

This is a Muay Thai combo that finishes fights — yes it takes a lot of practice, but it’s a powerful weapon to have in your arsenal. It uses a lot of footwork, but that means it covers a lot of ground to hunt down your opponent. Ending a with a flying knee, it’s also a big crowd pleaser.

  1. Throw a left lead hook.
  2. Step out with your left leg 45 degrees to your left, planting your left leg and swinging your right shin into your opponent’s left thigh.
  3. Reset your stance so your right leg is back, and then push your right foot into your opponent’s chest/belly with your teep.
  4. Reset again, and drive off your lead left leg and throw your flying right knee.

You can also clinch up at the end of the combo, post out and throw a nice head kick for good measure.

You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.

— Bruce Lee

Left Lead Hook, Right Rear Knee, Right Upward Elbow, Right Downward Elbow, Right Body Kick

They say Muay Thai is the combat sport with eight limbs (2), and this nasty combo uses most of them. It can be used from distance as well as in close, depending on how you throw that first lead left hook. There is a lot of work to put into this Muay Thai combo, so make sure you have a good grasp on each individual striking technique before you try and put them all together.

  1. Throw a left lead hook.
  2. Drive through with a straight right knee to your opponent’s belly.
  3. Reset your stance, so your right leg is planted again.
  4. Make sure your left forearm is protecting the left side of your head.
  5. Throw a rising right elbow strike to your opponent’s face.
  6. Anticipate your opponent trying to post away to create distance.
  7. Parry your opponent’s left arm away with your right arm.
  8. Throw a downward right elbow to their face in the same motion.
  9. Post away to your left create distance.
  10. Throw a right body kick.

This is a great one to end your training with as it’ll fry your brain and your body trying to get it right!

References

  1. Hnin Mon, S. (2011, Oct 24). Physics of a Roundhouse Kick – Physics 111. Retrieved from http://colgatephys111.blogspot.com/2011/10/physics-of-roundhouse-kick.html?_sm_au_=ivV0PtRsm6762Dm2
  2. 10 Interesting Facts About Muay Thai – Champion’s Creed. Retrieved from https://championscreed.ca/blog/137

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