On The Path To Becoming A Mua Thai Champion

By: Phoenix Delray

Many MMA fighters, including Mark Hominick are avid students of Muay Thai, a form of Thai Boxing known as The Art of the Eight Limbs, and is the hard martial art most commonly practiced in Thailand, so much so that it the countrys national sport. The traditional version utilizes a system of punches and kicks within a ring, similar to Western boxing methods except that the hands, shins, elbows, knees and other body parts are also used. Muay Thai can be traced back to Muay Boran, or ancient boxing, a form of combat used by Siamese Soldiers.

Later, Buddhist Monks kept up the tradition of Muay Thai as teachers of both practical and spiritual arts, preserving the techniques of Mae Mai and Luk Mai, or major and minor techniques, respectively. Punch techniques include the straight punch, the hook, the swing, the spinnng backfist, the uppercut, the jump punch, and the overhead punch. These are the most popular techniques and are favored by not only Mark Hominick, but other fighters as well.

The elbow techniques consist of the elbow slash, horizontal elbow, uppercut elbow, forward elbow thrust, reverse horizontal elbow, spinning elbow, elbow chop, double elbow chop, md air elbow strike, all of which are especially important for this martial arts form, since elbows can be used in seven different ways. These include horizontal, diagonal upwards, diagonal downwards , uppercut, downward, backward spinning, and flying.

Kicking techniques in Muay Thai include the straight kick, nutcracker kick, roundhouse kick, diagonal kick, the half shin half knee kick, spinning heel kick, down roundhouse kick , axe heel kick, jump kick, and step up kick. The two most common are the foot jab, and the roundhouse, or diagonal kick, which is similar in execution to the karate roundhouse kick.

Knee techniques are also crucial in the art of Muay Thai, and consist of the jumping knee strike, the flying knee strike, the straight knee strike, and the small knee strike. Muay Thai places a particularly heavy emphasis on conditioning, which includes shadowboxing, body weight resistance exercises, abdominal exercises , and weight training. Fighters train with coaches, using specially made pads, focus mitts, and other special gear.

Focus mitts are specifically designed to train a fighters hands speed, punch combinations, timing, punching power, defense, and counter punching. Top fighters in the sport also rely on heavy bag training, a conditioning and power exercise that helps to reinforce the techniques practiced on specially designed pads.

Mark Hominick and others rely on Muay Thai to stay at the top of their game, but anyone can learn this ancient martial art for themselves.

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