Getting Familiar With Muay Thai Basics – Delivering Jab & Right Cross Effectively

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Muay Thai is a sport for people who have the heart of a lion. To be able to deliver the strikes, you need to fight, to go forward. If you want to become a professional, you need to start with Muay Thai basics. No matter how many obstacles you face, it is important to stay persistent and train hard.

The most basic punches in Muay Thai are a jab and right cross, if you are orthodox, follow the instructions. If you are a southpaw, reverse the instructions – jab and left cross.

Muay Thai basics require every fighter to be relaxed before the impact. If you are too stiff, the force of your impact will be extremely weak. You have to contract your muscles few milliseconds before the impact occurs – not in the moment of the impact, not a second before. Timing means everything in martial arts – if the moment is proper, your opponent will be knocked out. If your technique is superb, combine it with the moment and you will become a champion very soon.

In fact, your muscles must contract when your punch is 5-10 centimeters from your target (or 10-20 centimeters before it is fully extended if you miss). This will improve the power of your strike. Exhale when performing a strike and inhale when returning to the basic stance.

Note: prepare your hand wrap before practicing to make sure your hand will be ok. See our tips here for Muay Thai hand wraps.

Muay Thai basics – the Brutality of Jab

Despite the jab looks like a regular and weak punch, an opponent can be heavily injured by this technique.

While standing in the basic Muay Thai guard, your back is slightly hunched, your hands are slightly above the temple level and your feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart. The traditional stance asks your left foot (or right if you are a southpaw) to remain on the tips of the fingers.

  • Step 1: When you want to throw a jab, just make a simple step forward, extending your front leg.
  • Step 2: Keeping your right hand on the temple level (this protects you from opponent’s counterpunch), extend your back. Transfer the weight on your left foot.
  • Step 3: Extend your left arm to the angle 174-178 degrees, but never 180 degrees. You will risk an elbow injury if you do so.
  • Step 4: Punch your opponent to the head and don’t rotate your left foot. Rotate your left hip clockwise.
  • Step 5: As fast as you can, return to the traditional Muay Thai stance.

The Muay Thai basics require you to set up a strike and cover up as soon as you can. Make sure your weight is 50% on your left foot and 50% on your right foot. Congrats, you are ready for a new strike! Here is a video tutorial.

Professional tips which will help you send your opponent to the ground

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A Basic Jab

  • A jab is the most dangerous punch when you perform a counter attack. If your opponent tries inside or outside kick, he has to drop his arms. It is your opportunity – crush his chin.
  • A jab is excellent as a defense from low kicks. If your opponent uses too many low kicks, step forward and jab him to the chin.
  • You can connect two jabs to irritate your opponent. When applying the second jab, flex your left arm making a 90-degree angle in your elbow. Your jabs will be faster and the opponent will surely try to attack you. This leaves an open space for a right cross.

Muay Thai basics – right cross is the of the most lethal techniques

Right cross is a very dangerous punch. When learning Muay Thai basics, you need to focus on this technique. It can deliver a brutal knockout in a split of a second.
This technique is mostly used by tall fighters to prevent clinch fighting and keep smaller opponents on the distance. It is also very useful if you need to counter an opponent who constantly performs low kicks.

  • Step 1: Step forward slightly and lean your body. Your head goes slightly forward.
  • Step 2: Rotate your body and hip counterclockwise, but don’t lower the center of gravity. Your hip gives the power to the right cross.
  • Step 3: Keep your left hand tucked on the chin and perform right cross as fast as you can, extending your arm and extending your back.
  • Step 4: In the moment of impact, your back is flat, your hip is rotated, your left hand is up and your rear leg is on the toes. You can fully extend your right arm, but recover it quickly, or you can get countered.

There is a general problem with Muay Thai basics – jab and right cross can be countered very easily. A slip to the left or right and you are in a big trouble. Here is a good video tutorial.

Professional tips which will give a hard time to your opponent

  • Make sure not to try this attack if your opponent is closer to you than the distance of your arm. He can easily slip or clinch up with you.
  • This attack is an excellent counter versus right low kick or right high kick. Keep your left hand up and counterpunch your opponent as he leaves himself open.
  • Don’t perform this as the first attack in your combination, unless it is a counterpunch. The best option would be to connect after a jab or a left low kick. If you fight versus a southpaw, you can use this technique as an opening.
  • Do not perform this attack if you are on the ropes. There is no chance you will be able to deny your opponent. Right cross cannot counter clinch strikes or knees, you will receive a knee to the stomach.

The crown of Muay Thai basics – connecting jab and right cross

If you reached some level in Muay Thai basics, it is time to learn how to connect. Two strikes are more dangerous as a combination:

  • Step 1: Let’s assume you performed a jab. If your left jab is performed, rotate your right hip counterclockwise as you return your left hip to the basic position.
  • Step 2: Throw a strong right cross returning the left hand on your chin and rotating your right foot.

Here is a good tutorial.

There are few professional tips which will increase the effectiveness of your jab-right cross combo:

  • If you chase your opponent, it is a great idea – it is very difficult to counter.
  • If your opponent is in the corner, this combination will enable to shorten the distance and throw some clinch strikes.

This is not a combination for a counterstrike.

Wrap It Up

Congrats, you have learned the Muay Thai basics. Keep working hard and stay motivated. The practice makes perfection will certainly apply if you push hard enough.

When you feel ready, enter the ring and show the brutality of Muay Thai basics. Stay dedicated and climb your way to the top!

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