Muay Thai front kick, also known as a teep, is the longest range weapon in a Thai fighter's arsenal. It is mainly used as a defensive strike in order to push your opponent back. Learn how to deliver it and how to defend yourself against push kick.
Its main purpose is to keep the other fighter outside of his punching range and disrupt his attacks. It is possible to use it as an offensive technique too. Anderson Silva proved it in a fight against Vitor Belfort when he used it to knock his opponent out by kicking him in the face. It was a push kick, not a front kick mainly because of the forward hip movement Silva's did before a kick. He's got lucky because the opponent didn't expect that and didn't even block it when he saw it coming already.
That said, one should understand the difference between push kick - mainly a defensive technique use for creating a distance between a fighter and his opponent - and the straight front kick - used for striking in martial arts like Karate . Some practitioners refer to a front kick as a push kick, hence the title of this article. There is a lot of confusion about naming this particular technique. In this post I want to describe a traditional Muay Thai teep.
The kick should be executed in one fluid motion:
raise your leg and extend it out using your hip, hit the target and put you leg back. It is also advised to extend you arm in front of you so you will be able to defend yourself if you miss with a kick. Sole of a rear foot should be kept flat on the floor for better stability.
It all depends on how fit you are. If you are fast and well stretched you can even kick your opponent in the face but generally, you should aim for the stomach and the abdominal area. It should be done as quickly as possible so your opponent will not have a chance to grab you leg.
There are a few ways to do this:
The best way to do this is to train it with a heavy bag until you will able to use it effectively in a sparring. You can kick the bag and then catch it with the same leg with a second kick before it swings back. Or you can kick the bag with one leg and then switch to another before it swings back. You can also swing a bag sideways and then try to kick it right in the middle. This will help you to build up strength, accuracy and timing needed for a full power sparring.
Read more about Muay Thai techniques: punches, knees and elbow strikes