The Importance of Learning Muay Thai Fundamentals

If I told you that you’d only need a handful of techniques to be successful in an amateur fight, would you believe me?

While it’s easy to think of Muay Thai as full of flashy spinning elbows, flying knees and head kicks, those sort of techniques are rarely effective. Sure, when used correctly, they make for devastating blows. They also look great on highlight reels, but between those flashy moves and a good body kick, even the pros will choose body kicks any day.


Why is that? Well, as basic of a technique as body kicks are, they also have a high probability of landing. And, when you do miss, recovering is much easier and less risky as opposed to missing out on an ill-timed flying knee.

You see, to be an effective fighter, the best thing to do is to master the fundamentals and be good at a few techniques. You’d be better off spending weeks developing a good body kick first before trying to learn a new combo or technique every now and then.

There’s No Such Thing As Special Moves

Muay Thai isn’t a video game. It is a real combat sport, and to win, you just can’t simply pull off a “special move” that will devastate your opponent. No, it doesn’t work that way. The fact is that no “secret” technique will ever suddenly make you better.


To improve as a fighter, you’ll need to have your footwork, balance, control, defense and basic strikes down pat. You don’t even need to worry about combos yet, as you most likely won’t be able to pull off a proper one anyway if you haven’t spent enough time perfecting the basics first.

If you take a look at professional athletes from various sports and disciplines, you’ll see that all of them have amazing fundamentals. Sure, they can pull off a flashy move or two. But, before they could even think of pulling a flying knee to the head, they spent thousands of hours first practicing how to position their feet properly while inside the ring.

Timing, for example, is very important. It also takes a lot of time to master. But, once you’ve got a good grasp of timing your basic strikes just right, you’ll have a good chance of winning against anyone you face in sparring or while in the ring.


You see, mastery of the fundamentals is what separates the beginners from high-level fighters in Muay Thai, or any other sport for that matter. Sure, it only takes a week or two to learn how to throw a perfect jab. But, to get the proper timing to land it on a moving opponent, all the while protecting yourself from getting hit back, takes years and years of practice.

So, don’t you worry about not knowing how to do a flying knee, or a spinning elbow, or a jumping kick. Flashy as those moves may be, they won’t win you fights. At least, not right now anyway. Instead, what you should do is to focus on being extremely good at a few things, namely the basics.

Do that, and you should find yourself improving to become a much better, more well-rounded fighter.

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