Muay Thai blocking is quite simple. There’s no tiger claw or upper, lower, horse head’s foot move. The fanciness has been taken out and what’s left is easy and effective.
To protect yourself from jabs, up/down elblows and anything coming for your face straight on its typical boxing “HANDS UP” style. Put both your forearms in front of your head and keep as small of a gap as possible between them. Its effective for jabs and the like, but it keeps you wide open to hooks, kicks and spinning punches/elbows that aim for your jaw and temple.
The other style of blocking for your noggin is this:
Make sure to be aware of where the punch will land. Your forearm is strong, but there are many degrees you can bend this block. A good opponent will always probe you before tossing his hard strikes. Never get to comfortable with a way of holding your arm. And, as shown in the picture, get that shoulder in their tight. A blow to a strong shoulder and the forearm instead of one or the other will make strikes easier to buffer and spread the damage.
Its all in the legs. When a low or mid leg strike comes your way, you lift your leg up like this:
The power of the kick is deflected by the flexibility and strength of your lower leg. Always, ALWAYS, try to avoid blocking a kick with your thigh or hip if you can, unless you can get the kick to hit directly on hip bone (good luck). The reason for the leg block is for the shin of your opponent to hit the side of your shinbone and calf, mitigating the muscle cramping malice the kick is meant to inflict. Muay Thai fighters train so that their legs are like steel bars, where muscle and bone can take multiple strikes of enormous power. Train your legs for that. Practice on soft wood. Smack your shins with sticks. Get those micro fractures going, safely of course. To fight Muay Thai, you need to train as the Thai experts have done. They used banana trees. The West, not so much, but we find our ways. Padded bags are better on your legs if you train alot, but never forget you need to build up your bones as well as muscle to fight. The less experienced, like wannabe tough guy MMA fighters, end up with floppy, broken legs because they practice their strikes on soft bags and when a good kick or well timed block hits… CRACK.
Next Post: Strikes.