Striking combos and chaining techniques are the bread and butter of any combat sport, from boxing to kickboxing to Muay Thai. Muay Thai combos are believed to be one of the most vicious combinations ever invented due to the variety in possible angles, kicks, punches, elbows, and knees that could be put together.
If you are a newcomer to the sport of Muay Thai and would like to understand Muay Thai combinations and unique strikes such as the teep kick, straight punches, and anything from basic to advanced Muay Thai combinations, then check out what we have for you below!
The Best Muay Thai Combos to Practice
Muay Thai combinations, when mastered, are a sight to behold. Just seeing how a fighter sets up these combo strikes are just amazing and are a great example of how artistic the sport of Muay Thai can be.
However, if you are also a fighter and are on the receiving end of Muay Thai combinations from an opponent, it may not be good for you, whether it be in sparring or in actual competition.
Before we proceed with showing you the nasty Muay Thai combinations and techniques you can unleash in sparring on other fighters (or a heavy bag), let us first walk through the basics of Muay Thai strikes and important things to take note of during practice and sparring, most especially when it comes to overall striking and protecting yourself from an opponent's Muay Thai combinations.
Muay Thai Strikes: The Basics
- In training, the goal is to perfect the Muay Thai combinations and techniques, not to inflict pain on others.
- The best way to workout in Muay Thai is to always have the right mind and body settings. This means that you have to be prepared both physically and mentally to help you reach the point of a flow state or a focused state.
- Combinations or combos may seem wonderful but require intention and focus during execution. Every strike is thrown with purpose, whether it be to set up a succeeding strike or to throw off your opponent from expecting or predicting your next strike.
- Similar to boxing, Muay Thai utilizes terminologies such as the jab-cross, left hook-right hook, and the jab. However, Muay Thai also operates with more limbs than boxing, so expect terms such as the lead kick, rear kick, teep kick, right elbow, left elbow, knee, step knee, low kick to the calf, low kick to the thigh, and several other techniques as these are all used in both a sparring fight and in an actual competitive fight.
- In the absence of sparring, practicing your combinations or combos on a heavy bag is still an effective way of Muay Thai training and mastering the techniques. Although a bag does not hit back, it definitely offers a wide hit window for you to practice all forms of combinations or combos during Muay Thai training sessions.
- To fight the right way, you would really need to step back and analyze how good your performance is when unleashing combinations. It definitely helps to have a training partner (that can double as a sparring opponent) or dedicated couch to help iron out some issues when it comes to your striking prowess.
- Most combinations listed below (and practically anywhere else) are geared towards the right-handed or orthodox fighters rather than the left-handed or southpaw fighters, so in the absence of any indication of whether the combination is for a right-handed stance or a left-handed stance, it would be best to assume that these combinations are for right-handed fighters. Regardless, it would also benefit you to try and start working on combinations using both stances as it would make you a better all-around fighter.
Best Muay Thai Combos for Beginners
Below is a list of the best basic Muay Thai combinations to practice if you are a basic or beginner Muay Thai fighter (orthodox stance).
To understand some of the basic combos, refer to the video below:
Jab - Cross -Left Hook - Right Hook - Left Elbow - Jab - Cross
This is one of the simplest combinations in this list. It is very basic and straightforward. Start with a jab and unleash every succeeding strike in quick succession.
Jab - Jab (Body) - Lead Low Leg Kick - Lead Body Kick - Jab - Cross
Another basic set-up is the double jab technique. Similar to Combo 1 in this list, each successive strike must be thrown with quickness while maintaining proper balance.
Jab - Jab (Body) - Straight (Body) - Step Back - Step Forward - Jab - Cross - Jab - Cross - Jab (Body) - Cross (Body)
This combination requires good footwork, but also demands speed and timing, especially if these combos are thrown against pads/mitts instead of a heavy bag.
Jab - Cross - Step Back - Step Forward - Pivot Left - Jab - Cross - Step Back - Step Forward - Pivot Left - Lead Body Kick - Rear Body Kick - Jab - Cross
This combination is a level above Combo 3 in this list as it requires you to use your pivot technique. This is a great combination to work on if you want to keep your opponent guessing and to always be out of harm's way.
Jab - Jab - Cross - Lead Leg Kick - Rear Leg Kick - Lead Body Kick - Rear Body Kick - Left Hook - Step Forward - Left Elbow - Right Elbow - Left Elbow - Jab - Cross - Cross - Cross
The final combination on this list is intricate but very manageable. Again, we lead with the double jab, then we transition into a barrage of kicks, and we wrap things up with a triple cross. The triple cross is thrown at different intervals just to keep the opponent confused or surprised.
The Best Combos for Advanced Muay Thai Athletes
Below is a list of the best Muay Thai combinations to master if you are an advanced Muay Thai fighter (orthodox stance).
To understand some of the advanced combos, refer to the video below:
Jab - Cross - Step Back - Lead Low Leg Kick - Step Forward - Pivot - Rear Leg Kick - Left Knee - Jab (Body) - Straight (Body) - Left Hook - Right Hook - Jab - Straight - Knee - Elbow
To start things off, we have an intermediate-level combination that requires agility, balance and movement. Begin with a basic jab-cross combo and unleash each strike as quickly as possible.
Jab - Cross - Left Knee Fake - Step Back - Step Forward - Right Hook - Left Knee - Jab (Body) - Straight - Left Hook (Body) - Right Hook (Body)
The next combination involves a knee fake. To throw a fake, simply start the initial motion/trajectory of the strike required and pull back immediately to a more balanced stance. For this combination, we suggest playing around with the timing of each strike just to throw off your opponent's pace and timing.
Teep Kick - Jab - Jab - Jab (Body) - Step Back - Lead Low Leg Kick - Step Forward - Left Elbow - Right Elbow - Step Back - Left Hook - Right Hook - Rear Body Kick - Jab - Cross
This combination starts of with a teep kick (also known as a push kick). Once you successfully connect with the teep kick, pushing back your opponent, you can either wait for your opponent to return to his original position or pursue him for the triple jab combo.
Jab - Cross - Left Hook - Left Hook (Body) - Lead Low Kick - Right Low Kick - Right Hook - Right Hook (Body) - Jab - Cross - Jab - Jab (Body) - Lead Low Kick - Jab - Cross - Knee
This combination may not seem like much but it actually involves a lot of precision, timing, and coordination. With every strike thrown, make sure that your body is not thrown off by momentum and always return to a neutral/balanced stance as much as possible.
Jab - Cross - Right Hook - Lead Low Kick - Jab - Jab - Cross - Left Hook (Body) - Step Back - Pivot Right - Lead Leg Kick - Rear Leg Kick - Knee
To wrap things up, we have a step back to pivot right combo that ends with two kicks and a knee. If you are capable, try modifying the final strike with a flying knee instead. This would definitely be a good combination to execute if you are looking to end the fight.
Best Combos to Work on Repetition
Below is a shorter list of the best Muay Thai combinations to work on through several repetitions to master kicks, knee strikes, and other basic strikes and fundamentals. Try these combinations to have a good running start on your mastery of each basic strike.
To check out repetitive kick drills, take a look at this video below:
1st Combo: Level-changing Kicks
Lead Leg Kick - Lead Body Kick - Lead Head Kick - Rear Leg Kick - Rear Body Kick - Rear Head Kick
2nd Combo: Alternating Kicks
Lead Leg Kick - Rear Leg Kick - Lead Leg Kick - Right Leg Kick
3rd Combo: Basic Footwork and Striking Combos
Jab - Cross - Pivot - Jab - Cross - Pivot - Jab - Cross - Step Back - Step Forward - Switch Stance - Jab - Cross Pivot - Jab - Cross
4th Combo: Alternating Straight Strikes
Jab - Cross - Step Back - Step Forward - Jab - Cross - Pivot - Jab - Cross - Defend - Jab - Cross - Step Back - Step Forward - Jab - Cross - Pivot - Jab - Cross - Defend - Jab - Cross
5th Combo: Alternating Hooks
Left Hook - Left Hook (Body) - Right Hook - Step Back - Step Forward - Left Hook - Left Hook (Body) - Right Hook (Body)
Muay Thai is a wonderful sport and, similar to boxing, has levels to the game of mastering techniques and dealing combos or combinations to an opponent. Hopefully, with our quick Muay Thai combinations guide in this article, you have learned to understand the different terminologies and have pocketed some valuable insight regarding what to look out for when learning about new combo techniques.
If you are in need of a refresher on essential Muay Thai combos, do not hesitate to re-visit this article for guidance. If you would like to know more about training in boxing, Muay Thai, kickboxing, or anything else in the world of combat sports or martial arts, then check out the rest of our website. We release content on a regular basis to make sure our readers and fighters stay educated and up-to-date.