Across the various martial arts, Muay Thai utilizes the most number of weapons. That’s why it’s called the art of 8 limbs and rightly so. After all, it uses fists, elbows, knees, and legs. Among the main weapons of the art involves the use of the hands for striking, in other words, boxing.
The truth is that a lot of Nak Muays don’t utilize boxing as much as they should. They focus more on using their kicks, elbows, and knees, for striking. Whether it’s in actual fights or training, boxing techniques have been underutilized in Muay Thai for the most part.
There are a few reasons why that’s the case, and in Thailand, it’s because of the way the fights are scored. In the sport’s motherland, knees and kicks are more favored when it comes to the judges scoring. That’s not the case in other countries, particularly in Europe and the US. Fighters in those countries generally favor the use of boxing combinations when they fight.
This is probably one of those rare cases when fighters in Thailand can learn from the rest of the world. Boxing has so much to offer and it can only add, not just to the arsenal of a Muay Thai fighter but also to the fighting style of that particular fighter. A more well-rounded fighter is a more dangerous fighter and adding boxing skills can definitely help toward making that a reality.
A Muay Thai fighter who is adept at using different boxing combinations can be competitive and even dominate in a fight. If you’re a fighter, being skilled with your hands gives you more range and weapons that you can use to your advantage. You can easily use boxing combinations to set up your other strikes.
So whether you’re a beginner in the art or a long-time practitioner, it wouldn’t hurt to add a few tricks to your game. The following are the 7 best boxing combinations that can be used for Muay Thai:
1 - Jab-Right Straight Combination
Start with the most basic boxing combination - the jab-right straight combo, also known as the 1,2. It can also be said that apart from the most basic, it’s also the most effective boxing combination there is. If you connect with this combo on your opponent or sparring partner, you’ll score points and also cause some damage. And even if you don’t land clean, you can still use it to set up some of your other attacks. Lastly, you could use the 1,2 to keep within range of your opponent.
2 - Jab-Overhand Right Combination
Another basic but very effective boxing combination that can be used for Muay Thai is the jab-overhand right. The jab will actually be thrown as a decoy or distraction, after which you’ll follow up with the right overhand as a quick follow-up. You can choose to aim your jab at the head or at the body and your foe will either cover up or counter with a straight right. The overhand should sail right over his or her guard. When thrown at full power, the overhand right should have more than enough power to knock down or even knock out your opponent.
3 - Jab-Right Straight-Left Hook Combination
The next combination is a very common combination used by boxers and is also considered the natural next step of the basic 1,2. This combo works best when you’ve used the 1,2 consistently throughout the match or sparring session. Since you’ve been throwing the jab-right from the start, your foe is not going to expect that the left hook is coming. You’ll basically lure them into a false sense of security, which would leave them open for the hook. If they block the 1,2 with their guard, that will leave the side of their head open - which is potentially a knockout blow in the making. At the very least, it could be a game-changing strike in your favor.
4 - Jab-Straight to the Body Combination
Attack the body and the head will fall. That’s a saying that applies to our boxing combination. To execute, throw a hard jab to the head to get your opponent’s attention. Your opponent will likely cover up by raising both hands. The midsection is going to be wide open and that’s your chance to hit it with a powerful straight. By changing up the levels of your attack, your opponent will be left confused and guessing about what you’d do next. Just make sure to step at an angle to take your head off the center line after you throw your jab and right before you go for the body to avoid any counters.
5 - Right Straight-Left Hook to the Body Combination
The right straight-left hook to the body combo can also work well in Muay Thai. Again, the element of surprise will play a big part in the success of pulling off this combo. After all, it’s not that common to start off a combination with the right straight, particularly in Muay Thai. When your straight right connects, then there’s a good chance that your follow-up left hook is also going to land solidly. In other instances, your jab could also play a part in the success of this combo. If you throw the jab regularly during a fight, you could time a feint and follow up with this combo instead.
6 - Right Uppercut-Left Hook Combination
A boxing combination that you could use to counter aggressive fighters that are constantly moving forward is the right uppercut-left hook combination. It will likely catch them off-guard since this is another combination that’s rarely utilized in Muay Thai. The uppercut will cause your opponent to open up the defense, which is the perfect chance for you to throw the left hook and do some serious damage. You can also use this combo when you’re the aggressor and you got your foe trapped in the corner or on the ropes. Unleash this combo when you’re going for the knockout. Either punch can serve as the finishing blow to your trapped and retreating opponent.
7 - Double Jab-Right Straight Combination
The last boxing combination that we’ll feature is a little unconventional when it comes to Muay Thai. It’s not common for Muay Thai fighters to use the double jab, whether in setting up other punches or to land other strikes. Since it’s not usually used, you can take advantage and use it as a surprise attack against your opponent or even your sparring partner. You’re going to score points, gain control of the fight, or even get a knockout victory.
One thing that the 7 best boxing combinations that can be used in Muay Thai have in common - they’re basic and can be mastered through constant drilling. The important thing is to practice these combos in the gym - whether on the bag or on the pads. You could then apply each combination when you’re sparring or when you’re in an actual match. Soon enough, you’ll be reaping the benefits of using your fists more as part of your Muay Thai game!