The Cobra Kai of the Karate Kid Movie Universe are known for their brutality in fights, and it's no surprise that in order to beat the opponents they actually used different forms of martial arts during their fights to confuse and overcome competition.
We see in Cobra Kai Season 1 Billy Zabka or Johnny Lawrence (creator of eagle fang karate) throwing several teep kicks to keep opponents away as well as a few knees to the face. In the Cobra Kai series season 3 school cafeteria fight scene, we see the same moves employed by his son Robby.
Thailand's national sport is Muay Thai, or "Thai Boxing." It is a martial art with military roots that dates back to the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th century. Muay Thai, also known as the "Art of 8 Limbs," uses punches, elbows, knees, and kicks to make contact, which distinguishes it from other stand-up combat sports like boxing and karate.
Muay Thai is a Thai martial art that is now practiced and competed all over the world. Muay Thai literally translates to "Thai boxing" because "Muay" in Thai means "boxing." Muay Thai, a modern combat sport based on Muay Boran, the traditional Thai martial arts, was first formalized in the early twentieth century. British boxing, which established codified rules and a boxing ring, influenced the sport. During this time, fighters stopped using ropes to wrap their hands and began using boxing gloves in competitions.
Muay Thai is a striking sport in which two opponents fight with punches, elbows, knees, and kicks in a stand-up fight. Sweeps clinches, and throws are permitted as well. Muay Thai is distinct from many other stand-up combat sports in that it emphasizes traditional elements such as the Wai Kru Ram Muay pre-fight dance ritual, the headdress (Mongkon), and the Sarama music that accompanies each fight.
Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand, dating back to the 13th century Sukhothai dynasty. According to Thai history, the first Thai army was formed to defend the kingdom, and soldiers were trained in both armed and unarmed combat. This martial art evolved into Muay Boran and Muay Thai as we know it today.
As a result of centuries of wars with neighboring kingdoms and tribes, Muay Thai became a way of life for the people of Siam known now as Thailand. After the Siam kingdom was besieged, Nai Khanom Tom defeated nine Burmese fighters one by one while imprisoned. Every year on March 17th, Muay Thai Day commemorates an important historical event that is partly based on legend. Muay Thai was formally recognized as a national sport during the Rattanakosin Kingdom era, which lasted from the 18th century to the early 20th century.
Muay Thai has evolved into a combat sport that is loved and practiced all over the world since around World War I. Muay Thai incorporates traditional boxing elements such as padded boxing gloves, three to five rounds with a time limit, defined rules, and it takes place in a ring which is actually a squared platform.
Muay Thai draws on ancient Muay Thai, also known as Muay Boran, for many of its strikes and techniques. Muay Boran was designed for hand-to-hand combat in wartime. Dangerous Muay Boran techniques, such as strikes to the joints or the back of the head, have been banned in Muay Thai as the sport evolves.
Jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes are among the punches used in Muay Thai, which are not seen in western boxing. Clinching, sweeps, and throws are strategically used in modern Muay Thai to make it a well-rounded combat art. Because of the 8-point contact, the sport has proven to be one of the most effective stand-up striking arts and is practiced by many mixed martial artists.
The most prestigious Muay Thai venues are Bangkok's Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums. Fighters from all over the world aspire to compete in the stadiums.
Muay Thai techniques are divided into three categories: attack, defense, and counter. Muay Thai requires a lot of practice, drilling the techniques over and over until they are ingrained in muscle memory.
The first step in Muay Thai is to learn the basic stance and movement. The chin is tucked in, the hands are in a guard position to protect the head, and the feet are kept roughly shoulder-width apart. Right-handed people place their left foot forward slightly and their right feet at a 45-degree angle to the outside. Left-handed people, known as southpaws, do it backward, with their right foot in front. When necessary, this posture allows the fighter to maintain balance while striking or defending.
The attacking techniques include punches, elbow strikes, knee strikes, kicks, push kicks, and clinches. Defense techniques include blocks, lean backs, deflections, leg catches, and dodges. Combinations (combos) are made up of these techniques that can be used to attack or defend. A commonly taught and used combination is the jab-cross-low kick. There are numerous variations of each attacking technique.
Punches are the most common weapon in Muay Thai. The main punching techniques are the straight lead punch, straight rear punch, uppercut, hook, overhead punch, and spinning back fist. Punching power is generated by a combination of speed from the feet up, weight shifting, and hip and shoulder rotation.
In Muay Thai, the elbow can be used as a weapon because it is one of the strongest parts of the human body. Different ways to throw an elbow include sideways to the head, from the top down, reverse to the chin, flying elbow from the top down, and spinning back elbow. When executed correctly, elbow strikes can knock an opponent out or inflict deep cuts that can result in fight stoppages.
The shin kick, which is used in Muay Thai, is a devastating weapon. The kick is delivered from the outside, with the arm swung back and the hip rotated inside, to generate force. Kicks can be delivered to the legs, body, arms, back, or head of the opponent known as a low kick or leg kick.
Jumping kicks, spinning back kicks, axe kicks which is top down with heel landing on opponent's head, and the acrobatic cartwheel kick made famous by Muay Thai legend Saenchai are all examples of Muay Thai kicks.
Knees are frequently used as close-range weapons in Muay Thai clinching. They're often thrown to the body, particularly the ribcage, but also the thighs and head. If done correctly, jumping knee strikes can be devastating. Knees, like other Muay Thai weapons, can be used to finish fights and knock out opponents.
To generate more force, knees are thrown with the back leg. To keep the opponent within striking distance, they can be thrown straight or diagonally with clinching. Jumping can also be used to deliver them to the opponent's head.
Push kicks, also known as "Teep" in Muay Thai, can be used to defend or attack. It can be used to keep opponents at bay while disrupting an attack, or it can be used as a strike if delivered with power and accuracy.
As a show of dominance, deliver a simple front push kick to the solar plexus, the lead leg, or even the face with the teep. Teeps can also be used to add power to a jumping front kick or a side kick with the back leg.
Clinching is a Muay Thai grappling technique that is commonly used in conjunction with knee and elbow strikes. Clinching is a close-range fighting technique that requires a lot of practice. Takedowns or tripping the opponent to the ground are allowed during clinching. When done correctly, clinching can aid fighters in outscoring their opponents and winning fights.
Muay Thai is a sport where there are no short cuts. Thailand's professional fighters train twice a day, six days a week, and compete almost every month. Many of them have hundreds of fights on their resumes due to the fact that they began training as young as four or five years old.
Muay Thai techniques are simple, and it all comes down to drilling; repeating the same movements over and over until they become second nature. Cardio and strength, in addition to working on techniques, are important aspects of becoming a good Muay Thai fighter. This is why a fighter training program includes daily running and strength training exercises.
Trainers are referred to as "Kru" in Muay Thai, which means "teacher," and are well-liked and trusted for always doing what is best for a fighter. Students must always have complete faith in the Kru, whether during training or when receiving advice. The Kru has a good sense of what is best. Even fighters who have won a slew of titles pay attention to their trainers.
Most importantly, progress is made by giving everything you've got during each workout. Push yourself to your limits and give it everything you've got. In a nutshell, just show up and train as much as possible.
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About the Author:
Colton Woodard is a 7th Degree Black Belt in Kuniba Kai Karate Do and holds the title of Kyoshi as well. He loves to teach Karate, Kobudo, and Iaido and considers himself a lifetime student in pursuit of self improvement in both Martial Arts and in Character. Colton loves to visit Japan and speaks conversational Japanese and can write quite a few Kanji. He is a Karate competitor and coach and loves to exercise and make new memories with people all over the world.
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