Catch Kick – Return Kick: Muay Thai Breakdown

Catch Kick- Return Kick: Practicing Frequently Used Movement Combinations in a Muay Thai Fight

Author: Lauren

When it comes to Muay Thai training, practice and repetition are the keys to improving technique. However, you don’t only have to rely on practicing during kickboxing classes to work on your technique. You can and should practice at home, as well. While taking Muay Thai classes is a great way to learn, running through practice drills at home will help you feel less awkward doing the movements in classes when you’re just starting out. By repeating one combination multiple times, you’ll become more comfortable with it. Let’s take a look at a drill that you can do that covers multiple techniques used in Muay Thai fight.

Practicing a catch-kick-return kick drill consists of these movements:

  • Checking
  • Catching
  • Returning a punch while holding the opponents kick
  • Returning a counter-strike

Do all of these movements in one combination to build both your comfort and skill level. Also, pay attention to how you follow the transitions between the movements.

Here’s how to go through a catch-kick, return-kick drill, step by step:

  1. Kick is thrown
  2. Check the kick – (knee and elbow overlap)
  3. Catch the second kick
  4. Cross to the body while still holding on, just below the sternum
  5. Step back and push the leg to the side
  6. As soon as you release, return the kick up high on opponents body/arms/head

Here’s an important safety tip – Step in direction of the kick while catching, to take the power of the impact off of the ribs to avoid injury.

To change up the transitions, consider what else can be done with the leg after the catch. You can swing it back the other way, catch with your opposite arm and sweep the leg, or take the leg out and put your opponent down on the ground. When training, you want to go through each of these scenarios, one at a time. That means picking one transition and sticking it with for a drill multiple times. Once you’re comfortable with it, move on to the next transition and run through a drill multiple times for that one.

Importance of drills to get adjusted to the transitions

Running through a drill will be awkward in the beginning, especially if you’re just starting Muay Thai training. However, the more that you practice, the easier the transitions will become. You can adjust your pace, starting off slowly as you familiarize yourself with the movements and transitions. Build up your pace as you improve your skills.

When practicing at home, stick with one combination and then do it for a whole round. Then in the next round change one thing and do that for a whole round. The more times that you practice a drill, the more acclimated you’ll become to the multiple techniques. Doing each drill multiple times increases your comfort and skill level with the transitions. Repetition is the key not just to developing technique and skill, but also to building your confidence level. After repetitive practice, those movements and transitions will start to come naturally.