In this video, we went out to Heart Out Muay Thai with Jake Lund to pick his brain on the technique that he uses to get past opponents checking his leg kicks.
When fighting or sparring with an opponent that is good at checking your leg kick, you can sometimes use their readiness to check to your advantage. One of the ways you can use this against them is by making them think you are going to kick the front leg, but instead, you kick past his check and hit his rear leg instead.
In order to make them believe you are going to hit the front leg, you can fake your kick towards it, causing him to lift his shin to block the kick. Instead of hitting the front leg, drop your weight and kick for real, this time aiming at the rear leg by kicking underneath his front leg.
The idea is to sweep your opponent by kicking the back leg out from underneath them, or you can also hurt the back leg by hitting the muscle above the knee (his inner thigh). This is not an area on the leg that often gets hit, and therefore it will be unconditioned, so any shot that lands on it will have a significant effect, causing greater pain than hitting some other areas.
The best way to make him believe that the kick is going towards his front leg. is to hit it a few times first. If he is checking well, you don’t want to kick too hard because you don’t want to kick his check and hurt your own leg or foot.
If your aim is to sweep the opponent rather than hurt his back leg with this technique, put more emphasis on pulling him down as you kick his rear leg out from underneath him. This may not hurt as much as a solid kick to the leg but it can be very frustrating to another fighter to end up on the ground, giving you the mental advantage. Also, it looks great to the judges when you drop another fighter to the ground, and you are left standing.
This may not be something that you use many times in a row in the same round, but throwing it in occasionally can be a great way to keep your opponent guessing as to what you are going to throw at them next!