Move to the Beat of the Muay Thai Rhythm

Watch the Thai fighters move. You will notice they have a Muay Thai rhythm that is missing from many of the Western fighters’ game.

In their stance, they have a rhythm of motion that is different from boxing or MMA. It is slower and smoother than the active, lively styles of boxing and MMA.

MMA and boxing are more like rock and roll while Muay Thai is jazz. The Muay Thai rhythm is not well-known or understood in the West. You rarely see foreigners with it if they have not trained extensively in Thailand. Westerners tend to adopt a more bouncy kickboxing style movement, similar to Dutch kickboxing rather than Muay Thai. Foreigners you can see utilize this movement would be greats such as Jean Charles Skarbowsky and Dany Bill, both of whom came from the notorious Jocky Gym.

Because it is not understood, it is not taught and is commonly overlooked by Western trainers, whereas it is regularly taught early on to children in Thailand.

Here Jay Matthias uses it effectively against an opponent with a different style.

The common misconception in the west is that the stance and movement of Muay Thai, is standing there, tapping/bouncing your front foot up and down. While this is a part of Muay Thai, this is not the main stance, just a defensive position. You cannot fight a entire fight utilizing just this. The Muay Thai stance and rhythm is more of a forward-backward movement, rocking front to back in a smooth motion. A fighter must be competent in both, defensive and offensive rhythm.

In your stance, have your weight on the balls of your feet, and rock forward and backward, transferring weight from the back to the front. You must be able to transition from both this, to the defensive stance of foot tapping at any moment.

Jonas Menken Jonas "Staggs" Menken is a Kun Khmer fighter, having practiced Kun Khmer and Muay Thai for 18 years. He grew up boxing and has been involved in martial arts his whole life. Having trained with athletes and coaches at the highest level, Jonas still fights and also trains the next generation of fighters.