Muay Thai for beginners starts with learning the stance. Designed to best position the Thai boxer from both attack and defence perspectives, the stance is Muay Thai’s foundation and it begins downstairs.
Start with feet together. If you’re right handed, take a half step backward with your right leg. (Left handers do the opposite). Your feet should be approx shoulder width apart with the front or lead foot slightly pointing to the left. This front foot positioning allows for a quicker response to raise the front leg to defend against an incoming low roundhouse kick. This is called checking or outside block. The back foot is directed forward with the slightly heel off the ground to allow for hip rotation during strikes. Importantly, the feet, knees and hips are all oriented forward for maximum efficiency during striking.
Next is arm positioning. Elbows should be slightly flared to allow for the catching of incoming mid-section roundhouse kicks, blocking elbow strikes and to facilitate quicker elbow retaliatory strikes.
Weight should be evenly distributed on both feet for beginners. When starting out and learning the basics, keep it simple. More seasoned fighters, however, can experiment. For example, experienced practitioners can rock back on back leg for varying reasons; he or she could be looking to go ‘long’ with the jab or front push kick thereby keeping opponent at distance or is defensively super cautious and is protecting the lead thigh from low roundhouse kicks.
Hands should be high to protect head against kicks, punches and elbows.
NB. Common mistake is to adopt a more side-on boxing stance with elbows tucked in close to ribs. This makes it hard to execute rapid kicks, knees or elbows and also leaves the fighter more vulnerable to roundhouse kicks to front thigh and mid-section.
“Where there is prepration, there is no fear.” Hwang Lee