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      Master list of muay thai combos

      Master list of muay thai combos

      Have you ever been lost with what combos to throw on the bags or pads?  The coaches here at Legacy have put together some of their favorite muay thai combos.  They are very basic, yet they work at the highest levels of competition. Don't just glance over them, study them, and know them well.

      Don't forget to read our related blogpost called "CREATING MUAY THAI COMBOS."

      Lets dive into it.

      Major Single Strike Attacks

      1. Jab
      2. Cross
      3. Rear up elbow
      4. Lead up elbow
      5. Rear side elbow
      6. Lead side elbow
      7. Rear swing kick
      8. Lead swing kick (switch kick)
      9. Rear low kick
      10. Rear pushkick
      11. Lead pushkick
      12. Rear knee
      13. Lead knee (switch knee)



      • Parrying punches
      • Blocking against punches
      • Shin blocks against kicks
      • Arm-shield Blocks against kicks
      • Dracula guard
      • Catching kicks


      Counter Strikes

      • Parry any punch to swing kick counter
      • Parry any punch to straight knee counter
      • Shin block to swing kick counter
      • Counter the cross with a rear swing kick or rear low kick
      • Counter the jab with a switch kick


      Basic Punching Combos

      *all hooks are lead hooks

      *all jabs or crosses can be substituted for uppercuts

      • Jab, cross
      • Jab, cross, jab, cross
      • Jab, cross, hook
      • Jab, cross, hook, cross
      • Jab, jab, cross
      • Jab, cross, lead body hook
      • Fake jab, cross, lead hook


      Elbow Focused Combos

      • Lead up elbow, rear side elbow
      • Lead side elbow, rear up elbow
      • Jab, lead up elbow, rear side elbow
      • Pull down opponent guard and side elbow
      • Jab, cross, lead side elbow,rear up elbow (important to close distance)
      • Jab, cross, lead side elbow, rear up elbow (important to close distance)


      Kick Focused Combos

      • Jab, cross, hook, rear swing kick
      • Jab, rear swing kick
      • Jab, cross, switch lead kick
      • Cross, switch lead kick
      • Cross, hook, rear swing kick
      • Hook, cross, lead swing kick
      • Jab, jab, cross, swing kick
      • Jab, lead uppercut, cross, switch kick
      • Inside lead kick, cross
      • Jab, body cross, lead hook, low kick
      • Lead teep, rear swing kick *2
      • Rear swing kick, lead teep
      • Cross, switch kick*2

      Low Kick Focused Combos

      • Jab, rear low kick
      • Jab, cross, hook, low kick
      • Cross, hook, low kick
      • Jab-hook, low kick
      • Rear upper, hook, low kick


      Teep focused Combos 

      • Jab, lead teep, jab fake lead teep -> any rear weapon after that works based on range.
      • Jab, rear swing kick, lead teep
      • Teep, fake teep, rear swing kick (or low)
      • Jab, lead teep, rear face teep
      • Swing kick, fake swing kick to rear teep

      *Side note - timing teeps (lead especially) vs swing kicks is very important.

      Establishing an effective teep leads to many opportunities to step a a variety of combinations for all range of weapons

      Knee Focused Combo 

      • Cross, rear knee
      • Jab, switch knee
      • Jab, cross, switch knee
      • Left hook rear knee
      • Cross, hook, rear knee
      • Lead teep, fake lead teep, rear knee

      *knees are great counters after blocking kicks or parrying punches, example:

      • Parry jab to rear knee
      • Parry cross to switch knee
      • Either side shin block against kicks to either side knee


      Combos Starting with a Kick

      • Rear swing kick, cross
      • Switch kick, cross
      • Switch kick, cross, hook, low kick
      • Lead push kick, rear swing kick
      • Rear push kick, lead swing kick




      Creating muay thai combos

      Creating muay thai combos

      Have you ever been asked by your coach to come up with a combo of your choice and stood there drawing a blank? Do you have a heavy bag at home but don’t know what combos to work on?  Or couldn't think of any good combos when holding pads for your partner?

      Here are 3 principles to consider when creating your own combos.

      1. Left to Right

      A good rule to follow is to flow from one side of the body to the other (ie. left strike right strike, left strike, right strike). This also applies to strikes from different weapon groups (mixing punches and knees).


      Example #1: Left jab, right cross, left hook, right low kick, left knee, rear elbow


      Example #2: Left jab, right cross, left uppercut, right cross


       Example #3: Right cross, left hook, right low kick


      2. Striking Ranges (refer fig. 1.1 above)

      In muay thai there are four major ranges - Snug (1), Close (2), Medium (3), Long (4). When combining the individual strikes from these groups, do not connect 2 strikes that are 2 or more ranges apart. For example, a strike from Range 1 (snug) can be connected with a strike from Range 2 (close) but not with a strike from Range 3 or 4 (medium and long). The reason for this is simple: if you can make contact with your elbow strike, you are too close to effectively throw a long range weapon like a pushkick! Vice versa, if you are standing afar and throwing pushkicks, and then trying to skip multiple ranges to get on the inside for the elbow strike is extremely dangerous, as a skilled opponent will likely intercept you with a more suitable weapon while you are on your way in.

      There are exceptions to this rule. Feints and setups can make it less risky to skip multiple ranges. Faking a push kick (Range 4-Long) to temporarily distract your opponent while simultaneously jumping in for an elbow strike (Range 1-Close) is an example of a feint tactic. However as a beginner to intermediate practioner, you should stick with the basics during sparring. Here is a great fight between Buakaw and Mike Zambidis to illustrate why one has to be careful when skipping multiple ranges in muay thai.  Zambidis unsuccessfully attempts to "jump" into the close range from the long range with hooks only to be punished repeatedly by swing kicks.  When in close, his punches are nullified by the superior knee strikes and clinch throws.


      3. Keeping it Simple

      Don’t get too crazy with the length of your combo! The longer the combination, the more your technique for each individual strike will suffer. What’s more important than volume is the placement (aka accuracy and precision) of these strikes in conjunction with timing as well as choosing the most suitable strike for that specific situation. I suggest 2 to 4 hit combos (no more than 5!), and keeping it to the very basic strikes (refer to the strikes in fig. 1.1 above). 

      Here is a collection of 10 basic combos by Sean Fagen.

      Some of you may now be thinking, “These ideas and concepts are too technical and won’t work in a real fight.” Well my friend, you obviously don't know good muay thai. Go watch some Samart, Rodtang, or Saenchai fights.


      Day in and day out

      Day in and day out

      The humble student who trains consistently over the long haul will eventually trump the talented one who lacks the work ethic. As a muay thai coach and current Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitor, I’ve seen countless examples where the hardworking individual reaches a higher level of success far more often than that of their mere talented counterpart.  

      The secret lies in those days when you don’t feel like training, but you do it anyway.