5 Common Muay Thai Feint And Fake Techniques To Watch Out For

5 Common Muay Thai Feint And Fake Techniques To Watch Out For
Muay Thai Thursday

Feints are everything in combat sports. They also play an important role in contact sports like basketball, football, and rugby. A feint is a deceptive strike or movement that gets your opponent to think that you’re doing one thing, while you are actually planning to execute a different action. It’s one of the things that separate top-level Muay Thai fighters from everyone else. 

Fighters who don’t use feints make it easier for their opponents to anticipate their next moves. Their opponents know that every movement they make is genuine, making it easier to figure out what they’re trying to set up. Fighting without feinting is no different than playing a game of poker and leaving your cards visible to other players. 

The mindset behind feinting is useful in all aspects of life. You’ve probably heard phrases like, “Never let them know your next move” or “maintain a poker face.” 

The key to getting the most out of fakes and feints is to make them realistic. Don’t try to fake a jab when you’re not even in range to land one. A savvy fighter will see right through the act. 


Five Popular Feints And Fakes Used In Muay Thai

Now that we’ve gone over the importance of feints and fakes in combat sports like Muay Thai, let’s take a look at some of the commonly used feints you should watch out for. The more you understand how these feints work, the less likely they’ll be effective on you. 


1) Jab Fake, Roundhouse To The Head

Here’s a simple Muay Thai feint that’s effective at all levels. Sometimes even the top Muay Thai and MMA fighters get caught with it. It’s also a high-reward technique since there’s a good chance you can knock your opponent out if you land it. 

Here’s what it looks like:

  • Throw a jab feint about 70 percent of the way. You’re not trying to land this punch, you just want your opponent to do the natural thing for trained fighters and slip toward your right. The jab feint also blocks your opponent’s vision so they don’t see the roundhouse until it’s too late.
  • Fire off a roundhouse kick to the head as soon as your opponent reacts to the feint by slipping to the outside. That puts their head right in the path of your roundhouse.


2) Switch Fake

Muay Thai fighters often use stance switches as fakes. Switching stances in Muay Thai typically means you’re getting ready to throw a powerful kick. For example, a right-handed fighter might switch back to an orthodox stance before throwing a roundhouse with their rear leg. 

Since we know a stance switch might signal to an opponent that you’re getting ready to throw a kick, throw punches instead to catch them off-guard. This fake works best when you take the time to set it up. Switch stances a few times, and fire off hard kicks to the body or head to prime your opponent for the fake. You can then surprise them by throwing a kick or hard cross after your stance switch. 


3) Teep Feint

The teep is one of the most effective weapons used in Muay Thai, but you won’t get much done with it if you don’t mix in a few feints. As effective as the teep is, it can be caught by opponents, leaving you in a compromised position. Mixing in feints makes your opponent less likely to commit to catching a kick since they’re not sure of your true intent. 

Here’s what the technique looks like:

  • Set up the feint by throwing a few teeps at your opponent. Pay close attention to how they react to your attacks. Ideally, you want them to cross-block, scoop, or attempt to catch the kick. All three things require them to drop their hands, leaving their heads exposed.
  • Once you have your opponent reacting to your teeps how you want them to, feint a teep by raising your knee the same way you would when throwing a teep.
  • Fire off a jab-cross combination as soon as your opponent drops their hand to defend against the teeth. You can follow up with hooks or clinch up once you get closer to them.


4) Roundhouse Feint

The roundhouse feint is an effective way to set up a knockout blow. It needs to be set up by throwing roundhouse kicks at your opponent’s body. Ideally, you want your opponent to react by using a cross block which involves raising their knee and bringing their elbow down to form a barrier that intercepts the strike. 

To use this feint:

  • Fire off hard roundhouse kicks at your opponent’s body and legs. You want to make them hard enough that your opponent is worried about getting hit with more of them. Low kicks can be extremely helpful in setting this up since they increase the odds of your opponent raising their knee to block it. That’s exactly what you want them to do to capitalize off this feint.
  • Now feint a roundhouse kick by twisting your hips and torso exactly how you would when throwing a roundhouse. You need to sell this movement since you won’t be raising your leg off the ground while feinting. It’s your hip movement that gets your opponent to react by blocking with their knee.
  • The moment your opponent raises their knee, fire off a roundhouse. Having one leg off the ground limits their defensive options and leaves them vulnerable to a roundhouse to the head.


5) Roundhouse Feint To Teep

Roundhouse feints open up the teep to the body when done properly. As is the case with any other feint, it works best when you set it up properly by landing a few hard roundhouse kicks to the body to get your opponent’s attention. 

Here’s what it looks like: 

  • Once your opponent starts to anticipate roundhouse kicks. Fake a roundhouse by turning your hips and torso without rising your foot off the ground
  • Fire off a teep right down the middle as soon as your opponent raises their leg off the ground to block the kick.


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