If you’ve ever watched multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao fight, you’ll know just how fast his kicks are. In fact, he is known to have one of the best left roundhouse kicks in Muay Thai. His uncanny ability to generate 50 kicks with full force under 23 seconds is certainly a feat that not many fighters are able to replicate. Thus, this skill has helped him gain multiple Lumpinee Stadium titles and a Thailand champion title. He has also fought against some of the greatest legends in the sport, including Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, Penaek Sitnumnoi, Saenchai PKSaenchaimuaythaigym, Petchboonchu FA Group and more.
Do you want to take your Muay Thai kicks to the next level? Today, Evolve University shares 5 Secrets To Sam-A’s Lightning Fast Kicks:
Regardless of whether he is training for a fight or not, Sam-A runs a total of 20 kilometers a day, instead of the regular 15 km most fighters run. Not only does this boost his cardiovascular endurance, it also strengthens his legs, which he believes are essential for kicking fast. “You must have strong legs to kick fast,” says Sam-A. “And in order to do so, you must strengthen your legs by running 20 kilometers daily.”
2) Study other fighters
To develop his fast kicks, Sam-A would watch other fighters, and see which techniques he could adopt and make his own. By trial and error, Sam-A would modify the techniques he observed in order to make them work for him. One of the fighters Sam-A looked up to the most was the legendary Samart Payakaroon. Considered to be the “Muhammad Ali of Muay Thai”, Samart was also known for his devastating kicks that he was able to launch from both the orthodox and southpaw stances. After watching other fighters and analyzing techniques with his trainer, Sam-A discovered that if he kicked by swinging straight up and rotating at the last second, he could kick his opponent faster.
3) Perfect your technique
For Sam-A, perfecting his technique was what helped him execute his kicks faster. In order to do so, he had to constantly train and drill his kicks. Doing so helped him naturally adjust to these new techniques, which he eventually used in the ring. The more he trained, he realized that the techniques came more naturally, making the kicks faster and more efficient with no wasted movement or energy.
4) Stay relaxed
Just like any martial art, staying relaxed is the only way to move at your fastest speed. When your muscles are relaxed, they have more potential for moving at maximum speed. Because Sam-A has practiced his kicks over and over again and used them in the highest levels of competition, he is completely relaxed when he executes them, in and out of the ring. Being relaxed doesn’t mean that Sam-A is taking it easy; it just means that he only exerts maximum force upon impact. By staying lose instead of tensed and flexed, he is more relaxed, making it easier for him to land those fast kicks.
5) Start skipping rope
One of the best ways to increase kicking speed is skipping rope. For Sam-A, the repetitive movements with the weighted rope helps strengthen his calves. This helps him pivot faster and stronger in order to throw those ferocious kicks he is known for. Not only does it develop muscle in one’s shoulders, upper back, and legs, it also increases your kicking power and speed.
In the ring, you will need any advantage you can get over your opponent to secure victory. There’s no doubt that speed is an important advantage to have in Muay Thai. Although strength, technique and timing are equally important, speed will certainly help you land those strikes faster every time you step into the ring. And if your strikes land faster than your opponent’s, you will certainly beat him easily.