The Art of 8 Limbs is unique in that the variety of its strikes allows for fighting at a variety of ranges. Whether you like to fight at a close or long range, some strikes will help you accomplish just that. If the movement of your opponent dictates that the range should change, you can tap into your tool belt to use other strikes that are more suitable for the new range at which you find yourself fighting.
Knees are typically a close-range strike tool in Muay Thai. They don’t extend too far away from your body, so most often, you need to be fairly close to your opponent to utilize your knees. If you enjoy utilizing your knees, longer-range fighting might seem like this tool is not within your accessible strikes. Fortunately, there is an option for using your knees from a longer range. The long knee is an incredible strike that allows you to initiate your knee strike from a longer-than-usual range.
If you are looking for a way to incorporate your knees at further distances from your opponent, be sure to learn how to utilize and implement the long knee.
What Is The Long Knee?
The long knee is a simple knee strike, thrown from range, and from outside the clinch. It is a great way to utilize your knee outside the typical range used for knees. This gives it an extra layer of becoming an unexpected strike, which helps outsmart your opponent.
The long knee is simple to execute. Without strikes being thrown at you (like when you are working on a heavy bag or are just learning how to do this knee), here are two simple ways to execute your long knee:
- Use your lead leg to half-step forward and then drive your rear leg knee up and forward toward your opponent.
- Use a switch step to generate power and movement, while also closing the distance, to drive your back knee up and forward toward your opponent.
Either way, you have easy access to both your left and right knee from a longer range. These strikes open up your Muay Thai arsenal to give you access to your knees from both the close and long range.
Keep Your Hands Up
A key piece to safely moving and throwing the long knee in Muay Thai is keeping your hands up and in front of your face. You can even stretch your arms forward, similar to holding a long guard. The hands will help to block, catch, and navigate around your opponent’s incoming strikes as you step in to land the knee. This is important to ensure that you do not get hit while closing the distance.
A second benefit to having your hands up and outstretched is that you are often able to end up working your hands toward your opponent’s shoulder or head, giving you some leverage to displace your opponent’s posture or to work into the clinch if you decide to do so. If you are hoping to close the distance and get a hold of your opponent, this is an excellent way to do so.
Keeping your hands up is always important, but in the case of a long knee, it is especially important to keep yourself from eating strikes as you move in for the knee.
Some Set Ups To Use The Long Knee To Close The Distance
Setting up the long knee can be done fairly simply. It is an excellent tool to use when you find yourself further out, looking to get to a closer range. Here are a few ways to set up and land your long knees, helping you to close in:
- With your long guard up, parry a jab being thrown towards you. As you parry, switch step your feet to load your left side knee. Utilize the space and angle created from your parry and switch step to land the left side knee on your opponent.
- With your outstretched hands, parry a cross being thrown towards you. Immediately drive your rear knee into your opponent’s chest. This is a quick option since your leg is already ready to be thrown.
- Throw a lead leg teep at your opponent. Repeat, acting as though you are going to repeat your teep, but instead, set your teeping leg down, using it as a step to drive your opposite leg forward into the knee.
- After checking a leg kick, immediately step your leg down, moving forward into the knee. This option is great as often, you can catch your opponent with the knee before they have fully regained their base after throwing the kick.
Setting up the long knee can be done quite simply, which makes it a great strike to add to your arsenal.
Using The Long Knee To Close The Distance
If you find yourself on the outside, looking for ways to close the distance so you can work to a closer range to better utilize your punches and elbows, the long knee is an excellent option. Not only is the knee an incredibly powerful strike in the sport of Muay Thai, but it can lead to the set up of many other strikes. Using the long knee to close the distance allows you to strike while moving into more strikes, as well as the possibility of moving into the clinch, giving you access to more knees and elbows, too.
Learning how to successfully use the long knee will give you opportunities to land strikes regardless of the range. Add this strike to your Muay Thai arsenal as a great option to close the distance on your opponent.
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