The double kick is one of the techniques you’ll learn in Muay Thai. It is a powerful technique that can help break down opponents, and it’s also a helpful training tool that improves the technique, power, and explosiveness of your kicks while improving your balance.
The most common double kicks taught in Muay Thai are the double low kick, double roundhouse to the body, and double roundhouse. Once you become proficient at executing these techniques, there’s nothing stopping you from putting three, four, or five kicks together. It’s something you see Muay Thai fighters do, even at the highest level.
Your kicks are your most powerful weapons in Muay Thai since your legs are the strongest part of your body. Every kick you land on an opponent does damage even if they successfully block it. It wears down their arms every time they block one, and some fighters have even ended up with broken arms due to blocking kicks with their arms.
Double kicks also help you to get into the habit of returning the favor whenever an opponent lands a hard shot on you. Watch any professional Muay Thai fights, and you’ll notice fighters typically fire back with the same technique whenever their opponents land clean strikes on them. Training techniques like the double kick help to make this more reflexive.
Adding The Double Kick To Your Arsenal
Once you’ve got the fundamentals of Muay Thai down, it’s time to start working on techniques like the double kick. It’s a highly straightforward technique that involves doing precisely what the name implies. Think of it as Muay Thai’s version of the double jab used in boxing.
Here’s how to throw a double kick:
- Get into your fighting stance with your hands up. Keep your legs loose as you prepare to throw the kick. You want your leg to be almost dead weight that is guided to its target by your hips, torso, and shoulders.
- Step out with your lead foot at a 45-degree angle as you throw the kick. Firstly, this opens up your hips, allowing you to load your hips and rotate your torso without losing your balance. Secondly, it moves you off the center line, making it easier to avoid any counters your opponent may throw while you’re kicking. Thirdly, stepping out with your lead foot shortens the distance your kicks have to travel to their target, increasing their speed.
- Pivot your lead leg as you throw your kick and explode onto the balls of your feet. Stay on the balls of your feet during the entire movement since that makes it easier to rotate into the kick, ensuring maximum power and speed.
- Twist your hip and thrust it forward as you kick, transferring your body weight into it. This puts more power behind the kick. You can also increase the power behind your kick by whipping your hand down as you turn your hips. This also helps to maintain your balance and increases the speed of your kicks.
- Imagine yourself kicking through your opponent when throwing a kick. Thrust your hips forward and propel your leg toward the target as if you were trying to slice it in half. Land with the hard part of your shin.
- Bring your leg back to your stance after throwing the kick so that you can throw another kick immediately after. If you have to shuffle and reset your feet after every kick, your form is likely wrong. Fire off another kick and bring your leg back to your fighting stance.
Practice your double kicks regularly to make them part of your muscle memory. One of the keys to landing double kicks is focusing on speed when you throw the first kick while focusing on power for the second kick. Once you’ve mastered the double kick, it’s time to graduate to triple kicks and more.
Drills To Improve Your Double Kick
The most common issue people new to throwing double kicks complain about is feeling unbalanced as they throw them. This is often due to a flaw in their stance or kicking technique. Having an instructor observe you while you throw double kicks is an effective way to pinpoint flaws in your technique. Even simple things like forgetting to swing your hand down as you throw your kicks can leave you feeling wobbly.
Let us go over some simple drills that will improve the effectiveness of your double kicks:
Shadowboxing should be one of the tools you go for when you’re trying to master any technique. You can do it anywhere on your own, without any eyes judging you. Find a clear space and practice throwing double kicks as you move around an imaginary ring. Start slow and focus on perfecting the technique before speeding things up. The more double kicks you throw, the more balanced you’ll be when throwing.
Heavy bag drills are another effective tool when working on your double kicks. They provide a large target to aim your kicks at and provide resistance that improves the power behind them. There are countless ways to design heavy-bag drills that focus on double kicks. Here’s an example:
- Perform ten sets of double roundhouse kicks to the body with both legs
- Perform ten sets of double roundhouse kicks with both legs
- Perform ten sets of double low kicks with both legs
- Rest for a minute
- Perform as many roundhouse kicks as you can perform in two minutes. Make sure your feet are back in the proper position before throwing each kick and try to get as many kicks as possible. Switch stances and repeat with your other leg
- Rest for a minute
3) Pad Work Drills
Pad work drills are another effective way to improve your double kicks. Pad work drills involve working with a training partner or instructor, so you get constructive feedback as you perform your reps. The person holding the pads might also throw strikes your way to keep you on your toes as you perform your double kicks, simulating what you’d have to deal with during a Muay Thai fight.
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