255 traditional counter techniques for Muay Thai, Muay Boran and more
No matter if Muai, Muay Thai, Muay Boran, MMA or self-defense. You can never have enough good techniques. MUAI students learn at least 200 traditional school techniques as part of the green belt level of this discipline, which are individually varied, combined and refined.
The resulting variety of techniques offers Pahuyuth students a solid foundation of fist, foot, elbow and knee techniques from which they can derive a variety of suitable counter-techniques for pretty much every conceivable and unthinkable combat situation.
We have preserved some of these counter-techniques against simple basic techniques (mother techniques, Mae Mai) on our Youtube channel and make them available to everyone free of charge in this blog post.
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The Systematic Nomenclature in Pahuyuth
Pahuyuth consists of seven different disciplines (MUAI, LING LOM, MEED, MAI SAWK, DAAB , GRABONG, SABAI) that can be learned individually and seamlessly combined. The number of traditional fighting techniques for beginners (green belt) is more than 1,000 individual techniques across all disciplines.
For teaching purposes, the disciplines and techniques of Pahuyuth were structured and provided with their own systematic nomenclature. This allows an exact assignment of the techniques according to Pahuyuth discipline, type of technique and technique.
For example, the abbreviation LS-01-04 stands for “Lugsidt (teaching contents of the yellow belt stage), first technical chapter, (Physical Knowledge) technique number four”, i.e. a simple straight punch. The technique MU-04-05 on the other hand refers to “MUAI (Discipline of Pahuyuth), Technical Page 04 (Basic Techniques), Technique Number Five” and represents a classic Roundhouse Kick.
Why not fantasy, trivial or Thai names?
The use of fantasy or trivial names for combat techniques regularly leads to misunderstandings in the practical learning process. Moreover, from a historical point of view, it is not really to be classified as “traditional”.
Supposedly traditional terms such as “Hanuman presents the ring” (Hanuman Tawai Waen) refer, for example, to the Rammakiern Saga. However, this did not spread until the 19th century AD in Siam, long after the retreat of the ancient Pahuyuth Free-Warriors. The use of such fantasy names can therefore be taken as an indication that a fighting style is less than 200 years old and therefore does not belong to the traditional fighting styles.
As a rule of thumb, whenever imaginative technical names such as “The Crocodile Strikes with the Tail” (Jarake Fad Hang), “The Snake Naka Strikes with the Tail” (Naka Bid Hang) or “Hanuman Breaks the Blockade” (Hanuman Hag Dahn) are in play, it is a modern development or an imitation.
The same applies to the use of Thai language terms. Pahuyuth is much older than the Thai language and has always been practiced by members of different languages and ethnicities. With the exception of the term “Pahuyuth” (originally from Sanskrit), the names of the disciplines and some common anatomical terms, the use of foreign words is therefore largely avoided.
255 Traditional MUAI Counter Techniques
3 Fist Techniques and 63 Fist Counters
Fist techniques are divided into “straight”, “curved” and “mixed”.
- Straight: A straight fist moves linearly from A to B.
- Curved: A curved fist moves circularly from A to B.
- Mixed: A mixed fist is a hybrid form of straight and curved or curved and straight.
Similar techniques in Muay Thai (examples): Punch (Chock), Jab (Mat Jab, Mat Throng, Chock Num), Straight Strike (Mat Throng, Mat Throng Chock Tam), Upward hook (Mat Ngad, Mat Seri), Hook (Mat Hook, Mat Weang Sun).
3 foot techniques and 75 foot counters
- Ascending: An ascending kick hits in the upward movement.
- Parallel: A parallel kick hits in the horizontal motion.
- Descending: A descending kick hits in the downward movement.
Similar techniques in Muay Thai (examples): Kick (Te), Front Kick or Push-Kick (Teep, Teep Ruk, Teep Trong, Teep Khang, Teep Sakad, Teep Glap Lang, Teep Yan Lang, Teep Robgaun), Round Kick to leg (Te Ka, Te Tad Lang), Round Kick to Body (Te Lam Toa, Te Tad Glang), High Round Kick (Te Sung, Karn Koa), Half-Knee-Half-Shin Kick (Te Khrung Khang Khrung Khow), Kick from above (Te Kook, Na Ca Bid Hang).
Descending Kick (LS-01-09)
3 elbow techniques and 56 elbow counters
- Ascending: An ascending elbow hits in the upward movement.
- Parallel: A parallel elbow hits in the horizontal motion.
- Descending: A descending elbow hits in the downward movement.
Similar techniques in Muay Thai (examples): Elbow (Sok), Downward elbow (Sok Tee), Cutting elbow (Sok Tad), Upward elbow (Sok Ngad), thrust with elbow tip (Sok Pung), elbow backwards (Sok Kratung), backward elbow (Sok Glab), elbow from above (Sok Sub).
3 knee techniques and 61 knee counters
The knee techniques of the MUAI are also classified according to “ascending”, “parallel” and “descending”. For subsequent technical series, however, the classification according to stability principles was chosen. In Pahuyuth, three types of stability principles for knee techniques are known: counter-traction, counter-rotation, and balance.
- Counter-traction: In the case of knees with counter-traction, the arms pull the target linearly into the knee thrust or knee strike.
- Counterrotation: Counter-rotation knees provide stability through a circular motion around an axis.
- Balance: Balancing knees use balancing movements of one’s own body to create a stable stand.
Martial Arts Techniques for Beginners
In this instructional video, a teacher shows the first 15 of the 45 basic techniques of Pahuyuth according to the 1984 curriculum. The techniques and concepts shown in this video are valid to this day, except for a few details, and can be used in Pahuyuth, Muay Thai, Muay Boran and many other fighting styles (e.g. MMA, Kickboxing, Muay Chaiya, Muay Thasao, Muay Korat, Muay Lopburi, Muay Lao, Bokator, Pradaley Seray, Lethwei and more). The techniques and concepts shown in this video are, except for a few minor details, valid to this day and can be used in Pahuyuth, Muay Thai, Muay Boran and many other fighting styles (e.g. MMA, Kickboxing, Muay Chaiya, Muay Thasao, Muay Korat, Muay Lopburi, Muay Lao, Bokator, Pradal Serey, Lethwei and many more).