What is a knee specialist (Muai Khow)?

A knee specialist (Muai Khao) is a Muai fighter who specializes in the use of knee variants. A knee specialist from Muay Thai is known as Muay Khow.

Background

The term “knee specialist” is not a qualification per se, but an attribute attributed to someone who has proven to be particularly adept at applying knee techniques.

In earlier times, such terms were mainly used to advertise combat pairings to the betting public. At that time, the focus of the bettors was less on points, victory or defeat, but on whether and how, for example, a knee specialist would prevail against a fist specialist.

The bets were placed accordingly for or against the success of certain knee techniques for which the knee specialist was known. In the event of success, the fighters were rewarded with bonuses by the bettors.

Because the discipline MUAI is no longer taught as a martial art but as a “stand-up fight without rules”, the term knee specialist nowadays has rather an academic value. Nevertheless, the curriculum of this discipline provides for some minimum theoretical requirements which would justify such a naming.

Minimum theoretical requirements

In order to be able to name someone a Muai knee specialist, the following minimum requirements should be met:

  1. The fighter should have qualified as a MUAI-Warrior (at least white belt).
  2. The fighter should be able to safely perform the 200 basic techniques of the MUAI.
  3. The fighter should be able to perform the 39 knee variants in the offensive, neutral and defensive position.
  4. The fighter should be able to vary the 39 knee variants into five attack types each.
  5. The fighter should be able to combine the 39 knee variants at will with pre-teaching techniques, basic techniques and technical variants.
  6. The fighter should have developed at least nine of his own knee variants in the ascending, parallel and descending direction.
  7. The fighter should have mastered at least three applications against Fist for each of the 39 knee variants.
  8. The fighter should have at least three applications against foot for each of the 39 knee variants.
  9. The fighter should have at least three applications against elbow for each of the 39 knee variants.
  10. The fighter should have at least three applications against knee for each of the 39 knee variants.
  11. The fighter should be able to use mainly up to only knee variants as counter-techniques against an opponent who uses fist, foot, elbow and knee.
  12. The fighter should be able to use at least 13 of the 39 knee variants upon prior notice. This presupposes the ability to fully control the fight.

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