Muay Thai Knee Strike Alternative For Close Combat

The recent popularity of mixed martial arts has played a role in the surge of interest in self defense training. However, this sports based self defense platform has caused a bit of confusion about which techniques are actual mixed martial arts moves, bound by rules, and which techniques are actual self defense tactics that can save your life.

Perhaps one of the most common misconceptions is that the Muay Thai knee strike is the best move for grappling in close quarters combat. True, it is powerful and packs some serious knockdown potential and it’s used by trained fighters in mixed martial arts tournaments all the time. However, in real life self defense scenarios; you’re not fighting in a padded ring. You’re often in the streets, facing an attacker that wants to hurt or kill you. Fortunately there’s an even better move for close quarters combat that can overcome some of the mistakes with this mixed martial arts favorite…

Muay Thai Knee Strike Alternative For Close Combat

The biggest reason that using the Muay Thai knee strike can be a mistake is that when you throw your knee, you might get yourself off balance. The one thing that keeps you on your feet is your stability and when you’re in a real life self defense situation, you have to everything possible to stay on your feet. Additionally, if you’re locked up with an attacker, you’re probably not in a very good position to line your knee up properly. Instead of using a knee strike, it would be better to first gain control, and then use a self defense technique that is going to help you inflict damage, allowing you to escape.

You would be much better off targeting the top of your attacker’s foot than you would be if you used a knee strike. There are several small bones on the top of the foot that are very vulnerable and pretty easy to break. Most attackers won’t expect you to attack this part of their body.

To execute this self defense technique, bring your heel down on your attacker’s foot with as much force as possible. You want to hit the area on the top of the foot where the shoelaces are tied. This will effectively crush those small bones in the foot, causing your attacker to raise his foot as a natural reaction.

With this self defense move, you’ve put your attacker on one leg. Now you will be able to manhandle him, moving him to a position that gives you the upper hand. For example, you can bring your attacker to the ground by twisting him into a follow up take down. Another option that you can use instead of the knee strike is to step outside and behind your attackers supporting leg and throw him over your hip. This will put him in the dirt.

Many people place a lot of faith in the knee strike for self defense. However, in self defense situations, mistakes can be made and using the Muay Thai knee strike is one of them. Avoid using this move and go straight for a target that is going to help you gain a good offensive position.

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  1. Will says:

    Your foot stomp is totally legal in MMA and has not proven very effective. A kick to the groin would be a more effective alternative. Yank them around first with that clinch to open their base.

  2. Will says:

    Your foot stomp is totally legal in MMA and has not proven very effective. A kick to the groin would be a more effective alternative. Yank them around first with that clinch to open their base.

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Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Master Fitness Trainer, and Master Instructor of Close Quarters Combat self defense. A full time fitness and self defense author, Jeff has trained thousands of men and women in the practical application of advanced military fitness methods as well as close combat tactics for "real life" self defense.

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