Top Teep Tips for Thai Boxing
Whether you are a seasoned vet of a thousand smokers, or a fresh to the gym newbie, one of the most important techniques to have in your Muay Thai arsenal is the teep/push kick. Translated from the Thai language, Teep means “foot jab”. It serves many functions both offensively and defensively. Here are some tips and advice on how to use this diverse kick to control the pace of the fight and keep your opponent off balance and force them to play your game.
It goes without saying that keeping your balance is important in any combat situation. In order to throw a proper push kick, you must get used to being on one leg and generating enough force to launch the strike against your opponent. Get used to standing on one leg, raising your knee to your chest as high and tight as possible and hold for as long as you can. Do this for both legs a few times a day.
Teeps are great for keeping your opponent at the end of your reach. Where you choose to place the kick can change depending on different variables. For example, a teep to the solar plexus will push back an opponent moving forward and potentially knock the wind out him temporarily. Use this opportunity to follow up with more devastating strikes. A teep to the hip or quadriceps will knock an opponent off balance, but with less time to follow up. Use this to set up a quick low kick. Practice placing your teeps at different distances and angles at different parts of the heavy bag to add more weapons at your disposal.
Choose Your Stance Wisely
Timing is everything. This is true for every punch, elbow, knee, and kick. And how you are standing determines how quickly you can throw your teep most effectively. Be aware of how your weight is distributed in your fight stance. If you are heavy on your front foot, it is going to take longer to shift your hips and distribute your weight onto your back foot to throw the kick. Consider using the stronger rear foot push kick from this stance. Make sure to set it up properly. The foot jab is best thrown from the traditional thai boxing stance with the foot raised onto the ball of the lead foot or “bouncing”. This takes the least time to throw it up offensively or defensively. Practicing and utilizing different stances for different fight scenarios can improve your technique and speed and keep from being predictable.
Do Squats. Get Stronger
Building strong leg muscles is obviously important for more powerful kicks. Being able to get your leg up, and explosively attack your opponent with enough force to knock them off balance is easier when you have a strong base and a strong leg push. That’s why your coaches make you do so many squats. Body weight squats or barbell squats are great for developing a strong posterior chain. Jumping squats, box jumps, and lunges are great for training explosive power.
You’ve Been Set Up
Just as the straight jab is used to set up combinations for boxing, the foot jab is used offensively to set up combinations in the art of eight limbs. There are many follow up techniques that can be chained off of one successful teep. Practice as many as you can to be ready when opportunity knocks.
Don’t Get Caught
A teep is generally faster and more difficult to catch than a regular Muay Thai round kick. Usually, trying to catch it will open your opponent up for more powerful techniques like an overhand right. But if your opponent does catch your teep as it’s thrown, use the caught foot to continue to push your opponent backward or off balance. That’s where having great balance and a strong base comes in handy. Use your opponent’s distracted hands to your advantage and get up close and personal by pulling yourself towards them with your leg and catch them in a clinch. From there you unleash your close quarters fighting and make them pay.