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Muay Thai terminology

Muay Thai Glossary

Muay Thai terminology

Today we hear a lot about Muay Thay to the point that he seems to be experiencing a second youth perhaps also for the wide use of his techniques used in MMA competitions and for the completeness of the technical baggage in stricking where there is, unlike Kickboxing, a wide use of elbows and knees integrated into the famous clinch.

Few know the names and meanings of the techniques in Thai but it still remains a way to build a map through which to expand their technical baggage.

Meaning of the word Muay Thai

The word Muay means “fight”,boxing”,or even “fight“, and is a word that comes from the Sanskrit Mavya which means “unite together”.

The word Thai is instead an adjective of national origin, whose original meaning is “free people”.

The term Muay Thai can be translated with different terms such as “fight/boxing/Thai fight/fight” or “Thai fight”.

In English it is often translated as “thai boxing” or Thai boxing and sometimes this generates confusion because it is thought to be a difference between muay thai and Thai boxing, with the latter being a Western regulatory variant.

In fact the two terms are synonyms, they indicate the same discipline.

A muay thai practitioner is known as Nak Muay.

Western practitioners are sometimes called Nak Muay Farang,which means “foreign boxer”

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport

The art of Muay Thai

Muay Thai (thai มวยไทย),also known as Thai boxing, Thai boxing or Thai boxing,is a martial art and full contact combat sport that has its origins in Mae Mai Muay Thai (Muay Boran), an ancient Thai wrestling technique.

Muay Thai a wide range of standing percussion strokes and clinch techniques but the discipline is also known as “The Art of the Eight Weapons” or “The Science of the Eight Arts” because it allows the two contenders who challenge each other to use combinations of punches, kicks, elbows and knees.

So eight body parts used as points of contact compared to the two of boxing, or the four of kick boxing, with an intense athletic and mental preparation that makes the difference in full contact matches.

The original muay thai became popular in the 16th century at home, but only spread internationally in the 20th century, after some regulatory changes and when several Thai boxers successfully confronted representatives of various martial arts.

The only International Muay Thai Federation recognized by the IOC is the I.F.M.A. (International Federation of Muay Thai Amateurs).



I want to provide you with diagrams with maps to help you better store and view shots:

General terms

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Nak Muay – Student of Muay Thai

Nak Su – Muay Thai Warrior

Kru – master

Ajarn – GrandMaster

Ian Tao – move in a generic way

Kum Chum – chin tilt (tilting rhythm)

Phasom Muay – displacements on the front axis

Kom Muay Kee – attack/defence combinations

Chap-Kor – fight (clinch) basic techniques

Ram Muay – ritual dance

Bang – block

Bang Nok – crossroads

Lom – dodge from high kick

Seub – space travel

Ian Sam Kum

Den Muay – shifts on the side axis

Wiang – projections

Ti Lop – dodge with left or right torso rotation

Lop Chark – dodge with 45-degree exit step

Sam Kum – cross movements (steps)

Seua Yang – rotating shifts with changing of guard

Tae Arm Tap – Warrior’s Step

Mah Yong – horse’s step

Narai Kwang Chak – punches in rotation

Kwang Chak Narai – side whipped fist

Way Saubadeekap – greeting before training or meeting (This is for men)

Way Saubadeekaa – greeting before training or meeting (This is for women)


Hand shots

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Yaeb – direct punch with advanced arm

Mahd Trogng – direct punch with step

Mahd Kohk – fist hook

Mahd Suhy – strut punch

Mahd Wiang – fist with descending trajectory

Mahd Tawad – fist hook wide

Grabob cho – jumped fist


Knee strokes

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Kao Trong Neb – knee in direct front line body

Kao Trong Kor – knee in the direct front line to the head

Kao Kee – side knee

Kao Kratai – direct front knee to thigh (low line)

Kao Cheng – diagonal knee

Kao Kone – side knee with loading

Kao Laa – circular knee (knee technique)

Kao Thad – circular knee (tibia technique)

Kao Loy – flying knee

Kao Lod – kneeling in push “stop kick” in fight

Kao Ku – double knee


Elbow shots

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Sok Dtad – horizontal circular elbow

Sok Cheng – diagonal ascending elbow

Sok Gnad – elbow ascending vertical

Sok Dti – horizontal descending elbow

Sok Sab – elbow vertical descending

Sok Pung – elbowed in frontal percussion

Sok Gratong – vertical elbow ascending

Sok Ku – elbow double

Sok Glab – elbow shot

Sok Glab Fan Lang – elbow turned descending

Sok Glab Quan Lang – elbow shot horizontal

Sok Glab Iak Lang – elbow turned ascending

Sok Kwang – spiral elbow

Ramasun Kwang Kwarn – elbowed jumped descending with grip

Rusei Bodi Hac – elbow jumped descending without grip

Monto Nung Tak – elbow turned jumped descending

Pak Tai Toi – elbowed descendant return from sok cheng


Tibia/foot shots

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Tae Kaa – low circular kick

Tae Laa – low circular kick parallel to the ground

Tae Lam Tua – medium circular kick

Tae Ken Kor – circular kick to the head

Tae Cheng Kaa – diagonal kick ascending bass

Tae Cheng Lam Tua – medium ascending diagonal kick

Tae Chang Kor – diagonal kick ascending to the head

Tae Tawad Kaa – low descending circular kick

Tae Tawad Lam Tua – circular kick descending to the body (medium)

Tae Tawad Kor – descending circular kick to the head (high)

Tae Tien Pai Laa – bass ascending kick

Tae Tien Pai Lam Tua – medium ascending kick (to the body)

Tae Tien Pai Kor – high ascending kick (to the face)

Tae Quad Torani – low circular kick on the calf

Tae Tawad Quad Torani – low circular kick on the descending calf

Tae Trong – direct circular kick

Tae Thad – low circular kick in incidence

Tip – front kick

Tip Kaang – side kick with advanced leg

Tip Viroon – front kick to the thigh

Tip Grab Lang – direct back kick (Kwang Lieu Lang)

Tae Grab Lang – Circular Kick Shot Backwards (Jarakee Fad Hang)

Grabob Tae Lam Tua – missed circular kick

Grabob Tae Songkram – circular dragon kick

Batha Loob Pak – axe kick (directed with whipped movement)

Lom Khun Thuan – vertical football shot

Muay Thai terminology Fighting Tips - Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


Knowing the names of the techniques although it may appear as something is not fundamental is actually a way to memorize the techniques that you should not underestimate.

Check your technical baggage!

Stay Tuned!

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport


What do you think?

Written by Andrea

Instructor and enthusiast of Self Defence and Fight Sport.

# Boxing / Muay Thai / Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Grappling / CSW / MMA / Method & Training.
# Self Defence / FMA / Dirty Boxing / Silat / Jeet Kune Do & Kali / Fencing Knife / Stick Fighting / Weapons / Firearms / Strategy.

Street Fight Mentality & Fight Sport!

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