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Muay Thai Teep Push Kick – Technique Of The Week

The teep is a push kick used in muay thai. The muay thai teep is used to off balance and control distance. The teep is a kick that all martial artist should consider for sport and self defense.

Muay Thai Teep Push Kick

How To Teep

Front leg muay thai teep: from a squared fighting position, lift your lead knee towards your chest and simultaneously extend your foot towards your target, thrust your hips forward, and pushing off your supporting leg while landing with the ball of your foot.

Below is a video of Samart Payakaroon’s lead leg teep.

A muay thai teep can be done with either leg, while your rear leg generates the most power your lead leg will have the most speed. Below is a video of Saenchai’s kicking techniques, the technique to examine is the jumping switch teep.


  • controlling distance
  • pushing
  • intercepting / interrupting


  • not a finisher
  • can be caught easier than most kicks

Self Defense

The muay thai teep is naturally a strong tool for pushing due to the use of both quadriceps and hips. If you ever need to push someone back, the teep is the kick to use. Here are some reasons why you may want to teep for self defense.

  • To open an opportunity to run
  • To create distance
  • To force a step backwards towards hazardous spaces
    • vehicle traffic
    • stairs
    • water
    • to trip over objects


  • Torso
  • Face
  • Knee
  • groin
  • back (vs spinning techniques)

Muay Thai Teep Variations To Consider

  • Retracting your knee back to 90 degrees after the kick will help regain an adaptive posture for reacting or following up.
  • When teeping with your rear leg, slightly pivot your supporting foot 45 degrees to increase hip involvement.
  • after teeping with your rear leg, pivot your supporting foot back into position allows an easier route back into your stance.

Muay Thai Teep Drills

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Eye Gouge Study – Technique Of The Week

To many self defense systems, the eye gouge is one of the common go-to moves when protecting yourself from an attacker. Although eye gouging is illegal in MMA, they still happen. Today will be a study on the eye gouge, drawing information from MMA and other sources to improve your self defense game.

Eye gouge UFC

What is an Eye Gouge

An eye gouge is an action to poke an opponent in the eye with the use of a your fingers.

Eye Gouge Techniques

Jeet Kune Do Finger Jab / Eye Jab

In Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do, one technique that is often looked at is the finger jab. A technique slightly modified from Wing Chun’s bui jee.

Bruce Lee’s finger jab is slightly curled with all the fingers flushed together to prevent injury. The execution of this technique is similar to a jab in boxing. Primarily targeting the eyes and trachea of your opponent.

bruce lee finger jab eye gouge

Fu Jow aka Tiger Claw

Fu Jow or tiger claw is maybe one of the most popular techniques taught in women self defense work shops. Fu Jow has a kung fu origin, fingers are spread out and curled to a 45-90 degree angle.

The advantage of the tiger claw is that it covers a wider target area than the finger jab. Below is a video example of a tiger claw eye gouge in what seems to be a “rough and tumble” situation (not a self defense situation).

*Rough and tumble is a fighting style that involves “anything goes,” such as biting, eye gouging, and etc. click here for more information on rough and tumble.

Eye Flick

Technically not an eye gouge, the eye flick is an open back hand technique that involves flicking the back of your fingers towards the opponents eyes. The goal is to cause irritation or minor damage to the eyes while following up for a finish.

Thumb In The Eye

The thumb in the eye is best done after your palm makes contact with your opponents face, then guiding your thumb into the eyes. More useful in the clinch and grappling range.

When & How To Eye Gouge For Self Defense

  • After a stiff arm
  • As an alternative to a stiff arm
  • Off the Pawing Jab
  • While Clinching consider an eye gouge follow up after pushing the head or face when creating space
  • While Grappling only consider eye gouging from a dominate position such as the mount, guard, side control, etc. Don’t rely on eye gouging as a form of escape.
  • As a pre-emptive attack while the threat is still interviewing you as a victim. (as soon as you recognized the assault is viable.)

Stiff Arming & Pawing the Finger Jab

Below is a video highlight of Jon “Bones” Jones Pawing and stiff arming the finger jab. Not sure If they are intentional and accidental, but does provide a good reference on using the finger jab.

Common Reaction After Getting Eye Gouged

An eye gouge should be enough to end an attack or open an opportunity to escape. But for some reason if you need to follow up here are some common reactions after getting eye gouged.

  • Turning away/around
    • Kidney Punch
  • Same side hand tends to rise and cover the damaged eye
    • Kick or punch to the liver
  • Bending forward facing the ground.
    • Rabbit punch (back of the head)
    • Kick or Knee to the face

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Side Kick – Technique Of The Week

The side kick is a kicking technique found in several types of martial arts such as karate, sanda, taekwondo and occasionally in MMA. The side kick is one of the hardest kicks to counter.

“…I’m using my longest weapon, my side kick against the nearest target, your kneecap. This can be compared to your left jab in boxing, except it’s much more damaging.” – Bruce Lee

side kick kick boxing

What is a Side Kick?

A side kick is a thrusting kick, generally thrown from a bladed position (feet pointed to a 90 degree angle) with the lead leg targeting the knee, body, or head of your opponent.

The stationary execution is done by lifting your lead knee towards your chest while pointing the bottom of your foot towards the target. Then extending the leg while rotating your hips and pivoting off the ball of your standing foot (toes pointing away) and landing the kick with the heel. This stationary execution is generally a defensive kick, used when your opponent advances towards your position. Can be used as offensive but usually as a follow up.

Sliding Side Kick

(Sage Northcutt performing a sliding side kick in a MMA match versus Rocky Long)

The sliding side kick is a fast offensive side kick that can cover a lot of distance. The key difference of this kick is using the supporting leg to propel your body forward after you kicking leg leaves the ground. Your supporting leg should follow by sliding across the ground after initiating the momentum of the kick. Thus, giving your kicking leg a head start towards the target while your supporting leg covers the distance.


  • Fast
  • Covers distance
  • Effective for pressuring
  • Efficient as a Head Kick


  • minor damage towards the body

Stepping Side Kick / Crossover Side Kick

(Bruce Lee performing a crossover kick against Chuck Norris in the movie Return Of The Dragon)

The stepping or crossover side kick emphasizes on power. The lead leg performs both the kick and the initial momentum while the supporting leg moves into a closer position before the kicking leg leaves the ground.


  • Power
  • Covers distance
  • Effective for damaging the body


  • Slowest side kick
  • Telegraphic
  • requires more timing

Some Key Points & Other Variations to Consider When Throwing a Side Kick

  • Although the kicking knee rises 1st and then extends towards the target 2nd, the kicking foot should travel in a straightest line possible when side kicking the body or head. Directly from the floor and into the target.
  • For side kicking the knee with more power, raise your foot higher than the target and stomp downwards.
  • Extend your side kick reach by bending your supporting leg when attacking the knee. Angling your leg more horizontally.

Basic Side Kick Set ups

  • back fist or Jab
  • round house kick
  • Straight Right
  • Switch Kick Fake

Basic Follow ups After a Side Kick

  • another side kick
  • back kick
  • spinning back fist

How to Side Kick Video

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Spinning Back Kick – Technique Of The Week

The Spinning Back Kick is not a necessary tool to have in most combat sports or in self defense situations. But honing in on this technique is a power move that will have a huge impact on your stand up / kickboxing game.

Spinning Back Kick - Technique Of The Week

What Is A Spinning Back Kick?

A spinning back kick is a thrusting power kick usually aimed to the body or head of your opponent. The back kick is thrown by the rear leg using a 180 degree spin, turning towards your back side. Its the the most powerful kick you can throw.

via GIPHY (Conor Mcgregor drilling teep to a spinning back kick)

The spinning back kick’s initial momentum comes from the same leg your kicking with. After your rear foot presses off the earth, that same leg will slightly retract while simultaneously turning your lead foot, leg, hips, shoulders, and head 180 degrees. Extending and landing the back kick as soon as the 180 degree turn is complete. Your opponent should be in your peripheral vision slightly before contact.

Some Key Points To Consider when Throwing the Spinning Back Kick:

  • The kicking leg should travel in the straightest line possible
  • Keep your body as vertical as possible
  • Learn how to throw the kick without winding up
    • without turning foot in first
    • without turning your body too far ahead of your kick

If its your first time learning the back kick i recommend turning your foot 90 degrees while stepping to the side before initiating. This will make the execution easier and clears your back kick to travel at a straight line.

Once you start getting the hang of the back kick, learn how to executing it without stepping to the side or turning your foot. Tightening up any telegraphic movement and improving your ability to back kick at a moments notice.

When Should You Consider Throwing the Spinning Back Kick.

  • After a Jab
  • After a Straight Right

Learning to follow up with a spinning back kick with just the two option above will greatly increase your back kick’s capacity and opportunity.

Common Spinning Back Kick Mistakes

  • Head and body swings wildly (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kick landing after completing the 180 degree turn (too slow)
  • Leaving body behind / leaning too far back (bad for balance and following up)
  • Kicking leg flared out (bad for balance, accuracy, speed and power)

Fighters with a Strong Back Kick Game

Muslim Salikhov

Cung Le

Benny The Jet Urquidez

Joe Rogan

Spinning Back Kick Compilation Video

Other Resources To Consider:


Sanda / San Shou

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Pawing Jab – Technique Of The Week

The jab is a simple and versatile tool, but also the hardest punch to master. As the most important and thrown punch in combat sports, its not used to end fights, but sets up everything else that does. The best type of jab for that is the pawing jab.

pawing jab - technique of the week

What is the Pawing Jab?

The pawing jab is used interchangeably with the flicker jab. Although related, they are too different types of jabs. The more practical synonym for pawing is to feel, and it is precisely what you do with the pawing jab.

The mechanics of pawing the jab doesn’t require any other movement other than the arm extending towards the face of the opponent in a metronome (not always), but not necessarily to make contact. Below is a video of Guillermo Rigondaux who paws with the jab as a catalyst to his game.

The pawing jab is a technique that does several things simultaneously.

  • Gauges distance
  • Sets up other punches
  • Obstructing opponents sight
  • To provoke an attack
  • Controls the rhythm
  • Creates deception
    • Opponent’s perceived distance and reach
    • Conceals advancement / Footwork
    • Lures opponent to a deceptive rhythm

Pawing Shadow Boxing Drills – Pawing to Connect

While metronomically throwing out the pawing jab, practice your footwork and throwing other punches and kicks at a moment’s notice in a broken rhythm.

Pawing Focus Mitt Drills – Pawing to Provoke

Have the holder feed you random punches while metronomically pawing the focus mitts. Work your counter punches off the pawing metronome.

Pawing Advice

  • Learn how to paw going backwards
  • Learn Paw follow ups with the same hand
  • Paw in a way you can throw any strike at moment’s notice

Common Mistakes

  • Getting hypnotized by your own metronome.
  • Not being ready at a moment’s notice.

More Resources:

Thomas “The Hitman” Herns (boxing)
Andrew Tabiti
Saenchai (Southpaw Muay Thai)
Broken Rhythm Basics (Article on broken rhythm)

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