What is a teep kick
The Teep kick, also known as the push kick or simply as the teep, is a straight kicking technique in Muay Thai. It is a technique that can be found in pretty much every striking martial art that includes kicks.
Well its all in the name, at least one of them, that specific name being “push kick”. This kick is used to push away your opponent and keep them from advancing on you helping to keep your range. In this way, the teep is the kicking equivalent to the jab but its range is around twice as long.
The teep isn’t designed to do damage, relatively speaking. The Muay Thai teep often is a pushing kick rather than a snapping or thrusting one like you see in Karate or Taekwondo.
This kick can be done with both the lead and the rear leg, but it is usually done with the lead leg because it is close to the target. This allows the teep to reach a target sooner, which is ideal for cutting off an advancing opponent.
The rear teep however, tends to be much more powerful. This makes it ideal for knocking back opponents even further and can even knock them out.
Teeps can be thrown to the solar plexus, abdomen or ribcage to defuse a charging attack, or to the thighs to disrupt an opponent’s balance. They are sometimes thrown to the face which can cause considerable damage.
When to use the teep
The teep is a tool used to keep your range by pushing your opponent back. While it usually doesn’t cause a lot of damage, it can if it lands at the right time.
The lead teep is useful in cutting off an advancing opponent. If you land a teep on an opponent who is charging, you will knock the wind out from them, which will really dissuade them from coming in more.
Using the teep when your opponent is attacking is basically a good way to disrupt their rhythm.
The push kick can also be used to push your opponent back when you’re on the aggression. Doing this will force your opponent back to the ropes giving them less room to move around and avoid your strikes.
The teep can be thrown when your opponent is kicking. This is a great way to not only cut off and counter a strike but it can knock them onto the mat. On that note, pushing your opponent back with a teep will also get them at the right distance for you to land your own kicks.
The teep kick is a versatile weapon which can defuse all forms of offense when used masterfully. This explains why it beats all other weapons in the “rock-paper-scissors” of Muay Thai formula.
Examples To Watch
If you’re now interested in learning how to improve your teep, there are a few fighters and styles to look at for inspiration.
Muay Tae is a fighting style in Muay Thai that is centred around kicks. While this usually means roundhouse kicks, Muay Tae style fighters are also known for their prowess with their teeps which they use to set up their roundhouse kicks.
A fighter of this style to watch is Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, who masterfully mixes his kicks.
Muay Femur fighters don’t focus on a single technique but instead, rely on their pure technical skill and ability to pick apart their opponents. One of the tools that they use to achieve this goal is the teep to control distance.
Muay Femur’s tend to like to fight at a distance or by countering so the teep becomes a major part of their arsenal.
In the highlights video below, Samart puts on a teep kick masterclass against 1986 Fighter of the Year, Panomtuanlek Harpalang.
How to have a stronger teep kick
Now that you know how important the teep is and who to look to for some examples on how to use it well, how do you make your teep stronger? Luckily for you, there is a lot you can do, especially if you are just starting out.
The first thing that you can do is simply drill the technique. You probably already do this on the bag and on pads but you should also be training your teep in shadow boxing.
This is where some traditional martial arts style line kicking drills can be useful, as most people aren’t used to using the teep without receiving some resistance, whether that be from a bag or a person. This can develop some bad habits if you don’t train the teep without any resistance.
When you train a teep without resistance, make sure that you don’t just fall forward, but bring it back to your stance, also, make sure to keep the chamber before and after kicking. The chamber is the position that you should be in right before thrusting out your push kick. Remember to get full extension in your leg to really train that technique.
Something you can do using a bag to train your teep is to have a bag swing and then stop it using your teep. This way you can get used to stopping movement with your teep.
Aside from things you can do in your training, Strength training will also help. Having strong legs is important especially having pushing strength when it comes to the teep.
This is where things like weighted squats can really help, as you can become really strong at pushing off your legs with them. Kettlebell swings will also help develop thrusting power in your hips.