The Uppercut (Mat Soi Dao) is a punch used in Muay Thai discipline. Essential for both offensive and defensive strategies. This technique involves a tight, upward thrust with the fist which is targeting the opponent's chin or body, aiming to get past their defenses and potentially deliver a knockout blow.
Stand in a basic stance with your feet shoulder width apart, left foot slightly before the right foot, body facing front, hands up defending your face, and elbows protecting your ribs.
Bend your knees and start to rotate your hip, shoulder then your arm in that order. Make sure when you're rotating that you put a lot of bodyweight in the punch as this will give it more power. The punch should come from the waist, your fist starting from below in an upward arc.
Keep your hands up and chin tucked down, step back or pivot away from the plane of the attack, though be careful as this can leave you open to other punches or attacks.
The best method to counter the Upper Cut (Mat Soi Dao) punch, is to lean back and step away to dodge the punch, then quickly step in for a counter-attack.
In competition, the Uppercut is often used in close-quarter combat where the opponent's defenses are tight. It can cause a knockout if it hits the chin, and it can be especially effective when used as a surprise attack or to create an opening.
With its ability to sneak past defenses and target vulnerable points on an opponent's body, the Uppercut (Mat Soi Dao) is a formidable technique in the Muay Thai fighter's arsenal. Its strength comes from the proper application of kinetic linking - the sequential activation of body's segments. As with any technique, practice and discipline are crucial for mastery.