Blocking roundhouse kick

I remember the days of saying "ouch" every time my
shin touched another shin, even light contact
can be painful initially.
It will improve but you need to look after your shins.
Even world champs get sore shins from training
and fighting. Ice & rest injuries until healed.


Thank you for all great details now I know alot better. Just one more question when u train in blocking kick at first few times. WOuld u suppose to have bruise on your shin?..after training for a while our shin will get stronger and will have bruise no more???

Check the other post on Thai Kicks, both Beev and I mentioned it: Repetition. Lots and lots of kicks on the pads and bag. Most people don't realise it but this is the beginning of the shin conditioning process. As you stress the bone (there is a degree of flex in the tibia as it hits something) the body responds by producing osteoblasts (these are immature bone cells) these will infuse the bone and increase it's density. It's just like getting little old ladies to excercise. Ok that gives the bone the strength. Now comes the tough part: desensitization. Buy yourself a big rubber mallet from your hardware store and go to work, just let the wieght of the mallet do the work and only on the flat surface. 15 mins will do for the first session and then ice those puppies. As you progress use the edge of the mallet.
Don't kid yourself into thinking it's an easy process, but alot of the pain you feel blocking is the fact that you focus on the pain. Especially when your training and sparring. Let it go, ignore it. If you take a shin ding, kick straight back with that same leg twice. Ask any fighter about blocking in a fight, noone ever feels it because they are so focused on the fight.

Just to reiterate what has been said: You want a nice perpendicular impact between your opponents leg and your own. The area everyone is talking about is the Tibial Plateau which is only rivaled in strength by the Femur. If you haven't seen it there is a great little video clip of a beautifully executed shin block that did the rounds on the web. Click here Now as to foot position there are a couple of ways foot up or foot down. As GoongNoi mentioned foot up allows you to tighten the Tibialis anterior and also the Gastroc and Soleus to make a solid lower leg. Low kicks should always be blocked this way. When the attacking kick is above the waist however it's often faster to bring the knee up with the toes down. Remember that you are still aiming to block with Tibial Plateau. There are definitely different opinions on this, and reasons for each. If you are good enough and you know your opponent always blocks foot up try making you kick look as though its going higher and angle it in to the foot. It's also possible to block higher kicks with the shin and foot down.As always play with it and find what works best for you. That's what Thai fighting is about, make it your own.

Great advice. I never realized it but I do tend to
check kicks with my upper shin. After a few nasty
dings though, I've come to prefer:

the teep

step back with lead leg, throw front thai kick

right cross

and just getting the hell out of the way just enough
and then stepping in to attack. This is hard to due
because of the timing needed, but I'm still working on

saw that vid. clip, what can i do to make sure that never happens to me in that situation?

Do u guys leg check the kicks with the same leg side the kick is coming from? ie. assuming both are in orthodox stance left leg check for opponent's right kick and right leg check for opponent's left kick. I usually prefer to leg check kicks from both sides with my left leg cos it seems faster and just more comfortable for me. What do u guys do and why?


There's really nothing you can do. That was just an unfortunate accident. Thankfully, it's not all that common of an occurance.

I think the guy in that video clip felt the block

Goong and Choraked, let me know when you write "The Physiology Of Thai Kickboxing". I'll buy it!!! Great detail.

I think Beev (not positive) has mentioned calcium supps helping healing (which seems to make sense given the osteoblast production you describe). Are there any traditional foods in Thailand that are considered helpful to shin healing\conditioning?

I generally block with the top 4 inches of my shin or around that area.

That is the hardest part of the shin and the easiesr part to condition. They were in my case anyway.

Just my thoughts.


Pick your checking leg up, and turn it out slightly.
You should take the kick directly on the front of your
shin, never on the outside of your shin - too much
soft tissue (bruising) and also the smaller fibula bone
in your shin could be fractured.

Try to take the kick higher on your shin rather than lower; the tibia bone is thicker & stronger here,
but we generally want to avoid contact with the knee.

Now this is important for fighters: Try to take the
check high on your shin, but strike your opponent
low on the shin. IE: turn your checking leg out slightly to make contact with your opponents lower
shin - right on his ankle joint if you can. Checking
in this manner will hurt your opponent a great deal
and he will quickly lose interest in throwing kicks
at you.

Also: Raise your foot up when you check, do not leave
your toes pointing towards the floor. This adds muscular strength to your check via the Tibialis
Anterior muscle on the front of your shin, and
protects your ankle. You do not want to be kicked
on that ankle!


THank you much Goong noi..

Just to add a quick point...

Another reason to turn your shin so that it "faces" the oncoming kick is so you don't get moved by the kick.

A common mistake I've seen MT novices make is that they lift the leg straight up with the knee pointed towards their opponent during the block. Besides preseting the soft tissue to the kick, the force of impact can turn you, therefore preseting your side to your opponent.

Though we are talking semantics only, I have been taught that you block WITH your knee, because the knee is much stronger than the shin. In truth, you are not blocking with the knee cap (patella), but the very thick part of the shin immediately under the knee cap.

Khun Kao

When we block roundhouse kick (low and middle) which part of shin do we suppose to block?..side of shin or front of shin... with upper shin or lower shin?..

Snigglefish. Actually it's something I have toyed with for the last few years. I have a few papers written on golgi fiber reflex and kicking power. And some other kinesiology type observation papers about why kicking thai is just so powerful. I'm looking into doing some PhD work on it sometime in the future, I hear the Royal University in Thailand actually have research programs looking at Muay Thai. Ill let you know if I get to the publishing stage though


I do the same EXACT thing when leg-checking. Because of the stances I use while fighting, my weight is typically more on my rear foot than my lead, so I check all kicks with my lead leg.

I teach my students both ways though, and most of my students check kicks on the same side they are being kicked on. I would say only about 2 other guys in my gym check all kicks with their lead leg as I do.

Khun Kao