Chambering the knee

When doing the rear leg roundhouse kick, should you chamber the knee?

A friend of mine said that if I chamber the knee, i.e. lift the knee first up front and then straighten my leg, my opponent will have a harder time seeing if the kick is going to be a high kick or a low kick. Is this true?

Oh, while I'm here, I've got another question: Is bobbing and weaving, like you do in close quarter boxing, dangerous to do in Muay Thai, or is it just as important there?

Thanks in advance!

It depends on what style of kicking or kickboxing you're trying to do. If you're talking about Muay Thai, you RARELY chamber the knee. A not so wideknown fact is that there are some instances where Thai's throw roundkicks with a chambered knee.

Bobbing and Weaving has its place, even in Muay Thai. But it is not anywhere near as prevalent in the Muay Thai ring because you're in serious danger of eating a knee, a rising kick, or having an elbow dropped on the back of your head.

Khun Kao

Thanks for the quick answer!

So what's the difference between chambering and not chambering? Is chambering faster but not as powerful or is it something else?

Also, about the bobbing and weaving: Jeez, what is there to do for a boxer that's learning Muay Thai, but isn't very tall and thus likes to bob and weave to get angles in infighting?

I disagree that chambering your kicks makes them faster. When you chamber you have to do two movements to land a kick when one movement will do fine.

When you miss a kick that you chamber, you end up hyperextending your knee. One time it does not hurt, but after a night of many small hyperextensions your knee will be sore in the morning.

Last but not least, when you chamber your kicks, you have a tendency to throw whippy kick that often land with the top of your foot. If your opponent blocks the kick with his shin, you will feel the pain and it is quite possible you will break one of the small bones in your foot.

People have different philosophies. I'm sure you will get differing opinions, but I try to never chamber my kicks.

A knee hyperextension only occurs when somebody new to the chambering type of kick throws one too hard with poor technique. If you follow through with your kick like you're supposed to you won't hyper extend it.

I see a lot of head kicks thrown with a chamber, everything else seems to be the more straigh legged kicks.


There are a variety of ways for smaller fighters to work the angles and get inside that do not involve Bobbing n' Weaving.

Footwork, footwork, footwork.

Work on an attacking counterfighting strategy. Work on your speed and timing so that you can use footwork while reacting to an opponents attack to get inside and work him.

Example #1- Taken straight from Boxing. Follow in behind your opponents punch. Stay at your opponents reach, and when he throws a punch, step in behind the punch to gain the inside position.

Example #2- Opponent throws right roundhouse kick, step forwards and to your right to get the inside position on your opponent.

Example #3- Opponent throws Push Kick with either leg. Sweep the leg aside so that you are to the outside of the kick while simultaneously stepping forward at an angle, similar to the angle in Example #2.

Example #4- Work the inside and outside of your opponents lead leg with short & quick roundhouse kicks. Do not commit to these kicks as they are meant for speed, not power. You work these kicks because it screws up your opponents base or stance, so that he is forced to reset his feet. Though this only takes an instant for him to do, it is still an instant that you have to do something.

Example #5- Similar to example #4, use short, stiff Push Kicks to your opponents thighs. Usually for the lead leg as its the closer (and easier to reach) target. This will also disrupt his base or stance, allowing you an instant to set up something.

Khun Kao

" A not so wideknown fact is that there are some instances where Thai's throw roundkicks with a chambered knee. "

what are these instances ?

They are usually used as a setup for a more powerful attack. A quick snapping kick to the inside of an opponents lead leg. Sometimes a kick straight up to their face, or under their arm or leg as a weapon destruction kind of move...

But they are not very common because they just dont' have enough behind them to make them a mainstay technique.

Khun Kao

Personally I have found that chambering or not chambering is a matter of preference.

For example, a few of the guys in my gym kick with a chamber. Some kick straight legged.

I tend to just kick the way I feel natural. When I start the kick, I generally have a semi bent leg. and I tend to straighten the leg mid kick. The key for me is to just to keep the leg relaxed.

If I kick with a deliberate chamber, or deliberately keep the leg straight. I lose alot of both speed and power. When I just kick naturally, I get as much speed and power as I need and the kick feels comfortable too.

Hope that helps.


Beev is very correct. I have to admit that I "chamber" my leg on a number of my roundkicks. Granted, it has to do with my preferred fighting range. I *need* to chamber my leg to make impact correctly.

There are many, many varying ways to kick....

Khun Kao