The teep, or thip, might be one of the most fundamental kicks in muay thai. It’s also one of the most underrated kicks in striking.
At it’s most basic, the teep technique is performed by raising the front leg until the foot is just below the hip and then pushing it forward quickly. This forward push motion is why the teep is also called the push kick.
How to Teep Kick in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA
- Raise the knee
Raise your front leg until your foot is just below your hip. This is called chambering.
- Push forward
Quickly push forward using your hip.
- Connect at full extension
Strike with the ball of your foot at full extension.
- Quickly pull back
Don’t just place your foot down. Pull your foot back to your hip first, so that it doesn’t get caught.
Muay Thai Teep vs Front Snap Kick – What’s the Difference?
Don’t confuse the teep with the front snap kick found in karate and taekwondo. They are two very different kicks, and it’s an important distinction to make.
Instead of pushing the foot straight forward from the hip like the teep, the front snap kick comes from hinging at the knee. With the front kick, you literally chamber your leg and snap it upward and forward then back down.
It comes from the bottom instead of straight on like a teep.
Uses of the Teep
The teep can be used to push opponents away to control distance, set up strikes, and to off balance opponents. It can also be used forcibly to stop opponents in their tracks.
The teep is very much like a jab, which is why it’s also referred to as the foot jab.
You can throw it out and get a feel of where your opponent is. Distance dictates which strikes you can throw, as you want your strikes to connect at the end of your reach for the most power. Pushing your opponent can put them in that optimal striking range.
I cannot stress enough how important controlling distance is.
Just like the jab, the teep can set up strikes. It can be used to set up roundhouses, leg kicks, punches. You can also mix things up and throw a teep to superman jab or use the skipping teep to close distance and set up knees and elbows.
Common Teep Mistakes
Just like with any strike, the biggest mistake you can make with your teep is to leave it out. This will get you caught and dumped. If you don’t want to get caught pull your kick back in quickly. This has the added bonus of making your strike “pop”.
The second biggest teep mistake is not using your hips. The power from your hips is what makes your teeps strong. By not pushing with your hips you lose so much power.
Teep Kick Knockout
Knocking out your opponent with a teep kick is possible, but it’s extremely difficult. It takes a lot of set up to be able to sneak the knockout in.
In this video, Chalawan sets up the teep but dazing Rambong with the elbow. Rambong drops his hands and Chalawan goes for the KO.
Some people calls Anderson Silva’s KO of Vitor Belfort a teep, but it’s really a front kick. You can see that he hinges the kick at the knee and snaps it up.
Is a Face Teep Legal?
A teep to the face is not illegal, but some consider it disrespectful. In Thai culture, the bottom of the foot is considered the most lowly part of the body. The head is considered the highest and the most sacred.
That said, face teeps are 100% legal in muay thai. If you’re in Thailand fighting a Thai then you might just piss them off.
Hopefully this has been helpful and your learned something new. Check out more muay thai techniques and get back to training!