The Lead Leg refers to the leg that is positioned in front of us & set in front of the other leg which is the normal way of standing with regards to fighting. The way we stand in a fight is an important thing that we, the trainees, must pay great attention to. We must think carefully about how we plan to position ourselves in a fighting stance. Not allowing UN-natural muscular tension. In Muay Thai, we should try not to bend too much when we’re standing at long range. We bend more when we’re entering close range. And, we should expect to do so promptly & without delay. Throughout the entire time up until the advancing footwork of Muay, we must not cross our legs nor walk wherein both of our legs become too narrow and/or close to each other. That would be dangerous if we were to receive a powerful kick. And, it would compromise our balance and make us look UN-stable among other things.
The lead leg has more importance over the lead fist because the lead leg has an advantage in terms of distance when in use for longer ranges. And… if we practice until we’ve obtained a certain level of mastery and/or expertise, then you can… inevitably… use the lead leg for high & low level kicks as well as close & long ranges. With regards to Muay Thai, in particular, the legs and/or feet are used often.
Every style of fighting begins with learning how to stand properly. That is, except for combat that involves certain types of brutish animals or beasts. We must learn how to stand properly until we’re strong & sturdy. We must stand firmly when we’re practicing the boxing walk (“DERN”), the advancing steps (“YAHNG”), and the other various types of movement until it all becomes muscle memory. And, we must stand firmly so that we can achieve a certain level of safety after receiving blows from attacks delivered by our adversary. The things that I have just explained to you in great length & detail are meant to help you, the reader, understand the importance of standing properly in fighting before we start talking about how to use the lead leg and all.
How to Use the Lead Leg or Lead Foot
Now it’s time for me to tell you that the lead foot or lead leg must be set in front of you. We should practice in a way that we don’t move a little bit or pull back in preparation for the move. We should transfer our bodyweight to our other leg when we want to deliver a kick (“DTAE”) or when we want to deliver a push kick (“TEEB”) in addition to the “CHUD” (Chaiya WHIP kick) or “NEB”. And… when we see our opponent move a little bit… we should deliver a “CHUD” (Chaiya WHIP kick), “DTAE” (kick), “NEB”, or “TEEB” (push kick) towards the lower abdomen, sternum, OR… kick towards the inner leg (“BPUDT-DTAH-KAHD-NAI”) or outer leg (“BPUDT-DTAH-KAHD-NAWK”). They’re vital points which affect the standing & walking abilities of one’s adversary. The ancient masters of the past referred to this particular action as “CHING KOHM” (making the “FIRST MOVE” before that of your attacker). And… it’s so that we don’t allow ourselves to waste our “NAH-TEE TONG” (or “golden minutes” in Thai) which means using valuable opportunity in applying the concepts of “FOLLOW” (“DTID-DTAHM”) and “AGGRAVATE” (“SUM-DTERM”) using our knees, elbows, rear feet & rear fists. Not allowing the lead leg or lead foot to work for nothing and without reason. With regards to applying the concepts of “FOLLOW” (“DTID-DTAHM”) and “AGGRAVATE” (“SUM-DTERM”)… the ancient masters of the past up until the ones existing in the present day have referred to this particular action as “PUN LUM”.
Next time, I will explain more about the word, “PUN LUM”.