In Muay Thai there is nothing practiced more than the Thai roundhouse kick. Many techniques we use in Muay Thai are all to set up devastating kicks.
Unlike Taekwondo, we work from a very basic arsenal. By basic, I don't mean the technique. Nothing about a Thai roundhouse is basic. I mean that MT doesn't have a flashy arsenal of kicks like other martial arts. The big difference being that Thai kicks aren't really easy to master or learn, although they look like basic roundhouse kicks. All the power and speed used for these kicks require an awareness of your entire body, and the explosiveness used at the exact moment it's needed, from your feet to your hips to your knee and shin. The torque of your upper body, the whipping of your arms, they are all crucial. I've been training for several years and still don't think my Thai kicks are at there full potential.
For some reason many people who come through my doors expect to get their Thai roundhouse in one class. They leave frustrated that they don't have it right after one hour. This is when I have to have a very real conversation. One to encourage them and ease their stress surrounding "not getting it". I tell them it could take years to master your Thai kicks, but once you get them...they'll never leave you. Much of their dismay spawns from them feeling that they are doing everything I'm asking them to. "What am I doing wrong?" "I am turning my foot!" This is usually when I resort to recording them and playing it back in slo mo to show them what to work on.
This isn't annoying, doesn't upset me, and is completely normal. I went through it myself with three different coaches. Moments where I felt I was absolutely doing what I was being told, but they obviously were seeing something else. It's hard to be objective, especially if you're going off of feel and not vision. I can't see what I'm doing. I feel like I'm doing it right, but that's because I so very badly WANT to do it right, so I convince myself that I am doing it right. Well guess what, my coaches were watching...and I wasn't doing it right. I eventually learned to trust my coaches and that's when my real growth began.
The Bruce Lee quote is one of my favorites and it encompasses exactly what must be conveyed to anyone practicing Muay Thai. It just might take 10,000 kicks, probably more. I'm certain I passed that mark a while ago and still don't feel I've perfected it. Of course, I don't believe in the illusion of perfection, but I strive for it. This will keep me forever humble and always willing to keep learning and training.
Always get your kicks in!