The Superman Punch

The Superman Punch: Kradot Chok Explained

In the dynamic world of Muay Thai competition, certain striking techniques stand out for their effectiveness and spectacle. One such technique is the Superman Punch, a striking maneuver that has gained popularity among fighters from MMA to Muay Thai with Thailand’s professional fight venues like Bangkok’s Lumpinee Stadium and Rajadamnern events seeing frequent displays of the technique.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Superman Punch and its application in Muay Thai. We’ll explore how fighters use this technique, the setups they employ to land it effectively, and highlight some notable knockouts that have showcased its power and precision. Join us as we delve into the tactical aspects and strategic importance of the Superman Punch in the context of Muay Thai’s thrilling combat environment.

What is the Superman Punch

Superman Punch Training

The Superman Punch is a striking technique that involves a combination of a feint and a powerful punch, executed with a jump or a leap forward using the opposite leg of the striking arm to counterbalance the strike and increase striking distance and power.

Here’s a breakdown of the stages of the technique:

1. Feint

The fighter begins by initiating a motion that mimics a kick or a low-level strike that can be anything from an inside/outside low kick, roundhouse kick or most traditionally a lead leg teep kick. This feint is crucial for deceiving the opponent and creating an opening for the actual punch.

2. Jump

As the opponent reacts to the feint, the fighter uses the momentum generated from the initial motion caused by the raising of the leg and the subsequent rapid movement backwards to propel themselves off the ground. This jump adds power and speed to the punch but more critically it greatly increases the distance covered by the strike

3. Punch

While in mid-air, the fighter extends their rear hand (typically the dominant hand) forward in a straight punch. The goal is to strike the opponent with maximum force and surprise, catching them off guard.

Landing: After delivering the punch, the fighter lands back on the ground, ideally in a balanced position in their natural fighting stance, however if landing in a “switched” stance further footwork and follow up additional strikes can be both effective and essential for creating space and decreasing any defensive deficits the explosive attack may have caused.

Positive and Negatives of the Superman Punch


  • High Impact: The Superman Punch delivers significant power due to the added momentum from the jump and countermovement.
  • Closes Distance: Its unorthodox nature and sudden execution can catch opponents off guard, creating openings for effective strikes but more importantly helps rapidly close distance, essential for the Muay Mat and Muay Bouk fighters.
  • Unpredictable: It can be set up from various combinations and feints, allowing fighters to incorporate it into their fight through many different paths reducing the predictability of the strike.
  • Spectacle: Its visual appeal makes it a crowd-pleasing technique, adding flair to a fighter’s performance and potentially influencing the judges.


  • Telegraphing: The jump and wind-up for the Superman Punch can telegraph the intention, giving opponents time to react or counter, especially if not correctly hidden behind effective feints and traps.
  • Energy Expenditure: Executing a Superman Punch requires explosive energy and precise timing, which can lead to fatigue if overused or mistimed.
  • Risk of Counterattacks: The airborne nature of the technique can leave fighters vulnerable to counters, particularly sweeps and lateral footwork based attacks.
  • Strategic Predictability: Overusing the Superman Punch or relying on it as a primary weapon can make a fighter’s tactics predictable, allowing opponents to anticipate and prepare for it, so make sure that you use the technique sparingly as to avoid predictability.

Setting up the Superman Punch

The Superman Punch training in Gym

All Superman techniques can be set up by creating distance or misleading your opponent causing an opening for the strike to land, below are a few of my favorite set ups for the technique, this is by no means an exhaustive list with hundreds of potential set ups, so get creative with it.

  1. Feinted Low Kick to Superman Punch: Start by throwing a few low kicks to establish a pattern. Then, feint a low kick to draw your opponent’s attention downward, usually baiting a check or step back. As this happens, use leap forward with the Superman Punch, catching them off guard.
  2. Off the Check Superman Punch: This technique applies to Muay Thai significantly more than MMA due to the differences in fight stance; The off the check Superman punch, focusses on checking a body kick and as your opponent lowers their leg, you fire your raised leg backward, creating momentum for the counter superman punch.
  3. Jab-Cross Combination to Superman Punch: Basics win fights and nothing sets up almost all strikes better than the classic jab-cross, regularly throw a jab-cross to gauge your opponent’s reaction, If they consistently defend against the jab-cross, use a feint jab to bait their guard up high. Follow up immediately with a
    Superman Punch to exploit the opening caused by them lowering the guard after.
  4. Body Kick Feint to Superman Punch: Work the body with kicks to create a striking trend. Once your opponent starts defending against body kicks typically with a check, throw a lighter body kick expecting it to be checked, however this is specifically to be used as a counterbalance for the superman punch, as they check, take the opportunity to launch into a Superman Punch.
  5. Push Kick Range Control to Superman Punch: Begin by using push kicks to maintain distance and control the pace of the fight. Use quick push kicks to keep your opponent at bay and gauge their reactions. When they start adjusting to the push kicks and try to close the distance, surprise them by feinting the teep and following up with a Superman Punch to exploit their forward movement. Alternatively if your teep lands heavily and they fall off balance take a step forward usually with the lead leg you used to throw the teep, following their
    backward movement with a Superman punch, this works especially well if the opponent is focused on regaining balance rather than defense.
  6. Rope Utilization Setup: Using the ropes to set up a superman punch can be done in one of two ways: Maneuver your opponent towards the ropes using footwork and after a heavy strike typically a body kick or teep that causes them to lean against the ropes, time your superman punch to connect as they come forward of the momentum of the ropes. Similarly, you can use the ropes to help propel yourself forward for a stronger Superman punch following a loss of balance or loss of ground caused by receiving a kick from your opponent. Control your backward momentum, feel the ropes on your back, and when they begin to push you forward launch your attack. An important point with this technique is that it can be a double edged sword with
    your opponent potentially looking to counter and land heavy strikes of their own, so use with caution.

Examples of Superman Punch in Combat Sports

The superman punch is used regularly in combat sports. Watch a single ONE Championship fight card or a RWS Fight night and you will see this technique used in abundance. However a few examples stand out amongst the crowd.

  1. Denner Sitbandon vs Sangtawan Sor. Taguttong: Scored a knockout using the Superman Punch off the check, ending their 2013 Muay Thai fight in Lumpinee Stadium.
  2. Anthony Pettis vs Stephen Thompson: Anthony Pettis further earned the name ”Showtime” by scoring a second round KO over former UFC title contender, using the cage similarly to the ropes to propel himself forward for the Superman Punch.
  3. Daichi Takenaka vs Leandro Issa: Daichi Takenaka used the superman punch to close distance landing a “switch” superman punch counter to Leandro Issa’s lead hook, scoring a knockdown which ultimately brings about the end of the fight.

In the physical chess match that is Muay Thai, where every technique carries a degree of strategic weight, the Superman Punch emerges as a favorite in closing distance with precision. Whether in the historic rings of Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums or on the global stage of ONE Championship, this technique showcases the art of bridging gaps swiftly and striking with power.

The Superman Punch exemplifies the evolution of Muay Thai, blending tradition with innovation. Its effectiveness in creating opportunities for devastating strikes reflects the technical prowess of fighters and the sport’s adaptability to modern combat arenas.

As audiences cheer and judges take note, the Superman Punch remains a symbol of Muay Thai’s dynamic nature, captivating audiences worldwide with its ability to combine athleticism and tactical acumen in closing distance effectively.

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