WATCH: How to Use a Push Kick to Fend off an Attacker

Welcome to our relatively new self-defense series featuring Skillset writer Sullivan Cauley. If you’re unfamiliar, Sully is a professional MMA fighter, and a damn good one. He needed just 28 seconds to win his Bellator debut with a nice TKO. In his first video, Sully covered the bear hug and how it can be used in a bar fight. Today, we move on to the push kick or teep kick.

Using the Teep or Push Kick for Defense

The push kick (or teep kick in Muay Thai) is a relatively easy kick to throw. It works for creating distance, affecting your opponent’s balance, and also setting up other strikes. The proper way to conceptualize the push kick is like a kick jab. Just like a jab in boxing, speed, timing, and defense are more important than power. Also, just like a good boxer with a quick jab, a good teep kicker with some decent footwork is going to be very difficult to corner and land shots on.

The teep is especially useful as a defensive technique as shown in the video above. Interrupting an opponent’s punch, kick, or charge forward with a well-timed push kick could put an attacker on their back foot or even send them flying. 

The keys to this kick are timing and kick shape. Timing, more so than power, determines how much your kick will affect your opponent’s balance, and how high you pull your kick back as well as how fast it is will determine how easy it is to catch and counter. As with any technique, mastery takes a good amount of practice. Head to your local kickboxing gym to get some reps in and learn the finer points. 

Watch the video above to see the kick in action. Also, be sure to grab the most recent issue of Skillset Magazine at

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