Tonight’s teacher training continued our stand-up work in Dutch Kickboxing inspired training drills and we moved onto using the clinch as a counter to punching combinations.
The lesson began with our now usual warm-up of low kick exchanges. This then increased to double-kick exchanges. I then brought in the 1, 2, 3 combinations. Building off the set combinations we used in the previous two lessons, we one partner through a strike then two strikes and a combination of three strikes before it was the other partner’s turn. Again this helps build up continuous aggressive combination work and countering attitude. As with the previous two drills each partner is encouraged to start their first attack as soon as their opponent’s has landed.
With the previous two lessons been mainly concerned with fighting stand-up from a close range and taking a more Dutch Kickboxing approach, we looked at the Muay Thai answer. Many nak muays, such as the great Buakaw Banchamek, often counter strong combination strikes with long knee strikes and this is what he did when fighting in K1 – a game traditionally dominated by Dutch kickboxers. We used two combinations, both of which addressed effective exiting from a clinch. The first one was clinch/knee/long-guard push/high round kick. This is very Muay Thai in nature. It is important to retain a high guard before entering the clinch. Some of the combinations I used to enter the clinch on Sunday’s workshop are worth using if the fighter doesn’t feel comfortable simply clinching an aggressive combination fighter, such as force a cover/clinch outside, cover/clinch inside or slap-down parry/long guard clinch. The second combination used a more Boxing oriented entry with a slip – slip/long guard/knee/push/follow up strike.
The two combinations promote using the clinch momentarily. K1 rules only allow one knee strike from the clinch. This prompts nak muays to deliver damage fast in the clinch and then have a swift exit strategy. Pushes and framing are perfect tools for exiting the clinch. They must be executed with a strong guard maintained and the fighter coupling the push with a powerful strike. The entire process develops further underpins the Muay Thai approach of breaking postures, striking and then breaking postures again.