This morning my client trained in the final lesson of his second course on Muay Thai for Martial Arts Cross Training. We went through most of the material covered in the course and focused on specific areas that needed more attention.
Warm-up began with mirror footwork, fighting at long range and then clinch, setting up various combinations. We addressed the v-step and the tactics of angling off. I likened the angling off tactics to chipping away at a target, much in the same way certain predators do it to their prey when pursuing them. We brought the Dutch low kick under analysis. This technique takes the Thai round kick and delivers at very close range. It works especially well when you angle off. The resulting combination: v-step/jab/Dutch kick.
The long spear-knee strike was then covered and looked at in detail. We corrected keeping the guard up high and standing tall when delivering the knee rather than dropping the hands in any way to get momentum. Standing tall in Muay Thai, an expression used a lot by my old kru, not only helps stabilise techniques but is great for engaging the core, hips and legs correctly. The motion used is comparable to the way explosive hinging weight lifts are done. This allowed for a set-up for a Superman punch. We used the importance of retracting knee from the target as a training exercise for throwing the aforementioned punch. The combination put together was short jab/long knee-strike/Superman punch.
We then moved onto the clinch covering how to control the arm and use footwork. This included putting together good set-ups for trapping limbs in the clinch, especially as a counter to a breakaway. From here we also looked at getting the impact areas correct for round/side knees. Combinations included control inside clinch/trap over-the-top breakaway arm/control back of head/diagonal knee strike and lateral footwork/round knee-strikes/sweep.
Next, we moved onto setting up more advanced kicking techniques. We spent a lot of time working on recovering from the round kick into a push kick (teep or side kick). I then added on a switch-kick. The full combination: jab/rear leg round-kick/miss/push kick recovery/switch-kick.
As I have said before, combination work is a lot more than just direct fight application. Many combinations help a student to understand key fundamentals in single techniques. Understanding what needs to be done in order to set up the next technique, whether it is a question of momentum, positioning or acquiring a target, the fighter is inspired to correct the first technique accordingly.