Counter-Offensive (diary)

Today’s morning session continued on my client’s theme of counter-attacking in the technical section and then covered lower body strength conditioning. The warm-up on the focus mitts confirmed to me how well my client appears to adopting the counter-style of fighting. He was able to be more proactive in drawing me forward. The style is not about being on the back foot the whole time. Rather you initially move forward and bait your opponent, and then move back. I used Jack Johnson and Muhammad Ali examples that first came to mind when I started teaching my client this strategy. Of course, it works brilliantly for defence too. This article lists three all-time Western Boxing greats that the author, Jorge Alarcon-Swaby, argues puts ahead of the world’s current best defensive fighter, Floyd Mayweather.

We went through some basic Western Boxing and Muay Thai material previously covered and then looked at direct counter-attacks to kicks. Muay Thai is often ignorantly seen to be messy in the eyes of those brought up with a narrow vision of martial arts aesthetic. The crisp synchronization of Japanese armed and unarmed arts, the balletic properties of Korean Tae Kwon Do and the acrobatic and creative displays of Mainland Chinese Wu Shu lend themselves well to the silver screen and its derivatives. However, Muay Thai has beauty in its efficiency and economy of motion under full-contact conditions. The counter-attack style lends itself well to the Thai way of rolling, absorbing and cutting in on an opponent’s attack. It is far more subtle than many people appreciate. For example, whilst raising a shin block it is economically sensible to consider launching a low or mid-front kick. Likewise, when an opponent launches a mid-range round kick a good response may be to attack the supporting leg. Keeping to legs, we looked at a response to the foot sweeps, using a counter foot sweep.

Lower body strength was covered with Romanian dead-lifts (warm-up), standard dead-lifts (maximum weight), back squats (maximum weight), front squats and one-legged stiff leg dead-lifts. The session was finished some static stretching exercises.