The first two official private lessons of the year saw the uncle and nephew team train inter-discipline connections and principles. Trite, pseudo-philosophical paradoxes to one side, sometimes you do need to go back to the beginning in order to move forward. My junior client was taught the behavioural connection between peek-a-boo slip/punching and the “Dracula” guard, and my senior client was taught the behavioural connections between the fence, angling off in general and various cover tactics.
My junior client began with slipping straight punches. He threw jabs and punches as he slipped from side to side. Then I brought in the “Dracula” guard for the first time with this client (see my most recent Kingham Hill lesson report). Here I showed taking advantage of an opening whilst defending and how the Peek-a-boo style and the Dracula guard share similar principles. Peek-a-boo works well in Western Boxing because despi
te being an aggressive counter-punch style it still works at relatively long range. It is still a short range to most outside boxing, but is not really in clinching range. The Dracula guard in Muay Thai is a singular tactic or even arguably a technique, but there is noticeable crossover with the principles of the peek-a-boo style of boxing. The Dracula guard gets the fighter even closer. Nak Muays are slipping more these days, but the combat sport generally favours close range fighting to trade its full arsenal of eight weapons. There is less in and out fighting as you will see in Western Boxing and even Mixed Martial Arts.
After training the jab/guard I introduced the rear round kick. The action with the arms to throw a Thai style round kick coordinates well with the Dracula guard, as the momentum to cover the face in one direction is then pulled and reversed when the kick comes through. This is not easy to do straight away as there is a bit of coordination. However, when they are put together I find it to be a very smooth way to throw this most basic of Muay Thai combinations. When then changed to jab/guard/cross/guard/lead leg round kick.
The senior lesson revised self-defence principles. We began with the standard fence, simply training to maintain space and to strike when the fence is breached. This was compared to the pawing jab in boxing, used to reference, find range and to obstruct an opponent. From here we looked at angling off at the pre-emptive stage. We then looked at angling off in general through boxing and grappling. Next we returned to the fence and looked at the angry fence. This is where the cover and the fence connect. Using a single or double hand shove the defender moves a potential attacker out of their space, where they might be able to use aggression to maintain distance without having to engage in a fight. However, the shove also sets up the attacker for a particularly effective pre-emptive strike if he decides to return to this space. Unless you specialise in using the angry fence I would advise it be used as a last resort when you have failed to put up or properly supervise a normal fence. This can be compared with a back-step jab and counter-fighting in general in combat sports.
We then looked at the cover variations for self-defence. From here we moved onto the Dracula Guard for Muay Thai and then crossed over into peek-a-boo for boxing before going back to the Dracula guard again. The same principles covered in the previous class were taught here – aggressively counter punch. We then brought in the kicks. This material will be covered again next lesson with further additions and details; expanding as well as going deeper.
Photography by Charlotte Von Bulow-Quirk Photography