The sixth hour of my client couple’s course on Muay Thai clinch took a detour into kick catching. We covered methods for catching kicks, how to follow up a kick catch and finally sweeps from the kick catch that brought us into line with last lesson’s sweeps in the clinch.
We began with a warm-up where I decided to provide a litte comparison between Muay Thai and Western Boxing footwork. It’s something that I have become increasingly aware of in recent times and, being a martial arts cross training teacher, feel it should be covered at some point. Please check out the links to the below points being made.
Traditional modern Western Boxing footwork is performed from a bladed stance set at a slight angle. The feet are both set at 45 degrees but balanced with the feet shoulder width apart, meaning the front heel should be able to pass the rear foot without touching.
Peekaboo footwork is a big exception to this rule in Western Boxing. The peekaboo stance is square on with the feet pointed towards the opponent – at least the front foot is always pointed towards the opponent. Some have argued it is almost a neutral stance and is ambidextrous in nature.
Modern Muay Thai uses a stance similar to peekaboo, which is why I like using the style to transition. The hips are square on to the opponent and the feet are pointed towards the opponent with a distinctive high rear heel raise.
We then looked basic kick catching. This began with the minimalistic yet rather wishful thinking method of catching a kick by trapping it with your elbow. I haven’t seen this performed live and was only once taught it on a seminar. We then went to the simple step away and trap with an underarm trap. Next we looked at overarm and underarm traps off the Dutch block.
The first follow on move we covered was the simple throw and kick counter. Then we trained the lift and push. Next we covered the front sweep and then the back sweep. Drills included kick-for-kick with a kick catch/trap on the second exchange. The lesson finished with a three minute round of free-sparring.
We also had a good discussion on the tricky business of deciding what sweeps were legal in Muay Thai. I referenced this article. This video from Fight Tips on kick catches is also excellent and served as inspiration for today’s lesson.