Tonight’s junior lesson continued work on Muay Thai, tightening up certain techniques and building combinations. The senior lesson put Wrestling at the core of MMA training.
The junior lesson began with guard and footwork. The client has transitioned from just using a peek-a-boo guard in Western Boxing to adopting a high guard, which is the most popular form of Muay Thai guard. I checked balance and we looked at throwing punches with bare fists. Although no impact work was done it was important to ensure that my client’s fists were properly closed. Boxing gloves can lead to bad habits in this respect. We also worked on making his stance taller in order to better facilitate kicking. The rocking footwork is also distinctly different to what is used in Western Boxing, but is used to better link punching with kicks. It creates a rhythm and allows for more dramatic weight shifting and balancing.
We then built up a four-punch combination, each stage linked to an opposite side round kick. These were trained on the focus mitts and also in partner drilling. Then they were integrated with the footwork, where I checked balance and hand positions. The combinations from one to four were first trained in chronological order and then called out randomly, then mixed with shin-checks and teeps.
The senior lesson began with bulling – drilling collar and elbow ties. Here we looked at breaking and maintaining posture. I then introduced the push/pull momentum, setting up for a takedown. From here I brought in knee strikes to draw attention to using space and breaking posture for the purpose of throwing a technique. Then I brought in the oblique kick from the clinch. We started low, attacking the legs. Then we progressed to mid-section kicks. Next we looked at a stomach throw, which is a sacrifice technique very common in Judo.
Training then became a series of three sparring rounds interspersed with drilling. The first three-minute round was wrestling only and the drilling was concerned with creating entries for the stomach throw. The second three-minute round was a Muay Thai/Wrestling hybrid, strikes in the clinch but with no prohibitions on any throws. The final round was a five minute of MMA sparring with a focus on setting up takedowns.