My online teacher training/partner training continued on Tuesday with a focus on close range kicking. We isolated kick-countering and also increased the level difficulty with the partner drills.
Training began with the usual partner warm-up of trading single low kicks. I layered in foot-work and using the hands to set up. These aspects will become part of the mainstay as we use this drill in future warm-ups. I then changed it to shin-checking and countering with a kick. This should always be a separate drill as the first one serves as a conditioning exercise and also a targeting exercise. If you just drill with shin-checks targeting will suffer and this will have a knock-on effect with the countering. I made it clear that the kicks must be thrown to the right target therefore testing the shin-check. We worked on reducing delays between return counters in both drills. Each one finished with a 10 second countdown to promote urgency.
We then moved onto using the teep as a framing device. We used the lead and the back leg in response to the back and lead leg round kicks. An important point to make that I didn’t go over in the lesson was that the lead teep can be used to frame either of these two kicks just as the lead hand do the same with jabs and crosses. I was more interested in getting two-legged coordination going in the drills. We can look at the tactical advantages of using just the lead leg and lead hand in later lessons. In this instance we targeted the hips. It was taught first in conjunction with a shin-check. Then we removed the shin-check and it was trained in anticipation of the round kick. Various issues were raised through training this counter-attack, including the importance of angling off. Using the teep to off-balance an opponent is a great set up for a chasing low round kick.
The teep’s primary and most popular function is not as a framing device. This is fairly nuanced but it fitted well with the close quarter striking themes we have been training. The teep is the longest range weapon in a Muay Thai fighter’s arsenal – give or take the odd knee-bomb – and is used as a jab as well as a means for exiting a combination. The teep is pretty much the Muay Thai version of a push kick, but it can and has been as a percussive weapon. There are plenty of examples of it being used to knock out opponents as well as an alternative to the low round kick directing the strike to the thigh. This will bring us onto the oblique kick which is another technique we will cover in a future lesson.