This morning’s second private lesson was a two hour technical session as part of my martial arts cross-training programme, focusing on stand-up fighting. The client wished to focus on Western Boxing and Muay Thai. From the first warm-up exercise on the agility cones, we looked at coordinating travelling movement with striking.We used a process of shadow boxing, heavy bag work, focus-mitt training and partner work to cover the dimensions of a combative concept. This began with slipping and angling off. The fighter used the jab and the overhand right or left, later changed to the round kick. The cones were adjusted to provide more space and serve as a good focal point. We discussed at the rhythm of beats found in this procedure. The slip/jab, a simultaneous movement, is a definite single beat. However, the angling off that follows is something of a “slur” in musical terms – my client happens to be a music teacher. The heavy bag provided a means for developing timing. The fighter slips the bag swinging towards him, jabbing it at the same time and then catches it at an angle with the follow-on strike. On the focus mitts I explained how the rules for pad holding are broken in order to facilitate the slip/jab. You jab the same side focus mitt as you slip the opposite side one. To do anything else would create a timing issue in the behaviour of the defence. In application we worked on making the movements tighter, this was particularly evident with the round kick. Because the limb is longer, a fighter can naturally assume it requires more space than is actually required. This is reinforced by the majority of strike-based martial arts, which have had their sporting applications influenced by Tae Kwon Do and the kicking-only sport of T’aekyon. Muay Thai teaches kicking at punching range. The tightening of the movement also forces the fighter to pivot more on his supporting foot, which provides great depth on the strike.
Moving more into Muay Thai we looked at the forward knee strike. This was first trained using an exaggeration of the movement via a lead leg front kick with Newton’s Cradle footwork. This movement is then scaled down for the lead knee strike. We then moved onto the rear knee strike. Here we looked at combining the knees with hand strikes. Looking at the jab/round kick model, we see that the force generated for the round kick comes from that particular side’s arm, which can be thrown as if to cross. Instead of crossing the reaction force from the hand helps create the momentum to give the kick its power. The same can be applied with the knee. However, this time we had the jab turn into single collar grip and the crossing hand into the second part of the plumb clinch position. From here the knee comes through. I followed this motion on with a chopping elbow from the lead arm and another chopping elbow from the rear arm.
We covered tyre step-ups and double resistance band exercises to work the force vectors in the strength conditioning section of this lesson.