My live video trainer training today continued with more partner work. A definite advantage this particular client has is to be self-isolated with a willing training partner. We continued our Thai and Kickboxing training with more work on framing. This included the use of a basic push, using the teep to frame, the long-guard and the forearm frame. We then moved onto the very low round kick, targeting the sural nerve as well as the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles in addition to chaining fast punching combinations.
We began with kick-for-kick drilling, constantly using hand feigns and strikes to the highline to set up powerful round kicks. This built up momentum, encouraging the aggressive Dutch-style of kick exchanging. The concept this introduces that ran through most of this lesson was taking advantage of a mobile fighter. Normal fight strategy teaches that we settle on a stationary target or we pin them down in order to cause more damage. However, there are also key moments when an opponent is vulnerable when they are mobile. They are often vulnerable as they are executing a technique, particularly something like a kick and also when they are struggling to maintain balance. We dealt with the former first.
Due to my increased emphasis on using the hands to set up the round kicks, we moved onto using the hands to push/post/frame the opponent. This began with simply turning jabs and crosses into shoves directed onto an opponent’s guard or should whilst simultaneously angling off. The angle immediately provides the fighter with a power-line through to the opponent’s balance point (provided the opponent does not angle-off at the same time). We then chained this push with a low round kick attacking the legs that were compromised trying to regain balance.
With the initial push/angle and kick combination down, we progressed onto a long guard where we hooked the outstretched hand to the opposite side of the opponent’s neck. This adds a hooking action to the push. By using the long guard you get closer to an opponent which facilitates a diagonal knee strike. We then moved onto a forearm frame where the fighter uses a jab and uses the ulna bone of that particular hand to lean on the target whilst angling off for a low kick.
Next we moved onto using the teep frame as a way to intercept a round kick. The previous exercise involved firing back a kick once an opponent’s technique had landed. This is a type of fast recovery/regaining the initiative behaviour that also teaches good fight timing. Using a teep advances the response up the timeline. Now the fighter is looking at prevention and pre-emption, attacking the kick at the root and anticipating the action. Technique notes from this lesson included scaling back the chambering action of the teep and focusing more on positioning. There are many different variations to Muay Thai’s teep. It isn’t just a standard push kick. This version is effectively using the outstretched leg as a jamming tool that breaks an opponent’s posture. We then combined it with the shin-check, as taught in the previous lesson, to help build the timing. After this we went back to just simply anticipating the round kick with the teep frame.
Having spent most of the lesson on jamming attacks and/or breaking postures with frames or pushes we cast our attention onto the low kicks that were generally being set up. In particular, I was interested in exploring the very low round kick or calf kick. This particular kick is being more popularly used as an alternative to the lead teep. It can be thrown as a jab. However, for the purposes of this lesson its execution was less like a rapier and more like a wrecking ball. When coupled with an off-balancing teep and executed with a fast, chasing, diagonal shuffle, the technique can cause major disruption for an opponent and be an intimidating combination. Throwing two or three of these combinations in close sequence puts the fighter firmly on the defensive and the opponent at a psychological disadvantage. In simple terms, the fighter acts like a hunting predator and the opponent like the fleeing prey.
We finished with a Dutch-inspired build-up of punch/kick combinations on the Thai focus mitts. The idea was throw in a lightning series of punches punctuated with a powerful low kick. Our simple combinations were jab/round kick, jab/cross/round kick, jab/cross/hook/round kick and jab/cross/hook/cross/round kick. These were first thrown as individual combinations and then as one big combination, such is the Dutch style. We will add a counter in next week.