Today’s first lesson was the final part of this term’s course for Kingham Hill School. The course has mainly focused on self-defence, as per my mandate. However, once these basic skills were confirmed along with some underpinning information personal security, the group moved onto some attribute training in the form Muay Thai.
In this lesson we looked at some basic defence and counters to common attacks within the sport of Muay Thai. We built up several punch/kick combinations and I introduced the left hook. I also introduced something my old Muay Thai kru used to call a “checking block”. These days that term brings to mind the shin-check, an attack to an oncoming low kick. The move is a type of cover, involving using the forearm to shield the face when throwing a jab or, if used within a context outside of MMA, in the same manner as a regular cover. As a move in Muay Thai it is used in the same way a western boxing might couple a jab with a slip. It similtaneously stops an incoming jab with the cover whilst jabbing into the opening.
My friend, the great cross-training martial arts teacher, Ron Goin, labelled it the “Dracula”. This is a term he has regularly used in correspondence with me and I believe he has been using at least since the early 1980s. Interestingly my attention was recently brought to another fighter also using the term Dracula guard or Dracula block. The name comes from the way certain actors put their cape in front of their faces when playing a Dracula inspired character. Ron always thought of Ed Wood’s chiropractor who stood in for Bela Lugosi in “Plan 9 from Outer Space” and had to put the cape up to hide his face.
Training was mainly done on focus mitts as part of line work and also as partner work.
Photograph by Charlotte Von Bulow Quirk.