Takedown Defence & Dissecting Set-ups (diary entry)

pawing long guard thailong guard knee04.09.19


Wednesday’s junior lesson focused on takedown defence. The senior lesson looked at details for using the hands to set up round kicks, spear knees and round knee strikes.


The junior lesson began with dynamic stretching and wresting callisthenics. Then we did some footwork for wrestling, looking at dropping levels and movement from a low stance. Next we did some bulling from the collar and elbow tie, moving into outer reap takedowns and two on-on-ones. Then we moved onto pummelling with over-hooks and under-hooks. This drills moved us onto taking the back and the body-lock. We finished the drilling with arm-drags, arm-drag recovery and arm-drag into double leg takedown.


Takedown defence concentrated entirely on using the sprawl. We performed three different types of sprawl, training them as simple muscle-memory exercises. This resembles doing a type of burpee and is also good for general conditioning when fighting from the clinch. Then we covered sprawling to circle to the back. This was a progressive exercise beginning without resistance but moving onto specific sparring.


The senior lesson began with the long-guard setups into strikes. Here we broke down the pawing jab/pushing aspect of the long guard and the way the spear knee or round kick can be thrown. It is important not to go into the long guard too soon. The jab, often thrown using a palm, comes out at close range and then creates space. It can also have the benefit of acting like a pawing jab to blind the opponent as the knee or kick are loading up. Meanwhile the rear hand goes across the face to protect against a jab. This Dracula guard aspect reminds us that the move is used in a similar fashion to the slip/jab commonly taught in Western Boxing.


Next we trained jab/head-trapping cross/diagonal knee. We compared the dynamic of the head-trap to the way the arm is thrown out and across the eye line when throwing a round kick.


We then went back to reverse guard training, where dissected the up-jab/round kick and up-jab/knee combination. Here I focused on getting enough pivot on the kicking leg as well as straightening the torso up to get maximum range. In fact, all combinations today could be boiled down to creating space to get momentum when in a confined area.


The lesson finished with five rounds of Muay Thai sparring.

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