I was booked to teach a special two-hour session for Kuroten Karate’s founder and her son. We focused on stand-up fighting, using boxing, kickboxing and muay Thai. After a brief warm-up, we covered footwork from boxing. On the request of my client, I taught angling off and circling out to exit from combinations.
I explained differences between most conventional boxing and the peek-a-boo style. The peek-a-boo style arguably lends itself best to martial arts cross training due to the fact it doesn’t use a bladed stance but a square on posture. Muay Thai and wrestling both favour the hips facing towards an opponent. The problem with fighting square-on in boxing is the large volume of punches a boxer is likely to face. A bladed stance reduces the target area and can allow for swifter footwork. However, bladed stances are prone to leg kicks, ankle picks and single leg shoots. Peek-a-boo gets its name from the classic guard Cus D’Amato introduced where boxing gloves are held under the eyes, protecting the nose, however, modern variations use a level high guard. This guard is similiar if not identical to many used in Muay Thai. However, in order to compensate for the large target area and reduced footwork flexibility, the peek-a-boo boxer requires swift, adaptable, fluid and flexible upper body mobility. Slipping, ducking, rolling and pull-backs becomes tight, intricate patterns of constant movement as the peek-a-boo fighter moves towards their opponent. They also need to be aware of double-jabs and to time side-to-side slipping when making this approach.
Circling out is a good behaviour for all fighters, but it is more pronounced in boxing. As one fighter taught me, going backwards isn’t always an option. We drilled double-jabbing to circle out to throw a straight right and double-jabbing to circle in throw a left hook. This was followed by 3 x 2 minute rounds each of flash pads, defence only and flash/defence on boxing.
Moving into Muay Thai I layered in shin-check, round kicks to the body and head, and teeps. We looked at the Dutch kickboxing way of setting up heavy kicks with punching combinations and tagging on kicks to punches. I discussed the differences between the Thai round kick and the karate style. Thai emphasises the power coming from the hip rather than the knee, and it also encourages steps rather than pivots. This was followed with 2 x 3 minute rounds of muay Thai pad-work.