Fighters are given unwanted advice all the time, so much so that it could disrupt training and shake your self-confidence. . .
“So, when’s your next fight? Do you know when you’re fighting next? When do you fight again?”
People just love asking fighters this question. Unknown to them, though, is the pressure they’re putting on the fighter! When you’re lucky enough to have been put on an upcoming card, that’s when you let people know. Usually, what follows after are pieces of advice, especially during training.
While most of it is coming from a good place, a lot of advice is pretty unfounded – and unnecessary, especially if you didn’t ask for it. Here are the top three (or maybe it should be “bottom three”) pieces of unwanted advice that fighters receive.
An aspect of Muay Thai that is just as essential as being able to kick and punch is knowing how to clinch and knee.
Two Muay Thai fighters of the past and present who dominate using the clinch are Dieselnoi and Yodwicha.
In this article I will try to give an explanation of what a clincher/knee specialist is in Muay Thai also known as Muay Kao or “knee fighter.”
Typically clinching and kneeing go hand and hand.
People with a boxing background tend to get confused when they’re introduced to Muay Thai clinching. In boxing, clinching tends to be a defensive position used to conserve energy rather than expend it. In Muay Thai it’s the total opposite....
Fighting is flow. Positioning enables the flow, it’s
It is a flow between offense and defense, and what enables this flow is positioning. If your posture is off when you’re parrying a punch, your countering well be slow. Your positioning is what enables the fluidity of your movement. Imagine a powerlifter who starts his deadlift with a rounded back. He will be slow off the ground and he will be even slower as the bar moves up.
Consider deeply how each position connects to another. Consider how you will flow from a check to a counter roundhouse kick, from a parry to a rear straight. Learning to flow from position to position is learning how to pass the baton. If you’re in a 4 x 100-meter relay, don’t know how to pass the baton, and end up dropping it, you’re screwed. However, if you do know how to flow from position to position,...
Marcel the Shell: Guess what I want but I’m not gonna beg for it?
Marcel the Shell: A nickname. Because you can’t—you can’t make it for yourself like you can make
yourself a new hair style, but you can’t say well now I go by the name of the general or whatever…
If you haven’t seen Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, go watch it. Now.
Not about quirky animal videos? It’s cool. (You’re missing out.)
Anyway, the little crustacean makes a valid point. You can’t just go out and give yourself a nickname. I was asked to make a list of my top ten favorite Muay Thai fighter nicknames—funny thing is I have been trying to figure out mine for a while now. But as Marcel says, “you can’t make it for yourself like you can make yourself a new hair style…”
So, while friends of mine tried out some on me (Killer Kale, Violence, Watch Out, Ninja...
“The combatant should be alive in sparring, throwing punches and kicks from all angles, and should not be a co-operative robot. Like water, sparring should be formless. Pour water into a cup, it becomes part of the cup. Pour it into a bottle; it becomes part of the bottle. Try to kick or punch it, it is resilient; clutch it and it will yield without hesitation. In fact, it will escape as pressure is being applied to it. How true it is that nothingness cannot be confined. The softest thing cannot be snapped.”
– Bruce Lee
Getting nervous about sparring for the first time?
Make sure to read my 10 Muay Thai sparring tips for beginners – A checklist for your first spar!
Way too often I see fighters go into sparring sessions without any sort of strategy. Most fighters just step into sparring without any tactics, strategies or...
Explosive Muay Thai offensiveness comes from flexible, strong hips. . .
With our culture centered around sitting at work, on the computer, or even during our leisure time, it’s very easy to find yourself having tight hips. When you have tight hips, doing many things feel like a chore – going up stairs, stretching, sometimes even walking. In Muay Thai, having tight hips means you…
1) …are not able turn your hip over properly when kicking.
2) …are not able to push your hips to where you want it to during punching, kneeing, and clinching.
3) …probably have bad balance.
4) …can’t generate enough power with your strikes.
There are many ways to increase hip flexibility, though. All it takes is some work, patience – and time.
Posture is so widely and easily...
If you were to throw and land an awesome technique like the Muay Thai flying knee, you’ll feel like an official badass.
Although this advanced technique may seem difficult at first, if you break it down into a step-by-step movement, you should be able to throw it comfortably and correctly in just a few training sessions!
Learning how to throw a flying knee is cool and all, but make sure when you are fighting you use it sparingly and cautiously since it does leave you open for counters. Although it’s a great surprise attack that can be used to strike your opponents head or body, it shouldn’t be the only technique you focus on during training and fights. Remember – the basics win fights!
There’s a lot that goes into throwing a flying knee...
With a Muay Femur fighter, you are witnessing the technical beauty of Muay Thai. Long-range sniping, clever movements and extreme confidence are hallmarks of the femur style.
Femur (prounounced “fee-meuu”) fighters are the technical fighters every Muay Thai fan thinks of when they think about “beautiful” Muay Thai. These are the fighters that are exciting to watch and you want to emulate their techniques in your own training. Some well-known femur fighters are Saenchai, Sangmanee, Nong-O, Littewada, and Samart.
Femur fighters are slick and have insanely high fight IQ. They have great eyes and use the first round or two to figure out what their opponent’s weaknesses may be. Femur fighters generally look to score, but will go for the knockout if they see it.
The amazing thing about femur fighters is that they’re generally well-rounded – they can use all of...
What style of training do you prefer?
Are you more about the traditional Muay Thai style where the focus is on pad work and clinching?
Or are you more about the Dutch kickboxing style that revolves around partner and sparring drills for the majority of class?
OR are you a hybrid style that includes Muay Thai, kickboxing, MMA, boxing and other martial arts?
It’s important to know the pros and cons of each style so that you’re able to constantly evolve and improve in all aspects of your fight game. In this weeks podcast episode, Paul and I discuss what our favorite styles of training as well as the benefits of each one.
Here’s a brief rundown of what we talk about in this episode:
This style is obviously the most familiar to the audience. It’s primarily endurance based that involves the strict, structured day to day program of running, shadowboxing, heavy...
Low kicks are a vital addition to any striker’s arsenal. Not only do they set up and expose opportunities for strikes, eating one on your thigh is no picnic in itself. . .
The low kick has been a tried-and-true method for damaging opponents and breaking their will in fights. It stops incoming aggressive fighters in their tracks (literally) and starts chipping away at one of the most vital limbs needed for fighting and even standing.
When done properly, the low kick can do a lot of damage. It can serve as the origin of a spectacular TKO. The low kick is familiar to many but not executed to its fullest potential by most. Just how do the best low kickers do it?
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of Muay Thai’s best low kickers and how they use this tool to their advantage.
(Title image credit to Evolve Vacation.)
Like almost all kicks in Muay Thai, there needs to...