One of the most common reasons people get into martial arts is because they watched UFC 1, in which a skinny Brazilian guy in pajamas dominated people much bigger, taller, and stronger than him.
What an inspiration!
Another is because they watched a movie where the little guy kicked the bigger guy’s ass. Bottom line is that we love watching the underdogs beat the giants.
Royce Gracie (the aforementioned "skinny guy") did it through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and, more specifically, grappling, which allows you to more easily shut down and overpower a bigger man.
Can the same be done in a striking art like Muay Thai?
It ain’t easy...
Range Finding: A Case Study
As Sean and Paul covered above, an important key to beating an opponent bigger, taller and stronger than you is to be extremely disciplined and diligent when exiting combinations.
One of the clearest examples of this behavior is ...
Fighting someone taller than you can be very frustrating, especially when you’re not sure what to do to negate the reach advantage your opponent has on you.
Getting jabbed in the nose or front kicked in the sternum is no fun, especially when you’re not able to return fire since you’re out of range.
Fortunately, throughout the history of Muay Thai and other combat sports, there has been a ton of fights where we can learn a lot of strategies, tactics and techniques to overcome a height disadvantage.
There are a few key fight strategies to consider whenever dealing with a taller opponent.
1) Find Your Range
Stay inside or outside your opponents range… not in the middle!
As the shorter fighter, you’re going to want to avoid the middle ground at all costs because that is the range where your opponent’s range will be most...