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Leg day! Singles and kicks


Opposite lead set-up

Figure 1: If you want to do a single leg and you are in opposite leads, you will need to do a drop pivot step for them to switch leads so that they are mirror with you.

From your wrestling stance, lead hand protecting your lead leg (the most likely one to be attacked) and rear hand to make contact with your opponent (feel their movement). Use the “wristwatch grip”: grab the medial side of the ipsilateral wrist just proximal to the hand. If their lead foot is a mirror image to you, proceed directly to the single (Figure 2). If your leads are opposite, use your rear hand to pull them in a 90° pivot by dropping your rear leg back and keeping your same lead (Figure 1) then proceed to the single as above (Figure 2). Use your wristwatch grip to twist it anteriorly so their thumb is pointed to the rear. This opens the “door" for you to fit your shoulder inside as you step with your lead leg behind their lead leg (creating  shelf behind their lead thigh), with your head on their chest listening to their heart, eyes up. Push with your head and pick their leg up, slide your arms in a guillotine grip at the ankle. Lift up to bend their knee, drawing them closer. Use your far leg to hook their base leg with the bottom of your foot.

Single leg footwork

Figure 2: From mirrored stances, set up the single leg by stepping behind their lead leg.

Once they are one the ground, you can clear the leg and pass to the side mount. Alternatively you can knee or kick their leg, followed by punching to the head with your far hand.


See the Fall 2017 Mokuroku pg 39.


Regardless of the "Rules of Engagement", The Human Body Can Only Move In So Many Ways


Well at least some of them.

Hands - head - forearms - hips are the layers of defense in takedowns. Thus protect the lead leg with your lead hand, elbow at knee height, hand in front of the knee. Keep your head at or below your opponent’s. Use your rear hand to check and range find their head or shoulder. If they do not clear your lead hand it, your arm blocks the takedown with the help of the hip, checking into them perpendicularly.

To do the snap down your rear hand cups the head and the lead hand their elbow pull them down and lateral to your lead leg, using your legs not just your arms. Then double leg them laterally.

If they grab your wrist with their ipsilateral hand pull them across your body and grab their wrist with your free hand while freeing your hand. Pull to the single leg.

Remember that you must be eye-to-eye to engage your opponent, when you are ear-to-ear your are in a stalemated defense. To break this pull them forward, then push their ipsilateral elbow medially to break their clinch.

90° muay thai pivot drills.

Lead pivot: Rear kick, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the lead foot, check hand with your head hand (which will remain lead), pivot to the same stance, cross, lead hook, rear kick. Repeat. The lead pivot is easier but unless your are opposite leads will mean you are pivoting into their power side.

Rear pivot, version #1: Rear kick, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the rear foot, check hand with your rear hand (which will become your new lead hand), pivot to the opposite stance, cross, lead hook, rear kick. Repeat. This allows you to pivot to their weak side but is more complicated because of the lead switch.

Rear pivot, version #2: Rear kick, lead hook, cross, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the rear foot, check hand with your rear hand (which will become your new lead hand), pivot to the opposite stance, rear kick, lead hook, cross, pivot step. Repeat.



Wristwatch Grip

Grab the medial side of the ipsilateral hand palm to the posterior side of their hand, twist it anteriorly so their thumb is pointed to the rear. From here step in next to them shooting the underhook and “popping” their near chest with your shoulder, options:

  1. Reach down with your free hand and then your underhook hand to secure their near leg. Take a step back to “drop them in the hole”.
  2. If they step the foot back to avoid the single leg, drive your underhook up, as you step past them and knee tap the far leg
  3. If they try to whizzer with their overhook, control their head with your free hand, elbow pointed to the mat with your forearm along the neck, a drop step first your near foot (the underhook side) then your rear foot to spin them to the mat.

Later we took this same set-up of striking, using the catch and parry to underhook and do the same takedowns.


Combinations or Combinatorics

Combinations are the closest thing combat sports gets to forms, e.g. kata, poomse, etc. They are phenomenal tools for making "words" out of the alphabet soup of techniques taught. They train form in an engaging manner and work cardio by their repeated application. To fight these combinations must be contextualized and made tactical. They need to be applied with and without rhythm. They must be improvised in the timing and speed they are delivered. Otherwise they doom us to low yield applications of high yield fundamentals.

Tonight we worked the jab-cross-kick or 1-2-kick set-up of the hands, in three ways:

  1. Jab and multiple jab until the cross opens, e.g. corrections to defend the jab open the cross line.
  2. Jab-catch jab-cross: Your jab forces the counter jab opening the line for your cross.
  3. Jab-evade kick-cross: Your opponents provoked response is the tiip or kick,which you evade by clearing or pulling your lead leg back.
Next time we'll review this and delve into the addition of the lead kick.


The Clinch is a Cinch

A private lesson on the clinch. First about the grip:

  • Classic plum position your make your hands two hooks and grab the neck
  • Fist grip: Place the thumb of one fist behind the neck and grab this hand with your opposite hand.
  • Gable grip: Grip palm to palm keeping one forearm across the back of your opponents neck, use this to leverage, e.g. twist down to be able knee to the head.
You can if necessary head pummel in so that your head is under or lateral to your opponent’s chin. This allows you to see where your knees are going.

Pressuring drill

Throw soft hook knees. Your partner pressures into you, either on the left, right, or middle. If they push to one side, drop step away from this side, If they push center, choose a side and drop step. Deliver a knee with the drop step leg.

Knee drop step, knee takedown

Throw a hook knee, place this foot near and lateral to your opponent. Drop step with the opposite foot and throw a knee with this side. Repeat as you move them around the ring. From the hook knee, place your foot next to your opponent and transition into a lunge, bending them backward with your body. Pull with your far hand and push with your near hand over your leg.

Countering the overclinch

You have your opponent in the full clinch, they clinch over your arms. Rapidly elevate the elbow on one side, twisting your body to bring it nearly vertical. This should throw them off you.

Countering the counter to the overclinch

If you are the one clinching over your opponent’s arms and they attempt to do the elbow lift, go limp on that side and pummel inside to get underhooks.


Ian Ransburg Top Level Gym Dragon Leg Style Muay Thai Seminar

Warm-up: 50 jumping jacks

Catching the Kick Series

Range find by rocking up on the toes of your rear leg, straightening the lead leg, extending your lead hand and touching your opponent’s hands. You should be just be able to touch them. This allows you to find them but be far enough out of range to counter.

When you kick your base leg straightens and your posture remains as erect as possible.

Your opponent uses the range finder to set-up the rear kick. Catch this kick at the ankle, stepping with the kick and wrapping your arm over and pulling your hand high on your chest. You will typically try to drop this to your hand and then throw across your body, spinning your opponent’s back to you allowing you to kick them.

They can counter this throw of their leg by squaring up with you, as if they had thrown a tiip and then curling their kicking leg back as if to load another tiip, pulling you forward. They then deliver a tiip to push kick you away.

If your opponent attempts the tiip counter, pull their foot laterally and step medially to it, reaching across to grab the neck and delivering a same side knee. Without letting go of their kicking leg, step forward with your kneeing leg and deliver a same side elbow. Now step back with the knee leg to clear their leg you are holding and throw it to the opposite, spinning their back to you. Deliver a kick.

If they have your tiip grabbed with the mirror opposite hand, roll your foot medially and twist to the floor. Keep your eyes on your opponent and land on the ball of this foot. If they close, throw a rear side/thrust kick, then step away and pivot back to face them.

“Combat Hug” Clinch

Your opponent is using the range finder, as you parry they reach to clinch, tuck your chin and cover with the elbow high. Stop their opposite biceps with your contralateral hand. Put your head on this side as you wrap your high cover arm around their neck, their neck in the antecubit of the arm, your wrist curled around the opposite side of their neck. Square your legs up, your midline in front of their hip on the arm control side. Drop this elbow in to their side. Turn your face away from your opponent.

Put your forehead on their shoulder so you can see their legs. Throw a curve knee on the side opposite your head. As they return the mirror knee, pull on their neck and drop step 45° on this side, return the knee on this side. They throw the opposite curve knee, pull on their arm and drop step 45° on this side. Repeat on the original side.

If you wish to throw your opponent, look for them to throw the curve knee on your arm control side. As they do, pull their neck by twisting your body and drawing the arm inferiorly toward the hip while simultaneously pushing their arm.

To defend this clinch, underhook the arm wrapped around the neck by placing the palm of the glove on their face. Rotate the shoulder and hip forward, locking their arm out. If they retain a grip on the other arm, rotate over the top and deliver knees. Drop step to bring their head down to deliver knees here.

If an opponent is pushing away as above, when you clinch overhook this arm, cinching proximal to the elbow. Take a slight step back, sliding distal to the elbow, and bring your arm medially and superiorly twisting their elbow medially. Pass their other arm underneath this glove and trap it. Now deliver elbows with your free arm.


Escaping the Mount

First, use an upa to move their weight forward. Then push their knee and shrimp your leg free, overhook with this leg in half-guard. Switch to your opposite hip and frame the neck and far biceps. Escape to the guard.

If you cannot move their knee, shrimp way from their leg to create space to bring your knee inside. Switch hips and frame to escape your other leg into hooks inside guard.

If they are defending you pushing their knee, tilt on your hip and bring your leg over to their opposite leg, dragging their foot between your legs. Now push to establish half-guard and then shrimp to guard.

If they grapevine your leg, straighten one rapidly then shrimp out. Alternatively you can push their hook off with your opposite foot. If they cross their ankles, step on them and then shrimp.