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"That's NOT Kickboxing!" when your son's second class has made him an expert

Defending the “flying” side kick to the knee (seen more often in MMA as of late):

  • Step back
  • Point the knee
  • Drop the lead leg back to evade, land on your toes and return a kick to the head
  • Step out 45° and circle step to kick the back of their leg

Plum defense

  • On the grip side, bring your shoulder medial and superiorly popping their grip off, inserting your hand inside
  • Overhook by grabbing their neck, pivot your shoulders toward midline

Catching kicks with more panache. Step with the kick, overlooking at the ankle, take a half-step back with your rear leg and drop their heel to the palm of your glove. Keep the leg off-line with your body.

  • Throw across your body and follow with a kick
  • Fake the cross body throw then pull back to the original side and throw their foot this way, follow the a kick
  • Pull their leg straight back as you rotate your hips to throw a head kick
  • Pull their leg straight back as you throw the round knee to the solar plexus, your free hand goes to their face, step forward and throw the elbow
  • Pass their foot to the opposite hand, either step back with your lead leg to reach across their body and trip or step in with your rear leg as you reach across to trip with the contralateral leg to the foot grabbing hand


This is Muay Thai

Off your opponent's jab you are going to set-up elbows. From a high guard, roll your ipsilateral glove to cover half your face, palm toward you. Cover and check with your lead hand.

Check lightly with your lead hand then slap their jab wide and step forward to deliver a straight elbow

Next try slapping their jab inferiorly and laterally with your rear hand, stepping in with the rear horizontal elbow.

If they clinch instead, control their triceps with your lead hand and overhook with your rear hand. Place this hand on their low back and come in close, feet parallel.

If they grab your shoulder with their hand, wrap their arm with your overhook and use this same hand to grab their contralateral biceps, trapping (submitting?) their extended arm. Deliver a sky-to-ground downward elbow.

You can also use your overhook to put your glove on their upper arm. Drag down their arm and throw the rear horizontal elbow.


Over-Under Muay Thai Clinch

The over-under tie up (the original 50/50) is not typically a position associated with much more than the referee separating fighters in Muay Thai. However I have learned differently:

1. Move in the direction of your underhook, trying to get your shoulder into their axillary fossa. Reverse direction and attempt to square up sliding your head to their chest, and under their chin. As they try to reestablish a neutral position, bump your overhooked shoulder and step behind them while controlling their waist.
2. As above but when you step out free them by releasing your hands and stepping backward with the leg ipsilateral to your overhook. Throw the cross or rear kick from here.
3. From the over-under position, push on their ipsilateral hip with your overhook as you grip as high as you can with your underhook. Now push push their hip as you step behind them, place your knee inferior to their near leg. Push their knee with yours as your pull backward with your superior hand and push the hip with the other.
4. Make a committed step forward on the overhook side, place your foot on the floor behind theirs. Drive your opposite shoulder medially and inferiorly to drop them to the floor.



When your opponent has turtled up and you are attempting to attack with a clock choke but your opponent is defending the choke hand. Push their hand down and away from their body, hook it with the leg nearest their head. Pull it laterally and pinch it between your thighs. Reattach your choke hand on the far lapel and roll over your opponent across the shoulder. As you land on your back, cinch the choke and pull your non-choke hand to your head.

If your opponent rears up consider sitting backward to pull them into the crucifix position.

If they wrap the leg closer to their rear, make a tight roll forward to catch them in a kimura, control their legs as quickly as possible to prevent them from rolling out. WARNING: GO SLOW, THIS COMES ON FAST!


Jab Slip Counters

Worked four jab slip counters:

  1. Opponent’s rear hand low, throws jab, slip outside. Your medial hand wraps behind your opponent’s neck far from you, hook with wrist, palm of lateral hand just distal to jab arm deltoid. Step up with your rear leg, then drop step and pivot 90° with your new rear foot laterally from your opponent.  Attempt to put your weight on top of your opponents, shoulder/back. Deliver knee with rear leg to body.
  2. Opponent’s rear hand low, throws jab, slip outside. Your medial hand wraps behind your opponents neck far from you, hook with wrist, palm of lateral hand just distal to jab arm deltoid. Step up with your rear leg and knee with your new rear knee to the medial side of their leg at midline, simultaneously pull with the neck control and push their arm, as your body twists.
  3. Opponent’s rear hand high, throws jab, slip outside. Hug at waist, deliver knees, stepping with foot posterior to opponent behind their leg, bending them laterally away from you, trip over your rear leg.
  4. Opponent’s rear hand high, throws jab, slip outside. Your medial hand wraps at their far waist, palm of lateral hand just distal to jab arm deltoid. Step forward next to opponent, leaving about a fist distance between your shoulders, then pivot 90° toward opponent and deliver downward elbow.


Andre Galvao Passing the Guard Seminar and Coach Los Faixa Preta Promotion


Andre Galvao Seminar

Andre Galvao of ATOS presented a seminar hosted by Impact Zone in Lafayette, IN. Professor Galvao is a top-level competitor yet simultaneously an excellent instructor. Today he presented part of his top game against the open guard and De La Riva guard. One of the key elements of his game is the "leg drag". The leg drag concept is a solution to the problem with clearing the legs and going directly to side mount, your opponent invariably shrimps out and reestablishes guard or half-guard. To remedy this, all the passing we did has a step where your opponents knees are directed away from you and you attempt to control their hips, before going to side mount (or taking the back). In essence you take a step back to get eventually get ahead.

Galvao is similar to other top level competitors in that he does not worry about what his opponent will do, rather he attacks the way he wants pruning the decision tree of responses that he has to deal with. We can all learn that confidence in our game is not arrogance and is necessary to obtain victory.

Open Guard Passing

  1. Simple open-guard leg drag pass: Your partner is seated, back off the floor with feet on the floor. Lower your level and place one hand on the ipsilateral hip and the other on their ipsilateral knee. Push the knee laterally to the floor and circle in the same direction as you push their legs away from you, their knees should switch to being pointed away from you. Now “park the car” by circling behind them sliding your knee nearest their legs between them, stay on the balls of your feet. Your abdomen should pin their hip and your near arm comes over trapping their thigh between your triceps and knee, your “far” hand controls the kimono. If they should try to stop you with their top leg use your hip control arm’s elbow to relieve the hook.
  2. Take the back from leg drag: As above but as your push their legs away from you they shrimp out, “running away” from you. Step the foot nearest their head, superior to their head and spin to their back. Your ipsilateral arm underhooks their arm and grabbing your opposite hand which comes between their neck and mat, over the shoulder to form a seat belt grip. Stay on the balls of your feet, control their shoulder with your chin.
  3. Shin hook pass: As in #1 but this time they attempt to use their bottom leg to hook inside. Step your contralateral foot so that you hook shin-to-shin and push their foot to their butt. Now step your free leg up, with a shin just superior to the hip and pinch your legs around theirs. Post a sit to your butt, in an inverse kesa gatame.
  4. Outside-inside toreador pass: Your partner is flat on their back, pushing gently on your thighs with their feet, grab their ankles, one hand outside and one hand inside, hollow yourself slightly and throw them to your hands open side. Step in, placing your shin hook nearest their legs against their thigh.
We then drilled each of these for speed, one side doing repetitions for time, going through all four passing types.
De La Riva Guard Passing
The De La Riva guard has three ways to grip your opponents leg (1) cupping the heel, (2) controlling the pant leg, and (3) overhooking the leg and grabbing your own thigh. They increase in the difficulty of freeing your leg. One of the keys of passing the De La Riva was to lift the leg that is controlling your hip and pushing the knee down on the hook side, freeing the medial thigh hook.
  1. Shin hook scissor step: Loosen the De La Riva by lifting the straight leg and pushing down on the hook knee. Control the lifted leg and step your free leg back placing a shin hook, their leg is now trapped around your “hooked” leg. Squat to prevent them from sliding up and control both lapels as you slide your trapped leg’s knee laterally and to the floor to free it. Clear the thigh and then move their legs away from you to the leg drag position
  2. Check mark pass (heel cup): Push their straight leg down as you pull your opponent to a seated position, rotate them 90° by pulling their leg through yours and pushing them back flat to the mat. Now knee slide over their thigh as you grab their sleeve with the hand contralateral to the knee slide and drop the lapel control arm to their body to block their knee from creating space. Slide your shin distally between their legs to free it. Get hip to hip then shift toward your opponents hip and legs to get to the leg drag position.
  3. Shin knee slide (pant leg control): Lift their straight leg and push down on the hook knee, move your hooked leg outside of your elbow, drop the knee laterally to the floor, trapping their grip hand under their leg. Use a window wiper to clear the leg, then retrace your steps to the leg drag position. Option 1: simply let them take half guard, option 2: get head control and long step out, or option 3: if they are pushing step all the way around and take the back.
  4. Leg drag (pant leg control): Lift their straight leg and push down on the hook knee, move your hooked leg outside of your elbow and underhook it. Push forward then shift back while passing their legs to the far side, ending in leg drag position.
  5. Stack pass (overhook control): Lift their straight leg and push down on the hook knee, get double under control grabbing their pants at the belt line on the straight leg side and your opponent’s triceps on their overhook side. Pull their posterior upward stacking them on their neck and shoulders. Squat as if your were sitting, placing your free leg behind back. Knee slide over their arm, window wiper to clear, as your opposite arm cradles them and brings them to the mat. If they try to post their free hand on their hip to stop this, grab their wrist and pull it behind their back. If their overhook remains high (or you pull it higher), drop to your hip distal from their head and pull them across your body feet to head to the crucifix position.
And then we drilled, starting from open guard until submission for two minutes then switching. This was followed by starting from De La Riva until first point.
That's a lot of black belts
James Clingerman, Max Burt, Evan Mannweiler, Carlos Soto, Tim Sledd, Andre Galvao, Thabet AT, Mat Stratta, and your humble blogger.


Quick Evasion

A late update:

Rather than doing a two step evasion, sometimes it is necessary to do a quick evasion. Imagine a right triangle in front of your opponent, who is standing inside it, the right angle pointing to your midline. We are going to move both feet off line simultaneously. This will place you on a neutral stance, on the 45° diagonal. To your lead side it is a slide, to your rear side you will have to switch stance and end up in the neutral on the opposite diagonal.

The set-up is off the jab, using the bounce to throw the jab and then retreating, so that you have time to step off.

From either side you can:

  • Throw a short kick or round knee
  • Push their counter off-line and throw the cross, pivoting into your stance as you do
  • Pull their arm down at the elbow, throw horizontal elbow