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Tiip Defense

My muay thai private lesson this week focused mostly on the tiip. We worked it in shadow boxing, covering the tiip’s utility as a countering tool and as weapon to use when your opponent doesn’t move.  The rear tiip is probably more usable as an offensive tool than the lead.  When throwing the lead, the rear foot becomes more perpendicular to the body, either by stepping up or by pivoting.  Now drive the lead leg knee up and seamlessly integrate the extension with the hip thrust.  The knee optimal knee height is important to attain before forward acceleration is initiated.  This is a “push” kick not a foot slap.  We spent the majority of our time working on tiip defense:
  • Lead pass, rear kick: Spring laterally in the direction of your rear foot as you clear the tiip with an inferior and lateral sweep of your lead hand.  Your rear foot should land on the ball, ready to explode into the kick, as the lead hand returns to the guard position.  Spring forward, your rear kick landing as your lead foot contact the mat.  Remember to step laterally enough to generate power.  Drive the knee toward the target, extending the body to allow the kick to whip into the target.  Recover to a ready position.
  • Lead pass, lead kick: Similar to before, spring laterally and clear the kick.  Now switch step, raise the new rear arm to head height, and deliver the kick, again leading with knee to the target.  Remember to extend the base leg and torso.
  • Rear pass, rear kick: Do the perpendicular pivot step while simultaneously using your rear hand (which turns into your lead hand as you pivot) to sweep inferiorly and medially.  Make sure you do a full perpendicular turn, placing your weight deliberately so that you may spring off the ball of the (new) rear foot.  Throw the rear kick.
  • Rear pass, cross: Step 45° diagonal and switch leads, your (new) rear leg drags a little, just to get offline of your opponent’s tiip. Simultaneously sweep your new lead hand inferiorly and medially.  Now throw a quick cross, returning to the guard position at the same time as your legs.
  • Rear pass, rear knee: As above but this time throw the rear knee, remember to pop the hips and extend the body.

Ian and I talked about how important good technique is.  Often in our excitement we want to go hard and fast.  Maybe to impress others, maybe to try to get a good workout, maybe because this what we think combat sports are about.  But untrained hard and fast leads to injury and pain which in turn often causes technical errors and longterm incorrect technique.  Speed comes slowly, technique lasts when it has gone away.