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Play or play not, do not try

Having finally foiled the conspiracies of the holidays, work, and aberrant weather I made it back to a muay thai private.  Ian has been trying to teach me to relax.  One of the concepts he uses is that of play, like tag, don’t try the technique, play it.

We reviewed and warmed up with shadowboxing, looking at my movement and striking.  On the thai kick, I need to keep my weight evenly distributed so that after I throw it and miss I land with my weight evenly balanced between my feet.  This way I can push off my rear (kicking) leg and land on the ball of my lead leg to pivot back toward my opponent.

We then worked on flowing into kicks, using a jab-cross-hook combination to close, then stepping away and going either left or right to the kick:

  • Jab-cross-hook, shuffle back (rear leg moves first), flow step in the lead direction around the bag pushing/checking with the lead hand twice and then without changing tempo or range, throwing the rear kick.
  • Jab-cross-hook, roll step to the opposite lead, flow step in the new lead (former rear) direction around the bag.  Again push/check with the new lead hand twice and then, also without change in tempo or range throw the rear kick.

This, of course, uncloaked an inadequacy in my hook: I slap like a prepubescent girl.  So Ian made me increase my range to the bag, I tend to shorten punches rather than extending them, I can reach the bag with more power on the hook, by snapping the hip rotation, driving the hook a few inches by arm, but a few feet by this rotation.  The 90° frame of the hook remains intact, it is the quick synchronous, rotation of the hips and shoulders, that delivers power through speed.

Ian also pointed out a good way to work on the very balanced style he teaches is by alternating leads and doing the same combinations in shadowboxing, transition from lead to lead by pivoting and roll stepping.


Maximus Sweep Series

I had the pleasure of rolling with Max Burt of Muncie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tonight.  He swept me with his sweep series, so of course I had to ask how he did it:

  • Lat load sweep: Obtain cross arm control and pull across your body, reach your ipsilateral arm to grip their far lat just inferior to their axilla, or if you can lapel wrapping it inferior to the axilla.  Free your opposite arm and post the elbow on the floor, keep your torso tight to their arm so they cannot retreat and escape the sweep.  The foot on the ipsilateral side as your lat control arm, goes to the floor, blocking their leg.  Use this post and your elbow to lift, using the lat control to pull them forward and then sweep them over the shoulder of their crossed arm.
  • Extension sweep:  If they block the sweep above, by posting up with their leg, undertook the arm opposite, pulling it straight and extending past your head,  now kick with your posted leg, using the thigh against their flank to sweep them laterally over the side with the extended arm.
  • Take the back fake:  If they’ve shut down both the above sweeps, work toward the back (cross arm side), your trail leg foot hooks their far thigh at the knee.  Kick your free leg across their back, perpendicular to their body, this should make them roll and if not, take the back.

Max also showed me a sweep from 50/50 guard, grab the lapel on the grape vined side with your opposite hand, obtain ipsilateral sleeve control with your other hand. Pull your opponent toward you as you shift your legs to the outside, rolling your inside knee to the floor, but preventing your opponent from going belly down.  Free their leg and move it to the opposite hip, now hip switch out and take the back.