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The poetry of footwork is not well suited for words

More footwork today. When I started my lessons at Top Level Gym, I learned the slow, soothing rock step from foot to foot. A gentle rhythm of a swaying cobra, soothing unto lethality. Now, we’ve added the more aggressive darting of a mongoose. Using a 60-40/40-60 rock from lead to rear, we are bouncing in and out of range, the front leg returning to the rear but neither staying in the exact same place. Thus constantly moving getting close enough to strike and then exiting. The stance has become quantum, not static within its structure. Imaging skipping rope, with the a lead leg moving the body into and out of range.

We worked throwing two jabs, then faking the jab by shortening the lead step in, followed by a lead kick (forcing the rear leg to move with the rest of you so that you have a stable, base kicking leg).

We then switched up the two jab fake by dropping the level for a body cross, pivot stepping out at 45 degree angle throwing a hook, finished with a rear kick.


Light Bulb

So after an unholy warm-up of sets of 10 individual then rapid kicks we worked on a series of simple “same-side” combos:

  • Cross-same side kick
  • Same side kick-“simultaneous” cross: that is throwing the cross immediately after the kick lands with your kicking leg in the air. Formalizing what I already do sometimes when the target presents itself right after I’ve kicked
  • “Superman”: Fake the kick, by lifting the knee then winging it inferiorly as you throw the cross

The idea is that is you are throwing opposite, e.g. jab-kick, the breaking of the cycle or rhythm with the cross and same-side kick will be more likely to score.

In order to make this kicking sequence more effective we worked on the step-out bounce. Previously I’ve been rocking foot to foot, but sometimes it helps to bounce foot to foot, bring in the lead foot to the base leg (think Matee’s warm-up at his seminars). Bringing the lead leg back, loads it allowing your to spring forward, switch leads to step back retreat, or to easily reset for tiip or kick.

Years ago I trained for a week in Kyoto Japan. While sparring, I had a number of folks do exactly this to me. It was incredibly frustrating because they could transition into and out of range more rapidly than I could. Having it broken down makes it more easily added to the arsenal.


I still do muay thai...really...

Today’s private lesson focused on the reaction after defending the lead kick:

  • Use the rear leg cover to defend their lead kick, rather than returning the cover leg to its original position, use it to step backward and retreat. Read your opponents reaction. You may have to do this multiple times to read them appropriately.
  • If they stay there, rear leg cover, return the rear kick.
  • If they retreat, step with the lead kick to close, return the rear kick.
  • If they are aggressive, that is step in after each kick but without punching, check the kick with the lead leg, return to your original stance as you throw the cross.
  • If they step in with a cross, rear step with the kick but leave the lead foot in place (a rear slip). Use the lead hand to cup their wrist, keeping your arm parallel with the ground, pull laterally, tipping them forward into your short hook or elbow. Use the sudden twist of your hips, without turning your legs, to increase power.

Always remember to circle out when you get near the ropes to restart the process of pulling them into this game.