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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.


Reactive < Active < Proactive

Everyone can react, some can act, the best can be proactive.


Hashtag something really tough...GRRRR

Warm-up combinations:

  • Jab-cross-double lead kick
  • Jab-cross-lead kick-rear kick
  • Jab-cross-rear kick-lead kick
  • Jab-cross-double rear kick

Pummeling set-ups

  • Stop the biceps of the overhook, arm wrench the underhook, throw an elbow to their head, catch the neck knee, guillotine
  • Knee, lift their leg, penetrate step and ipsilateral inside sweep, groin shot
  • Catch wrist (or redirect with pummeling hand) and pass to arm drag, step to the back while passing their arm further to the a “seatbelt” (contralateral wrist control from behind, ipsilateral control at the elbow). Step between their legs with your leg on the wrist control side and drop to your knee, dragging your opponent laterally to the mat.
  • Block their overhook, drive up with your underhook, step off 45°, lower your level and run them down with the double leg

Guard work against the posturing opponent

  • Your opponent postures with one hand wrapping your lapels at your solar plexus, you can break their grip by pulling your gi laterally like your flashing your opponent.
  • You can cross collar over their grip and then gi drag when they try to stand.
  • You can get a cross collar over their grip, make it deeper by propping on your free elbow, then sit back pulling them forward. Cross grip their posture arm sleeve. Prepare for the arm bar by placing the foot in the hip, if they lean forward to close the line, put your knee over their shoulder and triangle. Push way with your legs to set-up the armor.


$h!t I wish I knew 10 years ago

Closed guard, cross collar and ipsilateral sleeve grip. Open and place the knee shields on the inside. Use the shin on the side you control to break the grip. Pull as you extend this leg so that the knee goes posterior to their shoulder. Place your foot in their hip to abduct and rotate their arm. Spin for the Oma plata by using your opposite foot in their hip and kicking your Oma plata leg to the mat.

If they attempt to feed your foot on their free side between their legs, bring your knee superiorly to you and place the spider guard hook in their cubital fossa. Use this to set-up your Oma plata.

If they stand, get your foot in their hip and your other foot in their cubital fossa. Same collar and sleeve control. Angle your body 45 degrees to the control side. You can ankle pick or Oma plata.


Sticks and Arm Drags May Break My Bones

Double Stick

  1. Right forehand-backhand, left forehand-backhand, right forehand-low backhand-forehand, left forehand-low backhand-forehand
  2. Right forehand-backhand, left forehand-backhand, right forehand-low backhand-forehand, left forehand-low backhand-forehand, right over under post-right forehand-left backhand-right back hand, left over under post-left forehand-right backhand-left backhand

Gi Arm Drag

  1. Cross collar grip, place freehand on mat, use your ipsilateral leg to move hips offline and pull opponent to the mat. Seatbelt grip and pull them to the rear mount.
  2. Your opponent grabs your pant leg ipsilateral to your cross collar grip. Place your palm on their wrist and underhook grip their biceps with the opposite (former collar grip hand), while shifting offline, pull their arm.
  3. Again your opponent grabs the pant legipsilateral to your cross collar grip. Use your ipsilateral hand to grab the superior line of the triceps and pull both at the collar and at the arm.

If your opponents arm doesn’t drag past you but stays across your body, frame and go for oma plata.


From the cross collar and sleeve grip, place your feet in their hips, push back for them to pressure forward. Lift your opponent in the air at the hips with your feet.

  1. Lift them over the same side shoulder you have sleeve and wrist control. Roll with them to take the mount.
  2. Drop the leg that has sleeve control laterally, allowing them to rotate into the armbar position.


Sensitivity as a Combat Attribute

Today I made an appearance at Goshin Jitsu. I hope to make many more. With the beginners we taught basic footwork, forwards, backwards, to the sides, and the rear 90° pivot. The two stepping drills we worked on:

  1. Shuffle retreat, switch retreat, 90° pivot
  2. Circling the mat using any step less than three times in a row, avoiding the blue pads, and trying to catch our team mates

We also introduced kicking, helping each other stretch and turn on the ball of the foot.

With the advanced students, I reviewed the jab range finder I learned at Top Level Gym. This strategy prunes your opponent’s decision tree by throwing the jab, followed by two “range finds” extending the arm and using the palm of the glove to make contact, you step laterally to set-up an outside line. This gives you information, if you cannot reach they are out of range, if you can just reach they can likely be hit by a kick or cross, and if your arm is bent it is likely best to throw a short cross or round knee. If you check their arm and it’s loose you know that it is likely you can push it aside to set up your shot and if they are rigid that they will be more easy to turn.

We did four 2-minute rounds:

  1. Jab-range find-range find cross
  2. Jab-range find-range find rear kick
  3. Jab-range find-range find rear round knee
  4. Any of the above with the holder feeding different energies.



Closed guard, control the cross collar and ipsilateral sleeve. Put the sleeve grip ipsilateral foot into the hip and pivot to the 45 degree angle. Release the sleeve and cross collar choke by grabbing the far shoulder seam.
Same set-up but rather than pivoting bring your other knee inside and create a knee shield. Free your hand from their sleeve and post. Rapidly shift your hips off line laterally while pulling the collar hand to your hip, dragging your partner face first to the mat. If the far hook is open climb on top, if they close it off drag them laterally to the mat. In both cases take the back.
Lastly, open and get the knee shield in place. Now rotate your sleeve grip inferiorly and medially across your body. Now pull the lapel as you push their opposite thigh away. Take the back.

Simplicity. I swear I've never seen this before.


"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.