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Regardless of the "Rules of Engagement", The Human Body Can Only Move In So Many Ways


Well at least some of them.

Hands - head - forearms - hips are the layers of defense in takedowns. Thus protect the lead leg with your lead hand, elbow at knee height, hand in front of the knee. Keep your head at or below your opponent’s. Use your rear hand to check and range find their head or shoulder. If they do not clear your lead hand it, your arm blocks the takedown with the help of the hip, checking into them perpendicularly.

To do the snap down your rear hand cups the head and the lead hand their elbow pull them down and lateral to your lead leg, using your legs not just your arms. Then double leg them laterally.

If they grab your wrist with their ipsilateral hand pull them across your body and grab their wrist with your free hand while freeing your hand. Pull to the single leg.

Remember that you must be eye-to-eye to engage your opponent, when you are ear-to-ear your are in a stalemated defense. To break this pull them forward, then push their ipsilateral elbow medially to break their clinch.

90° muay thai pivot drills.

Lead pivot: Rear kick, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the lead foot, check hand with your head hand (which will remain lead), pivot to the same stance, cross, lead hook, rear kick. Repeat. The lead pivot is easier but unless your are opposite leads will mean you are pivoting into their power side.

Rear pivot, version #1: Rear kick, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the rear foot, check hand with your rear hand (which will become your new lead hand), pivot to the opposite stance, cross, lead hook, rear kick. Repeat. This allows you to pivot to their weak side but is more complicated because of the lead switch.

Rear pivot, version #2: Rear kick, lead hook, cross, your opponent with step toward you, while you step 45° anterior laterally with the rear foot, check hand with your rear hand (which will become your new lead hand), pivot to the opposite stance, rear kick, lead hook, cross, pivot step. Repeat.



Wristwatch Grip

Grab the medial side of the ipsilateral hand palm to the posterior side of their hand, twist it anteriorly so their thumb is pointed to the rear. From here step in next to them shooting the underhook and “popping” their near chest with your shoulder, options:

  1. Reach down with your free hand and then your underhook hand to secure their near leg. Take a step back to “drop them in the hole”.
  2. If they step the foot back to avoid the single leg, drive your underhook up, as you step past them and knee tap the far leg
  3. If they try to whizzer with their overhook, control their head with your free hand, elbow pointed to the mat with your forearm along the neck, a drop step first your near foot (the underhook side) then your rear foot to spin them to the mat.

Later we took this same set-up of striking, using the catch and parry to underhook and do the same takedowns.


Combinations or Combinatorics

Combinations are the closest thing combat sports gets to forms, e.g. kata, poomse, etc. They are phenomenal tools for making "words" out of the alphabet soup of techniques taught. They train form in an engaging manner and work cardio by their repeated application. To fight these combinations must be contextualized and made tactical. They need to be applied with and without rhythm. They must be improvised in the timing and speed they are delivered. Otherwise they doom us to low yield applications of high yield fundamentals.

Tonight we worked the jab-cross-kick or 1-2-kick set-up of the hands, in three ways:

  1. Jab and multiple jab until the cross opens, e.g. corrections to defend the jab open the cross line.
  2. Jab-catch jab-cross: Your jab forces the counter jab opening the line for your cross.
  3. Jab-evade kick-cross: Your opponents provoked response is the tiip or kick,which you evade by clearing or pulling your lead leg back.
Next time we'll review this and delve into the addition of the lead kick.


The Clinch is a Cinch

A private lesson on the clinch. First about the grip:

  • Classic plum position your make your hands two hooks and grab the neck
  • Fist grip: Place the thumb of one fist behind the neck and grab this hand with your opposite hand.
  • Gable grip: Grip palm to palm keeping one forearm across the back of your opponents neck, use this to leverage, e.g. twist down to be able knee to the head.
You can if necessary head pummel in so that your head is under or lateral to your opponent’s chin. This allows you to see where your knees are going.

Pressuring drill

Throw soft hook knees. Your partner pressures into you, either on the left, right, or middle. If they push to one side, drop step away from this side, If they push center, choose a side and drop step. Deliver a knee with the drop step leg.

Knee drop step, knee takedown

Throw a hook knee, place this foot near and lateral to your opponent. Drop step with the opposite foot and throw a knee with this side. Repeat as you move them around the ring. From the hook knee, place your foot next to your opponent and transition into a lunge, bending them backward with your body. Pull with your far hand and push with your near hand over your leg.

Countering the overclinch

You have your opponent in the full clinch, they clinch over your arms. Rapidly elevate the elbow on one side, twisting your body to bring it nearly vertical. This should throw them off you.

Countering the counter to the overclinch

If you are the one clinching over your opponent’s arms and they attempt to do the elbow lift, go limp on that side and pummel inside to get underhooks.