Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Defending Against the Muay Thai Round Kick

It's late, and I should be sleeping - so this will be quick.

There are number of techniques to block or counter the muay thai round kick. The video below outlines only a handful. We shot this in one take over the weekend, so pardon the slop in my technique, but it will give you some ideas of how you can use your angles to completely negate the muay thai round kick.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Dangerous Mistakes Not To Make In a Streetfight

When a person puts their fists up to form a guard to protect themselves from an attacker’s strike, they make the biggest mistakes that will cause them to be ineffective in their self preservation.

Here are the top Five mistakes and the solutions to fix them to give you the edge in a streetfight.

1.) Keeping the hands to close to the face.

When the hands are held to close to the face, an attacker needs to just punch your forearms and fists to make you hit yourself with your own fists.

Now the reason people tend to do this is a fear of being hit in the face and the pain associated with it.

This is a perfectly normal behavior pattern, but it must be overridden when it comes to fighting.

If you keep flinching and closing your eyes, then it will not take long for an attacker to finish you off.

Unfortunately the only way to fix this is to get punched in the face. Have a training partner punch you lightly to the face in different areas.

For example the mouth, eye socket, cheeks, nose etc… this does two things.
First it gets you used to impact and pain. Second it trains you not to flinch and close your eyes.

Start this training with boxing gloves, then progress to just hand wrapped punching then finally bareknuckle.

You can also train the rest of the body to withstand punches by punching different areas of the body.

This will train you to receive impact and having the ability to shrug it off and continue to fight if need be.

This type of training will toughen you up and get you ready to take a punch.

Remember to keep your hands down or behind your back and allow your partner to punch you with a predetermined amount of impact force.

2.) Keeping the arms bent at ninety degree angles.

Due to the fear of being struck, another thing people tend to do is keep the arms bent at about 90 degrees or less.

This faulty tactic will weaken your defenses and allow your adversary time to smash through your forearms, as they collapse into your face and leave you defenseless and open for attack.

The best way to place your forearms is by extending them to about a 45 degree angle. This will help ensure that your forearms will not collapse into your face.

The structures you have created with your forearms become a solid open triangle.

All you will need to do is tighten your forearms muscles slightly to stiffen the structure of the triangle to insure that it will not collapse.

This will also help to keep him away from you, as he tries to close in and attack.

This structure can also be used as an offensive weapon to use against your attacker. By simply stepping forward and driving your forearms into your opponent, you can strike him in his clavicles and possibly break one or both of them.

Depending on how hard he comes in on you is how much damage he will inflict on himself.

He will literally impale himself into your forearms.

3.) Raising the fists too high.

When your fists are held too high in the guard position your elbows will tend to point towards the opponent.

This will cause the angle from which you will strike with your fists to be too high and make your punches ineffective and powerless.

You will be mostly slapping and pawing at your attacker instead of punching him.

Due to the high angle of your elbows your arms will come down like a draw bridge on a castle.

Again this is a very unrealistic way of striking. I am sure you have seen someone who didn’t know how to fight or throw a punch, do it this way.

So what you must do is keep your elbows low, by doing this you will have more leverage to throw a more powerful punch without having to telegraph your strike.

The way to do this is by rolling your shoulders forward and down, like a surgeon getting ready to operate.

Make sure to keep your elbows in front of your hips and not to the sides.
This will help increase the speed of your punches and also aids in breathing deeper.

Not to mention that it helps your abs contract harder and brings more of your bodyweight to your punches.

And lastly with the rolling of the shoulders your ribcage will cover and protect your solar plexus.

4.) Raising the shoulder girdle away from the torso.

Many tend to raise their shoulders to the ear lobes to protect themselves from getting hit from the sides and getting knocked out.

While this method may hold some truth, there is a better way to do this.

What you need to understand is when you raise your shoulders you are lifting the shoulder girdle away from your torso.

If you were to strike from this position you will not punch with very much power.

Also your full bodyweight will not transfer into your punch. And when you do strike your opponent, the harder you hit him the more recoil you will absorb.

Not to mention it will also restrict your breathing and cause you to hyperventilate.

Now let’s fix this by making one simple adjustment. Just roll your shoulders forward and down.

When you do this you instantly attach the shoulder girdle to the torso making you a more solid and powerful striker.

When you punch, you will be bringing your bodyweight with the strike; there will be no recoil as your force will transfer into your opponent.

You will also be able to breathe better and be more relaxed, the more relaxed the faster and more powerful your punches will become.

And the more dangerous a fighter you will be.

5.) Keeping the chin up and the mouth open.

More guys get knocked out or hurt badly not paying attention to these two important potential targets.

Many fighters get caught doing this as the adrenaline starts to flow and they start swinging with gross motor type punches.

Again another reason is the fear of getting hit in the face. The head will get pulled back as they throw their strikes and the chin will be exposed.

Now due to the large amount of energy being expended, heavy oxygen intake will ensue, causing the person to open his mouth to breathe more easily. This is a recipe for disaster.

Now let’s fix these two dangerous habits.

First you need to train to keep your mouth shut and second to keep your chin down.

And one of the easiest ways to do this is by wearing a mouth piece when you train.

Working out with a mouth piece trains you to bite down on your molars which by the way will give you an extra boost of power in your punches, some say by as much as 30 percent, not to mention keeping your jaw set solid when struck.

Also learning to breathe in through your nose and out through your pursed lips or clenched teeth, helps to slow down your heart rate and keeps you from opening your mouth.

Another way that works well is to just breathe in and out through your nose and grunt as you throw your strikes.

You can also try keeping your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth. This will increase the power in your punches, as you train to keep your mouth shut.

Now to train you to keep your chin down just place a small handball or rolled up hand towel or hand wrap and place it under the chin, then start to shadow box or hit the heavy bag or have a partner hold focus mitts while you strike them for time.

If you lift your head up for any reason the object you have under the chin will fall out letting you know that you raised your head and opened yourself up to the attacker.


So there you have it the five dangerous mistakes not to make in a streetfight and how to avoid and eliminate them.

Go over this material and train and practice getting your fighting skills honed to perfection.

The only way to do this is by repetition, repetition, repetition, you must get these skills internalized and getting the reps in, is the only way you are going to do this.

Yes it will take some work on your part but the rewards will be well worth it, trust me.

It must be ingrained in you and become second nature or when the time comes you will revert back to your old ways and possibly set yourself up for some serious damage to your face and head.

These tactics will go a long way to enhancing your fighting ability and give you an edge over your adversary without opening you up to danger.

While these tactics might not fit your typical boxing or kickboxing stand up style of fighting, they do fit perfectly for the street.

Lastly get serious with your fighting skills when you go to the gym and train as you will fight in the streets.

After all you can’t hide in the gym or dojo forever; you have to come out sooner or later.

Daniel Sambrano
“Keep It Simple and Savage”

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drive Kick + Down Kick = Ouch

The muay thai drive kick lets you leverage you weight and momentum to deliver power. The muay thai down kick leverages torque and downward force to deliver power. Now put those two forces together and you have a strike causes serious damage. The video shows the basics of the technique, but here are the main points:

Drive kick:
  • It's used to quickly deliver a muay thai round kick from a distance, covering the distance with a lateral drive.
  • You still have to turn your hips over and pivot - but the pivoting takes place during the drive.
  • Lean forward - keeps the momentum driving
  • Kick through your target
Down kick:
  • Drive down kicks hurt a lot more than standard round kicks, I speak from experience.
  • It's slower than a standard muay thai round kick
  • You have to lift your leg higher - the strike lands downward on the target.
  • The movement of the kick takes the form of an arc.
  • Rotate the hips in a downward diagonal motion
  • When thrown against the front of the thigh it will buckle your opponent at the hips, setting him/her up for elbow strikes or knees into the high chest/throat area.
Its a subtle difference between the the drive and the down drive kick is subtle, you can only really see it by watching how the bag holder's body reacts to the impact.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The ledrit knee: you'll never see it in a UFC match

And why is that? Because most MMA fighters are learning a watered down sport version of mauy thai that their trainer learned at some Master Toddy seminar or maybe at a JKD workshop. The ring style knee is primarily used to wear down your opponent, and to score points, much like body punches do in western boxing. Diesel Noi proved that knees were powerful enough to end a fight.

But what I see from fighters in MMA matches is, in my humble opinion, an utter disservice to muay thai in general. I cringe when I see fighters go for a knock out knee to the jaw. Look at the location of the knee in relation to the face. Do you really think you'll generate that much force and maintain that force 5 to 6 feet high? The knee is meant to drive into the lower abdomen, groin of thighs. Thats the old style muay thai knee. It's meant to buckle your opponent, its your entry into the head/throat strikes that will incapacitate. high, low - that's the secret formula. But I guess until these MMA guys gets a knee full of teeth (no one taught them to turn the head) they'll keep aiming high.

Her's the difference between a ring style/MMA knee and a ledrit knee.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

One of my favorite online martial arts resources

When it comes to martial arts, I'm not a big fan of learning techniques through books or websites. With that said, I have to give credit to StickGrappler (, a fairly comprehensive martial arts knowledge base. The site covers the traditional martial arts as well as the less common systems such as bando and jail house fighting.

The site is basic - devoid of design elements - which is something you can appreciate, especially when you're there solely to reference information. Systems are categorized well and it also includes information on nutrition and conditioning. Although, the muay thai section provides technique outlines, most of them are applicable for the ring. There's info on krabi krabong but nothing I found on ledrit or other traditional muay thai sub-systems.

Stick to the conditioning, nutrition, and street smarts pages as if you practice ledrit or muay chao churd you probably know everything the muay thai section covers.