Muay Thai: Leg Feint/Leg Fake Series

1. Attacker throws leg kick. Defender takes the kick, leaning forward to raise point of impact.

2. Attacker throws leg kick. Defender shields.

3. Attacker fakes leg kick so that defender shields, then steps in with right leg, out with left and kicks defender’s back leg up at 45 degree angle. This is the “submarine” kick.

4. Attacker feints step out to side so that defender begins to shield. Attacker waits until defender’s shielding leg drops to the ground to kick it at a 45 degree angle with left leg.

5. Attacker raises leg to fake leg kick so that defender begins to shield. Attacker leans in to post and pushes defender back, and quickly steps in with right foot, out with left and leg kicks the defender, trying to hit the defender while the defender is backpedaling.

6. Attacker throws a rear leg kick toward defender’s front shin, aiming to hit with instep of foot (like kicking hackey sack), then hops forward on left leg while right leg is still in the air, throwing a cross at the defender while extending rear leg back at the same time. Attacker should land at an angle to the defender and immediately retreat into fighting stance.

7. Attacker fakes a leg kick so that defender shields, then in mid-fake pulls knee to chest and throws a push kick, aiming to hit the defender while they are standing on one foot.

8. Attacker aligns lead leg with defender’s body, then throws leg kick so that defender shields. Attacker steps into the kick, planting the right foot and leaning the front shoulder down slightly as attacker turns body to the left. Attacker performs a sweat-wiping motion with left forearm as they turn, leaning toward the defender so as to strike with the spinning elbow. Defender should shield for the kick and then cross hands in front of head, away from head, to receive the elbow.

Note: I need to clarify with Kru Joe the difference between a feint and a fake, and also whether this series is called the Leg Feint or Leg Fake series. I’ll update this post after I find out.

Updated 9/21/12 after helpful comment from Alaia–thanks!

Muay Thai: Boxing Practice

1. Jab + Jab + Cross in place
2. Jab + Jab + Cross while advancing forward: for the cross, make sure to stomp the right foot when advancing with the cross. The stomp will provide a counterbalance and keep you from throwing too much weight forward.
3. Jab + Cross + Hook + bob under return jab + Cross

Muay Thai: Leg Catch Series 1-5

Leg Catch Series 1-5 (of 8)

1. Attacker throws right body kick. Defender catches and posts, steps in and throws cross to the head, then throws the leg.

2. Attacker throws right body kick. Defender catches and posts, lifts left knee high (perhaps kneeing opponent’s thigh) then stomps forward into a right knee while still maintaining the post, then throws the leg.

3. Attacker throws right body kick. Defender catches and posts, throws the leg, and throws a right head kick at the attacker, who pull steps (? verify this).

4. Attacker throws right body kick. Defender catches and posts, then kicks the attacker’s supporting ankle with defender’s right leg. This strike aims to kick the attacker’s supporting foot out from under them. In practice, defender strikes the attacker’s shin and then throws the leg away as with the earlier combos.

5. Attacker throws right body kick. Defender catches and posts, raises left knee parallel to ground as shelf while swinging left arm straight up and back in order to grab the trapped leg from underneath, then throws a cross at attacker’s head. Attacker ducks under the cross, but defender clasps the crown of attacker’s head and throws a right knee, and while knee is returning back, defender should in the same motion push the attacker’s head to their supporting shin while lifting the trapped leg so as to roll the attacker backwards.

Train Hard, Fight Easy (I)

I’m feeling like I’m back at unconscious incompetence again, which is a bit disconcerting but at the same time good because it’s one of those indicators that I’m learning some new things.

How do I become a better fighter? After I fix the list above, break bad habits and build good ones, where will I be then? What kinds of things am I overlooking entirely, that are vital to my development?

And where do I go from here in terms of training? Now that I’ve undergone my second evaluation and entered the bottom ranks of Level 2, I think I’m only now really beginning my Muay Thai training, or so Master Ace had said to us all during the KRU Expo. From the 4-3-2-1 Drill that I was taught today, I’m starting to see a difference in focus between Level 1 and Level 2, which is to say an emphasis on defense and avoidance. The first 2 parts of the 4-3-2-1 are a mix of shielding against leg kicks and avoiding the body kicks, whereas all of the Level 1 Combo is about contact–the striker punches and occasionally covers, but there is no avoidance. Hopefully I’m not reading incorrectly into that…I’ll ask KRU Joe or Master some time to find out.

I’ve been considering upgrading my membership to KRU’s Elite program, which would allow several benefits over my current membership status. The biggest problem that I’m facing is really the 36 month commitment required to lock in the deal, and this is an issue because of where I am (or aren’t) in life right now.

The way I think of it, the biggest thing keeping me from upgrading my contract is because I don’t know when my employment will change. If I move out of state, then the contract can be annulled easily…but if I only move within state, I’d still be locked into the 24 or 36 month plan, unless I pay the contract termination fee.

The parts of KRU Training that prompted me to sign up are all still here, I think. The knowledgeable instructors, friendly (for the most part) students, and the solid curriculum make KRU in my mind one of the best places I could be learning Muay Thai. I almost wish it could be easier for me to just commit to another 2 or 3 years, as I have no doubt it’d be good for me health-wise, provided I can avoid serious injury in the Level 2 classes.

What am I getting at here? Pretty much that as much as I’ve been enjoying classes at KRU and as much as I’ve been learning there, the training doesn’t feel like my calling, and I’m more determined than ever to find that as soon as I can.

How do I reconcile my strengths in order to find a profession or job where I can genuinely contribute to the greatest of my abilities?

I appreciate the martial arts, but I think that I’ll have a greater capacity for enjoyment of it after I can sort out this portion of my life.

Lessons from KRU Evaluation 2

My second KRU Evaluation was even more useful to me than the first one as far as highlighting to me the areas where I need the most work–and need a lot of work, I do.

Goals and Areas to Fix:
1. Leaving myself wide open before my kicks–dropping hands lower or leaving chest open when stepping in for kicks.
2. Tilting my head as I punch.
3. Lifting rear leg when throwing a cross.
4. Overcommitting to certain strikes, which leads being off-balance.
5. Still being too tense overall.
6. Not having a balance between a relatively relaxed guard versus fast & hard striking.
7. Standing in front of an opponent after finishing a combo instead of immediately circling away (to the opponent’s weaker side) and continuing to remain in motion
8. Being too eager to strike–when working with padholder, I must follow their timing.
9. Learn to change the pace of my striking as appropriate, especially if a partner is signalling strikes.
10. Not be “robotic” when striking–instead, be able to flow from one strike to the next.

Having written a few vague goals above, I should really drill down deeper to write some objectives and to make those goals “SMART”. I think I’ll leave that for a soon-to-come day at Starbucks or B&N.

Muay Thai: 4-3-2-1 Drill, First Part

The 4-3-2-1 Drill consists of 4 parts:

4 Leg Kicks:
1. Attacker steps out to the left with lead leg and throws a leg kick aimed at defender’s front leg. Defender raises left shin and shields.
2. Attacker steps left with lead leg as a fake, then immediately steps out right with back leg and throws a leg kick at defender’s back leg. Defender shields with right shin.
3. Attacker performs switch step, then stepping out to the right with right leg and kicking towards defender’s inner thigh. The defender cross-shields with left shin, pointing left knee across their body.
4. Attacker steps wider out to right with right leg and throws another lift kick with left leg. Defender rides this kick, allowing it to lift their lead leg back.

3 Body Kicks:
1. Defender had previously rode the lift kick, allowing their left leg to lift up and plant behind them. Defender immediately steps out with right leg and throws a body kick. Previous attacker rides this kick to their left.
2. Defender throws a right body kick. Attacker scoops this to their right, allowing defender to spin around.
3. Coming out from the spin, defender throws a body kick with their left leg. Attacker catches this, posts, and throws.

2 Push Kicks:
(Not yet learned)
-Looks like after attacker throws the defender’s final body kick, the attacker throws a push kick, then another, which the defender dodges using #4 footwork, to get to the attacker’s blind side. Attacker steps back twice to create distance, while defender mirrors their steps.

from Carlos, 3/22: after attacker throws defender’s final body kick and while the defender is spinning around, the attacker throws a right push kick, landing forward. Defender draw steps to avoid it. Attacker throws a left push kick, which the defender scoops to their left, causing attacker to land forward on left leg, with defender standing at an angle to attacker.

1 Head Kick:
(Not yet learned)
-(maybe this starts from the attacker stepping back 2x to create distance) Looks like defender throws a head kick while attacker does a “pull step”, leaning toward their back leg and dropping lead hand so as not to get pulled down with the head kick.

from Carlos, 3/22: Attacker retreats two steps while defender advances, mirroring footwork. Attacker performs a pull step, leaning away from opponent and dropping lead hand while defender throws a head kick. Immediately afterward the attacker and defender switch roles, with the new attacker initiating with 4 leg kicks.

Tips from KRU Joe:
-The first two leg kicks should be aimed at a fist above the defender’s knee.
-When the attacker steps in for the first leg kick, they should make sure that their head is away from center, and that their lead leg is bent, making them slightly closer to the ground.
-The last leg kick is like winding up to kick a soccer ball–stepping long right and lift kicking with left leg.

Pendulum kick, from Master:
1. Stand square facing opponent.
2. Extend left hand and turn body towards the right, faking a recovery
3. Skip left foot to where the right foot is, and once left foot plants the right leg comes around for a kick aimed at back of opponent’s quads.

Muay Thai: Level 1 Combo Glove vs. Glove

Yellow Rank needs to know this for testing.

1. Both the striker and receiver wear gloves.
2. Striker advances while throwing the Level 1 Combo, while receiver parries and covers each strike as appropriate. Receiver should also throw their own counter strikes during the correct parts of the combo.
3. Receiver should ride the striker’s body kick, stepping long to the side, then the striker will catch the receiver’s return kick and perform the final part of the Level 1 combo.

Tuesday Muay Thai: Clinch Knees

1. Step + step + raise rear knee high, pivot on front ball of foot to bring that rear leg forward
2. Repeat with right leg lead.
-When raising rear leg, lead with knee, point toe downward, keep body straight

1. Facing backward, step back + step back + raise front (left) knee high, pivot on back ball of foot to bring front leg to the back.
2. Repeat with right leg lead.
-same form as with previous drill: raise knee as high as possible, keeping toe pointed down, and body straight and balanced when pivoting.

1. Facing forward, step + step + raise rear leg and bring to front (ending with right leg lead).
2. Step + step + raise rear leg and bring to front (ending with left leg lead).
3. As you land from the previous step, pivot on your feet to face backward, then step backward + step back + raise front leg high and bring to back.
4. Repeat previous step, but after landing pivot to face front.
5. Repeat drill.

1. Jab + right knee
2. Cross + left knee
3. Jab + right body kick
4. Cross + left body kick

Entering for a clinch knee
Both arms extended: high hand out in front, elbow bent, forearm toward partner; low hand close to stomach
-this signals partner to clear the high hand with their closest hand, use other hand to grab back of opponent’s neck, and step in for a straight knee
-this knee strike should also push the opponent backward, setting the attacker up for a follow-up
-when clearing the opponent’s high hand, clear it in the best way, which is to move it away from their body so as to allow you to knee unimpeded.
1. Jab + right knee + (right step into) left body kick
2. Cross + left knee + (left step into) right body kick

-never throw a knee in isolation now–always execute a follow-up

Complete Straight Knee Progression

Straight Knee Progression
1. Jab + left stomp into right knee
2. Jab + cross + right stomp into left knee
3. Jab + cross + hook + left step out into power right knee
4. Jab + cross + hook + cross + switch-step, left back then right forward, into left knee

Reminder from Kru Joe:
-The timing of your knee strikes should follow the same timing as a “jab, cross.”

I’ve realized that I still have a lot of work to do in order to be ready for the next evaluation. Now that I know the sequence of strikes for, say, the straight knee progression, the point that I need the most work on is conditioning and coordination, meaning that I need to be able to perform the strikes with proper form, and more than just several times in a row. Have to push harder.

Homework from Kru Joe was to practice standing on one foot in front of something you can hit, other foot held behind you with your hand from the same side, then push that knee forward while leaning back, chin down, until the knee touches the surface in front of you. You should be rising up on the ball of your base foot when you thrust your knee forward. Perform this exercise 100 times for both the right and left knees, and practice this every day.

Level 1 Combo Review and Last KRU Combatives Trial Class

Level 1 Combo Review
-drilled Level 1 combo

-jab + cross lightly while maintaining form. When Kru Joe says “go”, start punching with power, maintaining good form.

-This burnout was pretty tiring, meaning it was effective. I’ll have to try practicing it on the side with some training buddies more often to get us used to the feeling of barely being able to punch or hold pads up.

KRU Combatives Class
-hubud drilling to warm up

Inside stop of number 1 strike:
1. Start with hubud drill and initiate this maneuver during an opponent’s number 1 strike.
2. Step in with right foot and jamming opponent’s strike using palms of both hands, left hand close to opponent’s wrist and right hand on opponent’s bicep to control their upper arm.
3. Left hand grabs opponent’s wrist and blade of right palm slides down the opponent’s bicep, turning right hand from facing down to up as it ends in crook of opponent’s elbow. Your left hand is pulling your opponent’s wrist toward your own pocket while your right hand is making a “J”-like motion, and you perform this all in one movement by sinking your weight down as you pull. If done correctly, your opponent’s head should jerk forward and/or their other foot should step forward to absorb shock.

Outside stop of number 1 strike:
1. Start with hubud drill and initiate this maneuver during the “pass” part of your hubud drill.
2. As you pass the opponent’s striking hand over your head, step out with left foot to get close. As you’re stepping, grab the opponent’s wrist with your right hand and then perform the same downward jerk, with your right hand on opponent’s right wrist and left hand raking down their bicep to end in the crook of their elbow.

Transitioning from outside to inside stopping of number 1 strike:
1. Opponent strikes with number 1 strike.
2. Immediately step in with right foot for the inside jam, then pass their striking hand under.
3. As soon as opponent’s hand is free, the opponent attacks with a number 2 strike.
4. As opponent strikes, step in with left foot to the opponent’s outside, keeping your body facing theirs, and block right hand facing inward (protecting veins in case of knife) at their wrist level, and left hand on opponent’s bicep.
5. Repeat this drill several times, maintaining good form.
-The footwork for the above is the same as the rompido footwork from side to side.

Flipping enemy after jamming their strike:
1. Opponent strikes with number 1 strike.
2. Step in with right foot for the inside jam, making sure to strike hard and fast.
3. Transition immediately into the pull-down–if this is done correctly, not only should you jerk your opponent’s head down, but they’ll also step forward, setting you up for the next step.
4. For the drill, the right arm will be coming up to the opponent’s chest/neck level as the left hand pulls the opponent’s right (if right leg is lead) towards you while you drive forwards towards their weakest point.
5. If the opponent’s right leg is not close to you, you can immediately switch tactics by switching the positioning of your arms–your left arm goes high to opponent’s neck, right arm aiming to grab their leg, and driving forwards towards the opponent’s weak point.

Tips from Master:
-The important practice here is to develop recognition, that the number 1 strike you are blocking can be a knife strike, a wide punch, a cross, a kick, or whatever–with recognition, you can train the same kind of response to deal with the incoming strike.