Why Use Muay Thai Combos?
When training or fighting in Muay Thai Kickboxing it’s important to have an understanding of how to use combinations. As I mentioned in other articles, you can use punches, kicks, knees and elbows. These are your weapons and can be used individually or even better, in combination.
In a regular street fight many people would probably not expect you to throw a piercing knee, or proper round elbow. So, you may be able to end the fight with 1 or 2 attacks without using any sort of combinations. But if you were to come across a more experienced fighter they could very easily counter your single attacks. This makes it important to use your kicks, punches, elbows and knees in combination. Doing so will catch even the more experienced fighter off guard and balance.
So why would you want to force your opponent off balance?
Anytime someone is off balance in a fight it is much easier to land your more powerful attacks because they are not expecting it. You’re gaining the upper hand both mentally and physically. They will usually start crossing their feet, dropping their hands (which you should never do) and even second-guess their next attack.
They’re now on the defensive and you are on the offensive. What sort of combinations would you use?
Attacking All Levels of the Body is Important to Being Unpredictable
In many fights people typically focus on one area of attack, the face. This is a mistake because that’s the one place everyone wants to protect and is usually expecting. This will make it much easier for someone to defend and even counter attack.
So when using combinations make sure you focus on attacking the entire body. Give them an entire assault by throwing a jab to the face, right round kick to the thigh and a left hook to the liver, then clinch and rain the knees on your opponent.
If you’re constantly changing levels with your combinations this will confuse your opponent and leave more attacks open for you.
Benefits of using Combinations
- Wears them down
- Creates more openings
- Keeps them guessing
- Keeps them from attacking you
- Makes them lose their balance
- Help to create angles
- Creates frustration
- Looks awesome when you can throw tons of combinations in Muay Thai
What should I do to include these types of combinations so that way I do them naturally?
1. Shadow box
When you shadow box do not just throw throw punches. Use all of your attacks and mix them up. You may feel a little lost at first but with practice you will get much better and mixing it up.
2. Shadow box with a partner
Shadow boxing with a partner will give you a great visual as to where you are throwing your combos. Make sure that you and your partner are at a safe distance from each other and you can use different parts of their body as a target without actually touching them. This will also give you a good idea of how to use your combinations and setup for better attacks.
3. Work on technique not how fast you are going
It is important for you to get proper technique down before you try to speed things up. If your partner is a little more advanced than you don’t worry about it. Just stay sharp and go at a pace you feel most comfortable.
4. Hit heavy bags
Make sure you are always getting bag work in. You want to use the heavy bag and visualize it as if it were a person you are fighting. Once again you want to use all of your weapons on the heavy bag and constantly work on different combinations, not just one. Pay attention to your footwork and defense as you are working, because a lot of people start drilling the bag and forget all about their proper Muay Thai Stance and defense.
5. Try not to use too much power when you strike
We want to throw power strikes obviously, but when your first learning worry about how good your technique is, then power. This will prevent you from getting tired too quickly. Practicing tired will cause bad form when first learning new attacks and combinations. So TAKE YOUR TIME! Make sure to use the clinch too!
Use The Muay Thai Clinch Too!
In Thai boxing, it isn’t like boxing or kickboxing where you get ripped away from the clinch. We use the clinch as a weapon in Muay Thai. From the clinch, it would be very difficult to throw punches and kicks that have a lot of power. Instead, you should throw elbows and knees constantly with good form. Once you start working with a partner you will see how easy it is to disrupt their balance from the clinch.
When working the clinch, try to remember not to go in with both hands at once. You should always start with the leading hand and then using the back hand to follow up. Your hands should be on the crown of the head so the person can not easily lift his or her head up.
To work this in with your combinations start off by maybe throwing punches and then crash in for the clinch. Breathe every time you throw a strike and stay loose and relaxed.
Til next time,
–Kru Jose’ Villarisco–
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