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Standup Technique Jab, right hook, left cross... is it really that hard? Talk about it here.

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Old 10-31-2013, 11:28 AM   #1
VicariousVice

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A few questions about how Nak Muay apply their techniques.

First of all, I'm not going to pretend I know what it's like to be in there. I do screw around with techniques, almost all of which I've picked up merely from observing fights, reading books and watching instructionals. I've yet to receive any formal training in Muay Thai at a local gym or anything(but I have come from a TKD background, so I have a good grasp of the fundamental kicks) and I do have plans to sign up at a local gym once I have healed up from a couple of injuries and I have the money to do so.

Having watched what I'd say is my fair share of Muay Thai fights, I'm curious about the way they apply their techniques. Namely, I'm curious about why you rarely see a lot of combinations thrown from most fighters? Like, why do they mostly throw single strikes at a time? Boxers and Kickboxers are often known for the combinations they throw. Nak Muay however seem to not follow this mindset. Does it merely have to do with the number of techniques they have at their disposal as well as the number of ranges? Also, I'm curious as to why when at kicking range, most fighters seem to almost exclusively throw body kicks when they know there's a very good chance the opponent will catch these kicks? Seems very predictable and dare I say an un-intelligent(no offense intended) plan of attack.

I remember watching a Samart Payakaroon fight several months back where he used his powerful teeps to keep his opponent at bay and then used his boxing to knock him out(I love seeing this plan of attack) why do we not see many guys mix it up like this? I'm aware that, because of the judging criteria, punches are the lowest scored, and that kicks and knees are scored highest. But, given the vast number of techniques available to a Nak Muay, why is it that we rarely see a varied attack outside of the usual body kickers and clinchers? Have I simply been watching the wrong fights/fighters? If so please direct me to guys who fight outside of the norm. I very much enjoy cerebral fighters who think outside of the box when they apply their techniques.

Sorry if I come off as quite ignorant, but that's why I post on here, because I want to learn about these kinds of things and to avoid making my own assumptions.

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Old 10-31-2013, 12:22 PM   #2
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who have you been watching?

and it's going to be difficult to grasp concepts and techniques without formal training...i'd say to fully understand the techniques and why you do this or that, you're gonna need to be trained...not off books, video clips, and the likes

but then judging from your list of fighters in your sig, i can see where you're coming from...you've been more exposed to the kickboxers who love the combos and the likes.

i have all these thoughts in my head, but havne't had my morning coffee yet...there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this board that could possible explain better

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Old 10-31-2013, 12:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaiym View Post
who have you been watching?

and it's going to be difficult to grasp concepts and techniques without formal training...i'd say to fully understand the techniques and why you do this or that, you're gonna need to be trained...not off books, video clips, and the likes

but then judging from your list of fighters in your sig, i can see where you're coming from...you've been more exposed to the kickboxers who love the combos and the likes.

i have all these thoughts in my head, but havne't had my morning coffee yet...there are a lot of knowledgeable people on this board that could possible explain better
I subbed to LiveMuayThaiGuy's channel. I used to watch a lot of his fights. Now I just watch random ones, sometimes from his channel, sometimes from recommendations YouTube gives me. Trust me, outside of the top guys like Saenchai, Sudsakorn, Kem, etc I don't know any of their names really. So I couldn't tell you.

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Old 10-31-2013, 01:39 PM   #4
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Those are good observations and not a bad question at all. I have trained for years, helped train others, and trained in Thailand on a couple of occasions. In Thailand you are expected to fight a certain way which is the traditional Thai way. If you ever make it over there and see lower level fights like at Bangala Boxing you may see a Thai and a European or better yet two Europeans. Fighter A may seem like he kicked the crap out of the other fighter however if he didn't do it with the Thai Style he will still loose a judges decision. Right or wrong that is the way it is and that is why you see the attacks you do. Another thing to remember is for the most part (there are exceptions) techniques are thrown for max damage aka full power, not many set ups used.

Hope this helps and good luck finding a school!

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Old 11-03-2013, 09:29 PM   #5
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I too come from a TKD back round, and have been doing MT now for about 9 months. I also thought that MT fighters were "unimaginative" with their attacks, using few punch combos, and only low and middle roundhouse kicks.

I recently (yesterday) competed in my first MT match. With my limited experience, I will take a guess at your question:

1) TKD is usually done by points. This opens the door for all kinds of fast, unpredictable techniques that probably won't do a lot of damage. However, in a match with full contact rules, those techniques become a largely useless drain on energy. Instead, energy is conserved and each strike launched with damaging/knockout power.

2) Traditional Thai rules don't reward non-Thai techniques. This means that unless you really hurt them or knock them out, there's no reason to throw a spinning hook kick.

3) Knees are really dangerous. This I think is what prevents some of the close-in hand combos; fear of getting kneed in the sternum. This isn't to say that a great boxer can't land a punch to the jaw faster than a knee can be thrown, but it's a lot harder to land a knockout shoot with fists than it is to impale someone with your knee - especially if the arms are kept high, protecting the head.

4) High kicks are easy to block. This is related to the very last point of high hands. Notice that a lot of traditional MT fighters keep their arms very high, almost to the point of exposing their midsection. This makes high kicks very easy to deflect or block - and counterattack. This is in stark contrast to a lot of TKD fighters who have their arms by their sides.

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VicariousVice View Post
I subbed to LiveMuayThaiGuy's channel. I used to watch a lot of his fights. Now I just watch random ones, sometimes from his channel, sometimes from recommendations YouTube gives me. Trust me, outside of the top guys like Saenchai, Sudsakorn, Kem, etc I don't know any of their names really. So I couldn't tell you.
Well you have Saenchai, probably the most cerebral fighter in MT. Have you watched Sam A? Regarded as one of the most techically sound fighters of recent times. For someone who throws more low kicks and boxing combos watch Pornsanae. For a really technical farang (best ever imho) watch Dany Bill. I think you'll appreciate his style. Then watch his bout vs. Sakmongkol to see why the thai style of clinching works so well against slick kick boxers like Dany. And you didn't mention arguably the greatest Nak Muay of all time, Samart. He had a mixed repertoire of attacks and world class hands.

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by limejuicepowder View Post
I too come from a TKD back round, and have been doing MT now for about 9 months. I also thought that MT fighters were "unimaginative" with their attacks, using few punch combos, and only low and middle roundhouse kicks.

I recently (yesterday) competed in my first MT match. With my limited experience, I will take a guess at your question:

2) Traditional Thai rules don't reward non-Thai techniques. This means that unless you really hurt them or knock them out, there's no reason to throw a spinning hook kick.
This isn't really correct. The spinning hook kick is actually a thai technique as well. The reason you don't see them is because they are high risk low percentage.

Punching isn't scored that highly unless it has a visible damaging effect because of the pillows on the hands and low kicks are also not seen as that damaging relative to attacks to the body.

The techniques don't have to be traditionally thai either. If you had a fighter who regularly landed spinning back kicks to the body they would score just as well as a fighter throwing a regular roundhouse to the body.

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Old 11-04-2013, 03:15 AM   #8
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Since you did not give very specific context in several of your questions (why you more or less need to actually practice things at a gym), I'll also try to answer it with generalizations.

Single strikes are thrown more often because of the application of kicks. Teeps and roundhouses are the main weapons in distance- dictating a lot of the bouts. It's difficult to throw teeps and roundhouses in combination because of the recovery time (and hence result in change in positioning and range). But more importantly, it's because they prefer to use clinches instead of punches when in the punch range.

Given that Muay Thai practitioners both train and value hands less, this means a lot of the times you will see Thai practitioners trading kicks in the long range, or opt for clinch elbows and knees.

If hands were valued, understood, and trained more, then you would see them more. Unfortunately- (my subjective opinion), it is not. Some Nak Muays I know, for some reason, think punching is "easy" (they generally can't explain it) and not nearly as aesthetically pleasing (I can see why).

Note that Saenchai was trained and mentored by legend Somluck - an olympic gold medalist. Samart is a WBC champ himself. These are individuals that grew to value hands by the environment they were in / chose to be in.

Asking why fighters don't just go the Samart (smart? =p) way is a tough one and can be attributed to many reasons. 1. Not everyone can teach such high level hands. 2. Many of his teeps aren't traditional teeps either. They're actually teeps that are built into his much more bladed and semi-boxing stance. This stance allow him to effectively side teep (which I discuss in more detail here) and jab effectively. And when his opponents cannot deal with the long range, they come into combination range to get demolished. 3. In order to punch effectively, you must be able to dictate the clinch. If you do not know your clinch well enough, you will be unable to establish punches. These factors are very difficult to juggle- Samart is truly a genius in the clinch, disengaging the clinch, etc. He was good at literally everything, including something as difficult as switch hitting. This is why he is regarded as possibly the greatest ever.

This is very fundamentally different (and difficult) to apply, especially when your whole camp either don't really understand it or don't value it (e.g. think Samart is a freak case that can do anything he wants).

With body kicks, there are many reasons imo:

First, they know many escape to catches. Second, body kicks are a lot less prone to injuries (relative to low kick) and take less energy than a high kick. Given the amount of fights they do on a regular basis, the less the injuries, the better. To avoid being easily caught, you will see shoulder kicks. These kicks are difficult to catch and stiffen your opponent's arm.

Finally, "Cerebral" fighters exist for many reasons: open-mindedness, the right camp, mentors, the right training partners. These are VERY difficult to come by, and precisely why they are "out of the box". When you do see a "cerebral" fighter, you're seeing an amazing combination of nurture and nature. Being able to piece together everything, reinvent stance, techniques, and apply it against elite practitioners takes not only dedication, but efficient and intelligent dedication. Not everyone is as thoughtful (hence technical) as Samart or Saenchai.

Hope I helped. Always glad to see a fellow TKD practitioner transitioning into MT.

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Old 11-04-2013, 08:24 AM   #9
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Yea something most people don't realize is just how hard it is to box against a good clincher. Especially with larger gloves, it's very difficult to do meaningful damage before you get tied up and smashed in close. You simply get smothered, handcuffed and manhandled if you aren't also a skilled clincher.

That and reasons mentioned by others make pure MT a little impractical for MMA though. You can't throw as many kicks and you have to learn to apply the clinch against wrestlers. The under-developed hands become a real issue and depending on which stance you learned, it can have a lot of problems.

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Old 11-04-2013, 09:58 AM   #10
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^ Like a guy alluded to the reason you don't see many great boxing combos in MT is the ease with which the clinch can nullify boxing. Here is Travis Fulton, a b level MMA fighter in a boxing match with Jeremy Williams who was a HW boxing prospect at one point. Clearly Jeremy has a big advantage with his hands but look how easily Travis completely nullifies his game by clinching. Now imagine MT. Not only can you nullify the boxing but you can fire damaging knees too!

You probably won't want to watch more than a minute of this clinch stink fest. Fulton eventually got DQ'd for excessive holding.

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