Muay Thai questions from a grappler

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by frank1983, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. frank1983

    frank1983 White Belt

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    I finally took the leap and joined a muay thai class this week. I was a high school wrestler, and had been taking bjj for the past year. I have so many questions now.

    1. Should I assume that my fear of getting hit will slowly diminish as the months go by, or should I be actively fighting that reaction? I can't help but flinch when holding up the thai pads. I'm used to rough contact from my wrestling/bjj, but when someone kneed me in the lower abdomen (not sure if it was my fault or his), I buckled like a wimp.

    2. I'm ambidextrous, slightly favoring my left side. Would it be helpful to train both stances equally? I always wondered how I would have wrestled if I'd trained both sides completely equally, and this is my chance to do it, if it's recommended.

    3. Am I at a complete disadvantage in muay thai, being small and short-limbed? It always seemed to serve me well in wrestling...
     
  2. Sizzerb

    Sizzerb White Belt

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    One thing you should definetely keep in mind is that in Muay Thai there isn't always a wrong or a right. It's often left down to preference of your coach.

    1. Flinching and being scared of getting hit pretty much happens to everyone especially grapplers when they first start. You my find if frustrating becuase you already do a combat sport and you feel you shouldn't be afraid. But taking people down and ripping limbs off is a different ball game to punching people in the face and digging shins into your opponent. You will eventually get there but I have often heard people recomend fighting this reaction so it dosen't develope into a bad habit. Try not to blink when people attack and if your very passive, defensive and scared when you spar keep in mind that it happens to almost all beginers.

    2. Like many forms of combat sport I would recomend perfecting one side before doing anywork on the other. The same would go for boxing. Stance switching isn't somthing that's very common in Muay Thai and with good reason. Once again I'm not saying it's a negative but it is a common prefrence and I would recomend training heavily on just one side.

    3. While size does matter you still aren't at a complete disadvantage. As a tall lanky fighter I would say I have the advantage in any distance fighting but a good in fighter could pick me apart. You just have to shape your game accoring to you body. If you short try get inside your opponent instead of staying at a range where he has the reach advantage. I would say it's neither a bad thing or a good thing.
     
  3. c0r1nth14n

    c0r1nth14n Blue Belt

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    I started MT about 5-6 months ago, and most of that fear of being hit is already gone. I think it goes pretty quickly. There's a couple things that really helped me. Someone told me to squint a little bit while sparring, which keeps you from blinking, and it seems to work well. I also did some drills where I was just being attacked, not fighting back, just blocking/dodging/etc, and that helped a LOT.

    Also, when you mention buckling over, I think at least part of that kind of thing is the shock/fear reaction. When i first started, a handful of times I'd take a light hit in the face while sparring, and I'd sort of stagger a few steps back. Once I even dropped down to one knee to keep from falling over. But then I was like, wait, that didn't even hurt, why am I being knocked back by it? After a few times, it just stopped happening.
     
  4. ambertch

    ambertch Purple Belt

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    1. you should actively resist flinching or squinting. This is somewhat analogous to using strength vs. technique in BJJ IMHO - just like in BJJ how you have to get over your natural instinct to use strength, that can be esp tough as a wrestler.

    2. Not recommended unless you have a coach that actually, actively develops that style in you and beats you with a stick when you make mistakes. Because learning to fight properly is already hard enough as it is. Guys who switch hit or try unorthodox shit see it work on jabronis they spar, and then get smashed by more skilled opponents.

    3. Yes, you kind of are unless you can really develop that Mike Tyson style, but it's reallllllllly hard to do that in kickboxing because you can slip punches but not kicks. See Mike Zambidis in K-1. However Zambidis still got owned in the end by the more skilled tall fighters. The thing in Muay Thai is that, not even talking about kicks or reach, but the clinch relies a lot on leverage, which basically depends on how lanky you are. Grappling and striking definitely favor different physical builds. I'd say if you're training Muay Thai to do MMA, stick with the takedowns... or learn to catch kicks really well and blast people down the pipe. See Silva vs. Irvin KO.
     
  5. roundkick

    roundkick Yellow Belt

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    What you will always feel is the check of a kick. And you'll feel shins dig into your thighs for a while. Good stuff
     
  6. Oh Mah Gawd

    Oh Mah Gawd Orange Belt

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    Lots of light-slow sparring (make time to only focus on boxing for a while) Get technical tips from a boxer.

    Lots of stretching and Lots of kicking the bag... lots... (Get tech tips from a good kicker)

    Always work good composure and technique above everything else.

    Time and effort will prime you.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Rado

    Rado Blue Belt

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    Fear of getting hit normally wears off with experience and as confidence grows.

    About the size, it shouldn't matter as long as you have the right strategy. Taller fighters have more reach but shorter fighters are normally faster and have an edge in close range combat. Makes what works for you work for the fight.
     
  8. thirteen

    thirteen Brown Belt

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    Short limbs are a disadvantage in the striking arts.
    To overcome this as much as possible you will need
    to learn good footwork - range - speed.

    Don't make the mistake of thinking guys with reach
    can't be fast, they can be. And if you're not careful
    they can keep you at the end of their punches and
    make life hell for you.

    Good luck with training!
     
  9. lucid

    lucid FTW-champ!

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    I like the first one the best, slow light gets you used to having things coming at you. Over time the punches feel slower and slower and it doesnt feel overwhelming.

    The rest are great as well
     
  10. Tsingani

    Tsingani White Belt

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    1. you will get used to taking shots so that they dont hurt. when i first started, i would always flinch or drop my hands to catch teeps and push kicks and this was a big issue cos it gave my sparring partners an easy way to fake. So i asked about and was told something along the lines of:

    Q do push kicks hurt you?
    A No not really
    Q then let them hit you

    so after a while of copping it sweet, i learnt how to move my body to minimise the damage of the shot. Further on... i learnt to draw the kick out and catch it frequently. Same goes with other shots, you learn to move or absorb the shots in a way that take the edge off. It takes time though. (edit.. after youve had thousands of shots connect on you, you'll realise the line and angle the shots come at so avoiding the lines the shots travel on becomes instinct. Sometimes in fights i dodge shots that i assume should be coming but arent lol)

    2. Train 1 side first. But learn to fight both southpaws and orthodox fighters. Later on, if youve mastered one side... you can have a go at the other, but the same person that gave me the advice above told me "you can never learn 1 side 100% and your weaker side will always be that... weaker."


    3. Im a shorty too... its just a different style. You will adapt over time. Tall and short have both strengths and weaknesses. One time, the first time i saw my opponent was in the ring and he towered over me instead of getting worried (too late for that) I just thought to myself "look how much of him there is to hit!!" and smashed the shit out of his legs while he tried to knee me in the head the whole time in the grapple. In the end, he gave a sloppy kick and i countered with a huge overhand to end the fight. You may find that you have more power than the taller bloke at the same weight and you'll probably rely on countering and drawing your opponent out to open him up. Just be careful of the knees to the head and stick really close in the grapple.
     

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