3/30/2020 Combo 1
In MMA and Muay Thai, the way you throw your jab is different in how you do it in boxing. This is important for boxers who want to try MMA or Muay Thai since it might make them vulnerable to counter attacks if not being addressed. So let’s go over some common mistakes people make when they’re throwing their jab. Here are some common jab mistakes in Muay Thai and MMA.
The first one is the elbow flair. When throwing a jab a lot of times people will telegraph the jab by lifting their elbow up first and then throwing their jab. This makes the opponent prepare to counter or move away. The other problem with this habit is that it reduces the power of your jab. The important thing here is to try to think of your elbow as a shock absorber.
When you fully extend your elbow then flare it, it’ll reduce the speed and power since it bends in the wrong way. Make sure that the pit of your elbow is facing up as it gives you nice shoulder stability. It will also make your jab straighter and faster.
Dropping the rear hand
The next one is a bit more common, dropping your rear hand. When you jab and you drop your rear hand or if you pull back with your right hand to get more extension with your hips, it’ll expose your legs for low kicks in Muay Thai. My advice is when you jab or pullback, keep your rear hand by your cheek. Don’t pull back and drop your rear hand.
Trailing the Jab
When you throw your jab, avoid making a circular motion with your arms. Make sure to bring back your arms as fast as you throw your jabs for you to be ready for another jab. Many beginners forget that to have an effective jab you need to bring it back to its original position. By retracting the jab lazily after throwing a jab, and by not bringing it back quickly to its original position on defense, you become open to counters.
Not Pushing off the Back Foot
When you jab without pushing off your back foot, your jab is less powerful. Make sure you put more weight on your jabs by putting the weight from your back foot. It will give you more distance to reach your opponent and make your jabs much effective.
Turning the Leg Inward
This is particularly for Muay Thai and MMA where your legs are more open for leg kicks. Don’t overextend your jabs as it makes your knee blade exposed.
Also, avoid moving in and out in a straight line. Make sure you practice your entry and exit by making angles. It will confuse your opponents from knowing where you end up after throwing a jab. This will make you avoid a preemptive counterpunch.
Never walk straight into the line of fire. Make sure you use your jab efficiently, and you’ll be snapping your opponent’s head and give you an advantage.
Is your footwork fast and efficient? Check out our video on 6 common foot work mistakes in Muay Thai.
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1. Flat Feet
Being flat footed slows down your movement. This is why jump roping is often a staple in fight training.
2. Tippie Toes
The opposite of being flat footed, many beginners believe they need to always be up on their toes this is not true. Many movements such as evading punches, checking kicks etc. may be done with one foot flat for added stability. As a rule you always want to have at least one foot elevated.
3. Moving the Wrong Foot First/Crossing
When moving in any direction the foot closest to that direction must move first. If you move the wrong foot first while traveling to the left or right you will surely cross your feet resulting in compromised balance.
4. Moving Feet too Close Together
This is really similar to #3, however your feet may cross due to over stepping your second foot. If you take a 3 inch step one way your trail foot must take an equivalent step in order to maintain the proper balance.
5. Dragging Feet
Dragging your feet is like having an anchor tied around your your ankle. Picking your feet up will increase the speed you move in all directions.
6. Stance too Wide
Having your stance too wide will negatively effect you power out put on kicks and punches, it also will make it very difficult to defend kicks.
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When most people shadow box they simply see it as a way to warm up, but where you will see the most results is when you began to slow it down. Virgil Hill a multi time boxing champion and trainer, is said to have his student’s shadow box so slowly that it is painful! As described in a previous post, the best way to learn a skill is to go slow.
A majority of the time, when working the bag or shadow boxing there is no one coaching you. So what should you do?…….Be your own Coach!
A great tool for shadow boxing is a mirror. Most fight enthusiasts can tell the difference between good technique, and bad even if they don’t know why. Looking in a mirror gives you the opportunity to scrutinize and correct what you are doing wrong in real time. If you do not have a mirror a little focus is necessary. Start by scanning your body while moving slowly through technique.
Things you should ask yourself while shadow boxing:
I am I balanced throughout the technique?
I am I protected throughout the technique?
Is there any wasted movement?
Shadow boxing should not be a mindless exercise, you must consciously analyze technique, slow it down, correct it, and then speed it back up again. I typically spend 20 minutes each morning shadow boxing. I do not like setting a timer for short rounds, I believe this messes up the mental focus and flow. This type of shadow boxing when done correctly is almost meditative. Once you lose track of time focusing on the nuances of a jab, only then will you know that you are shadow boxing correctly. Shadow boxing slowly will not only improve your technique, but will also let you find and create new patterns and combinations. Try it out and let me know what you think!
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The best way to learn a skill is to slow it down enough to find and correct error. I often times like to slow things down so much that they are no longer one fluid movement (macro movement) , but several small movements (micro movements).
The advantages to this is now I can look at a technique, let’s say a body kick, and identify the key micro movements one of my students is doing incorrectly. Once I identify the key missing piece, I can then have them drill that piece separately from the whole movement. By doing so I can increase the rate at which students learn, by focusing on key missing pieces. Once a missing piece is mastered I will then have them continue the entire movement. Often times I will warm up with mirco movements that relate to the marco movement of the day.
Here are some of the key mirco movement that make up the body kick.
What piece are you missing?
What are some of your favorite drills to improve your body kick? Did you like the article? If so be sure to sign up to our newsletter!
There is a lot of debate here in the States as to how hard fighters should spar. While there is no concrete answer, here is my take from training at top gyms in Thailand and the United States.
Let’s start with Thailand, most gyms in the land of smiles foster a laid back atmosphere, even camps with multiple active champions. It is not that they are not serious, they just tend to be more playful in training. I have sparred Thai champions with hundreds of fights and have never walked away with a headache or any serious injury. On the other hand, whenever a foreigner from Europe or America entered the ring to spar, I was guaranteed to go to war! From my experience this is how many gyms spar in the US, especially MMA gyms.
Combined Saenchia & Pinto have over 500 fights! Take note of the intensity and the playful nature of both. This is very common across gyms in Thailand.
So which style of sparring is more beneficial? To answer this question, I would like you to use your imagination and think back to when you first learned to read. If you are like most you learned the sound of each letter, then slowly put the words and sentences together. Now imagine if you had to learn to read as fast as possible, under the pressure of a set timer.
Which method do you think would yield the best results?…. Of course the method in which you had time to process the letters and words gets you the desired outcome. You learn faster when you go slow. Your nervous system only recognizes patterns, it does not take into account speed when learning a complex skill. This is why when you learn to tie your shoe you tie it slowly, and eventually it becomes fast. Sparring is no different when you test newly acquired technique under high pressure, you develop poor habits.
But Is there a place for hard sparring? In my opinion yes, especially here in the United States. In Thailand there is no need to test your skill under hard sparring as Thais often fight multiple times each month. In the US we simply do not have the luxury of fighting so often.
Step one :
Acquire skill during drills, bag work etc. Then test skills under low intensity technical sparring. Then proceed to step two.
Test acquired skill under pressure (hard sparring). Find your errors and correct them under step 1.
Here at CKC we only spar hard when a competition is on the horizon, but even then I remind everyone to save their brain cells for when it counts!
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