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Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode10: Advanced Punching - Hooks and uppercuts]

Please please check out my other tutorials at wobblywindow.tumblr.com/tagged/tutorial  

Tutorial Pre-requisites:

Stance

Punching

Hi there! It’s been a long time, since I left you, with a strong Muay Thai technique to punch to…. Eh? I’m just like Timbaland. Anyway, this tutorial will focus on advanced punching, which is a more versatile array of punching (as opposed to the simple jabs from previous episodes). These include (in this tutorial) Hooks, which are powerful round punches in a sideways direction, and uppercuts, which target the jaw and kidneys in a circular upwards motion and is powered partly by the knees and hips, making it an extremely strong punch. Fall into stance, and let’s begin with the hook. As I always say, read the stance tutorial first here: http://wobblywindow.tumblr.com/post/2527380335/muay-thai-a-tutorial-episode2-stance

In Muay Thai, it is advisable that hooks are done with the front/fast hand, as a hook from the back arm opens you to a lot of kicks (not normally a problem for a boxer). However, it’s your call. The hook is fairly simple; take a step so that you could almost kiss your opponent and extend the bent front arm out (very)slightly, and as you do so put you weight on the back foot while twisting the front foot, your hips, and in turn, your extended arm. The top of your fist should face the roof, and you should strike the soft cheek, punishing the jaw. Notice that if you continue pivoting, you can follow with an elbow, which is useful as a double strike. Remember to bring your fist back in, guarding your face.  

The uppercut is slightly more complex; it requires you to crouch slightly in order to build power. Step in close (with your front foot), and bend your knees until you can almost feel a stretch in the quads (nothing intense, just slightly). Guarding as much of the face as possible with the front hand, bring the back hand down so the elbow is poised next to your ribs. The back leg’s foot should be pointing slightly outwards. From this position, the body is tense, like an elastic band. To release this tension, straighten the legs as you pivot the back foot inwards (see how your body is kind of like a hammer drill?) and push the back fist upward in a motion centred on your shoulder joint. Aim to strike the chin, and watch the head snap back. 

It’s easy to practice a hook on a bag, but for uppercuts, you need someone to hold a pair of focus mits/pads for you. As I always say, practice practice practice. These techniques don’t come  to you the first time around. Make sure you do a bit of shadow-boxing to get that technique solid. Thanks for reading!

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode9:Staying solid]

Okay, this one’s a request tutorial from anfony.tumblr.com . Basically, he’s asked how to stop flinching and blinking when fighting. Well, the first piece of advice is practice sparring alot. Being put in a position where flinching will get you punched in the face eventually beats the habit out of you. Also, you have to understand that flinching isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s your body naturally trying to defend itself; you just have to train your body to change its natural defensive move from a flinch to effective fighting defence (further discussed). But there are still some pointers to take into consideration to help you stand solid and stop flinching.

1. Breathe deeply and slowly. Cliche as it sounds, it actually does calm and focus you. Keep in a stance on the balls of your feet which allows you to prance while maintaining a high level of stability.

2. Flinching is a revelation of your reflexes, so try to train yourself to throw your hands into a guard and lift a knee (discussed in my ‘checking’ tutorial) whenever you want to flinch. This turns your flinching into a useful skill instead of an unstable weakness.

3. Shadow-Box or spar with someone or in front of a mirror. Shadow-boxing/kick boxing is where you stand in front of a mirror and box with an imaginary opponent (it sounds a bit gay, but bear with me). It’s aimed at perfecting your technique as the mirror allows you to scrutinise your form in depth. Now, with shadow-boxing, the idea is to imagine an opponent in front of you. As you imagine them throwing punches, duck, sway to the side, parry, or guard against the punches. This puts you into the habit of defending properly.

4. The next step is to begin sparring. Make sure you spar with someone who isn’t agro, or otherwise have a third-party moderate or things could get ugly (in the heat of the moment, people can get very caught up and inflict some real damage) Spar in 3 minute rounds, and practice your defence here. If your partner spots you flinching as opposed to properly defending, they get a free shot to your mid-section (or face if you’re feeling brave). Sparring should be done in proper sparring gloves or MMA gloves,  bag gloves are too thin and could cause injury.

5. Like I said earlier, it comes with experience! You need to spar a lot to get into this.

Good Luck!

Self Defence Tutorial 2: Breaking The Full Nelson

The full nelson is a hold which many believe to be particularly threatening because it completely restricts the functions of the arms. However, this is no barrier. The position the assailant has put you in opens them up to you being able to use your weight. Please note that this tutorial requires you to fall back, so practice on soft ground (unless you want to fall on concrete or something, your decision. Let’s begin.

When the hold is first achieved by your attacker, first thing you do is make sure you don’t try moving your arms, otherwise they will tighten their grip, which can really hurt. Now, using your right foot, you need to step back diagonally to the left so that your foot ends up behind Mr Smiths left leg. Upon doing this, twist with your body so that the attacker trips over your feet and is swept by the circular force of your body twisting.

This video illustrates it perfectly. From here, you can run, or if you’re feeling adventurous, try some full-mount groundwork. I may talk about full mount later, but if you don’t know groundwork yet, I suggest quick escape. Please don’t listen to any sites for women or whatever that tell you to stomp on the guy’s foot and headbutt him or something stupid like that and miraculously you’ll get a free hand, because really, it won’t always work and it just takes too long. This is a quick, passive style defence which is doubly effective and can be applied to all strength levels.

Hope you liked it! check out my other tutes at wobblywindow.tumblr.com/tagged/tutorial

I believe my next self-defence tutorial will cover breaking out of the full nelson, which is a popular hold that restricts arm movement.

To all my followers that don’t know me, that’s not actually me. I’m much darker and much sexier.

Meanwhile, check out the rest of my tutorials at: wobblywindow.tumblr.com/tagged/tutorial

Self Defence Tutorial 1: The Front-On Choke.

Okay, so picture this; you’re at a bar, having a drink with a girl, when that guy whose ex-girlfriend you’re currently dating walks in, and sees you there with her. Pompous man that he is, he storms across the room, already ready to kill you with his bare hands. So he grabs you in a choke with two hands, trying to crush your throat. What do you do?

"give me back my wife’s cardigan! Now cunt, I’m serious!"

Firstly, we have to realise that no matter how beefy a guy is, and how weedy you are, upper-arm+under-arm+hip strength > hand+wrist strength. So, if you can get your upper arms into this, there should be no problems. How?

Lift  your arm (either arm, doesn’t matter) and bring it over both of his forearms (as close to the wrist as possible). Push down.As you do so, turn your entire body so that you push both hands down off your throat. 

Continue turning, and as you do this, bring up the other arm’s elbow so that on completion of the rotation, you strike the assailant’s head. The harder you bring your hands down and the faster you turn, the more force that will be delivered into that elbow strike. From here, you can use your Muay Thai knees if you want to, run, or link arms with the girl and skip away into the distance. Your choice. 

On Youtube, there’s alot of junk out there for how to break these chokes, and not a lot of them work. This one, I’ve tried, and it works spectacularly.  So again, the steps:

  1. Arm over both of his, push down hard.
  2. As you push down, spin your body.
  3. While spinning, lift the other arm’s elbow into a striking position.
  4. Strike on completion of the rotation.

You can practice this with someone who you trust to choke you for no longer than a few seconds (tell them not to crush your throat, just enough pressure that you have a bit of difficulty breathing). Go easy with the elbow strike at the end though, just focus on accurately aiming the elbow at different heights. Note that elbowing the person in the neck is as effective as the back of the head. Happy training!

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode8.3: The Axe Kick]

Hi! Please read my other tutorials :)

http://wobblywindow.tumblr.com/tagged/muay_thai

Tutorial Prerequisites:

Stance

This was supposed to be written a week ago, but I was busy, so it’s here now. Stop complaining, you don’t read them anyway. 

The Axe Kick is a high-placed kick which targets the face; primarily, the nose. There is more than enough force in this kick to absolutely destroy a nose, so be very careful in practice (never practice near someone’s actual face). The kick uses the elastic nature of the groin muscle between the legs and gravity, as well as the power of the kicker, to generate it’s incredible amount of force. It is an elliptical motion, and incorrectly done can cause self-injury, so follow carefully.

Fall into stance. If, by now, you don’t know about stance, you shouldn’t be on this tutorial. Read this first: http://wobblywindow.tumblr.com/post/2527380335/muay-thai-a-tutorial-episode2-stance

This kick only ever uses the back leg. Don’t use the front leg. Ever.

Keeping the leg perfectly straight, bring the leg directly up along the inside of the groin, (pointing the heel out as you do so) . making a small oval with the kick, bring the leg slightly outward as you reach the apex (highest point) of your kick (well above the head). Upon reaching this point, snap the leg down hard, returning it to its original position. The heel should clip the bridge of the nose on the way down. Expect alot of damage to the guy’s face. 

This can only be practiced with a partner, but not on a partner. Have them hold out a speed ball or small cushion to the side at head height, and kick that. Don’t do it with a focus mit, because you’ll break their wrist. An alternative practice is in front of a mirror so you can inspect your form.

Be very careful practicing this, I cannot stress it enough. They mess up faces. Here’s how it should end up looking:

Tutorial from youtube, he has a couple of different ideas, but fundamentally the same. Happy training!

Warning to everyone who did the tornado kick tutorial;

After practicing for a while, you may hear a series of weird-ass cracks. Don’t worry, you aren’t going to fall apart. Just remember to stretch properly before/after, because it works your groin spectacularly, and we don’t want to pull that. Also, you may hurt your ankles if you practice on tiles; if you must, get someone to spot you the first few times while you get the balance right. Also, don’t be discouraged by falling over. Hopefully falling over re-iterates the nature of the line you’re walking when you decide to perform a flying strike.  Happy Training :)

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode8.3: (Flying) Tornado Kicks]

Tutorial Prerequisites:

Stance

Round Kicks

Before I start this one, don’t attack me; I know, Tornado kicks aren’t Muay Thai. They’re taekwondo. But holy crap. Have you seen a tornado kick? Wouldn’t you like to learn that? Let’s get on with it. Quit whinin’, bitch.

Fall into stance. While taekwondo incorporates different stances, orthodox or southpaw will do just fine.

*EDIT* I have a tutorial on stance here 

Stance for newbies

 Now, the tornado kick is powered by an accumulation of force through rotation. So, let’s accumulate. Notice that traditionally in taekwondo the initial kick would be a backward-spin kick. But that’s not how we’d do it in Muay Thai. Our first rotation disorients the attacker with a lower leg kick. Whether or not the kick lands is irrelevant; what matters is you make a complete rotation. As you finish the rotation (at about 300 degrees),   put the kicking leg down and lift the other leg’s knee but continue rotating to about 500 degrees. When you reach this point, spring into the air as you round kick with the back leg. Don’t try to do jumping in slow steps, it only works if your momentum is built properly. This move is incredibly complex both to master and to explain, so bear with me. Or, I could get this 12-year old to explain for me :D

This move is more difficult than anything I’ve ever showed you, and it takes a lot of work to master. It is worth it, trust me. Practice your round kicks on a punching bag, but the entire tornado kick should be done in an open area (backyard, studio, living room area free of clutter); preferably in view of a mirror so that you can inspect and perfect your form and technique. Set this kid as your standard. Happy training! 

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode8.1: Higher Altitude Kicks - Round Kicks]

Tutorial Prerequisites:

Stance

Leg Kicks

Hi! Last tutorial series we covered knees (both defensive and offensive). But about three series prior, we covered leg kicks. Now, the leg kick is really an adapted Round Kick. The round kick is what we will look at today.  Round kicks conventionally target the ribs/obliques, which house the kidneys, liver, lungs and diaphragm. Well placed round kicks can potentially destroy a ribcage, and a head-high can knock someone out in one hit.  Onto technique. Fall into desired stance (I talk about stance all the time, you can find the tutorial for it here). The round kick almost always uses the back foot, unless you’re in a situation which either doesn’t allow it or you haven’t got time. Keep the guard up, the whole way through.

  1.  While in stance, take a small step outwards diagonally with the front foot. When I say small, I mean nothing more than 15 cm MAX.This gives your groin some extra elasticity in the kick, which means more force is generated just by your leg snapping back into position. Don’t worry if the explanation of that doesn’t make sense, you’ll feel the difference. 
  2. After taking the initial small step, pivot the front foot and in turn the entire body (stand on the ball of the foot). As you do this, the back leg’s knee should be pointing where the base of the shin is going to strike. Remember that we aren’t kicking the opponent, we’re kicking through them. Slightly lean back to prevent a pre-emptive superman punch. Believe me, it happens. The leg itself doesn’t need to be completely straight. 
  3. Bring the leg back into stance, keeping your guard up.

In this video, check out the last rib kick:

Head kicks are identical in their technique; the difference is the flexibility factor. Flexibility is enhanced by stretching, and it has benefits other than allowing you to kick someone in the head. A flexible person is less prone to injury caused by muscle/tendon strains.

The main stretches for this area are stretches which target the legs and groin as well as the back. The ones I like are the sit and reach (for the legs), sideways lunge (for the groin) and laying down on my stomach and lifting the head and legs (for the back). Google ‘leg and back stretches’ for more.

I only suggest head kicks if you need to end the fight quickly and you have no alternative, or if your opponent is too stunned to take advantage (halfway through a head kick, if someone punches your face, you’re gone; you’ll fall instantly).  Here’s a video of the head kick (don’t mind the shitty music):

With every kick, you have to make the judgement; how much are you going to commit to this strike? “110%!”. Well, not exactly. Actually, almost never. Because if you’re checked, guess how much of the 110% you’re going to feel. However, in training, every kick is as good as you’ve got. Kicking is great cardio, and it’s a lot of fun. When shadow-kicking (that is, kicking nothing in front of a mirror to hone your technique), follow through with every kick; make every last one a full rotation. The kick should be strong enough to carry you through a full rotation every time, otherwise you aren’t kicking hard enough.

If you have someone willing to hold a kick shield for you, have them grab the shield with the hand opposite the side you’ll be kicking, then hold it on the side of their body and rest their other arm above the shield, so it’s effectively tucked under their arm. If you want to practice your aim, have someone hold either a focus mit or a thai pad out to the side, and try to round kick it. Have them vary the altitudes at which they hold pad, so you can adapt to different heights.  

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode7.3:Knees - Offensive Flying Knees]

Tutorial Prerequisites:

Stance

Knees

This is the third and final tutorial in a three part series about the knees in Muay Thai. It’s also the first flying move I’ve ever written about. A flying move incorporates a jump in order to provide altitude and power to a strike. HOWEVER, BE ADVISED: Flying moves commit you to a trajectory you cannot change. Once you launch yourself into the air, it is very easy to knock you off course, and you could literally be sent flying. Think about it; have someone push you lightly while standing in stance, then have them do the same thing while you jump as you leave the ground. Big difference.

Flying moves were invented to finish off opponents, and some elaborate histories claim to disarm cavalry from the ground (unsure). So as a general rule, we want to use flying moves on opponents who are stunned or who aren’t in a position to effectively parry the strike. In essence, a flying knee is pretty easy to pull off, but it has a drawback in training; there is no way you can practice on someone. I am not kidding when I tell you this move has killed people. Ok, onto the process:

Fall into stance (orthodox or southpaw).

Stance is important, so it’s worth reading this before you start: http://wobblywindow.tumblr.com/post/2527380335/muay-thai-a-tutorial-episode2-stance

Our back knee is the striking knee. This stance should be a little less wide than usual so we can jump properly. Using primarily the front foot for propulsion, leap into the air and push the back knee forward. Imagine a person in front of you as you do so; you’re aiming for their chin. Here’s a demonstrative video: 

Try to land in stance with guard up so that you’re ready; as I said, this makes you completely vulnerable for the period of time you spend airborne. Like other knee movements, this is initially awkward, but with time, becomes natural. Practice the flying knee in straight lines (you’ll need at least 10 metres per lap). With each strike, try to fly as far forward as you can. The further you go, the more force you’ve exerted. 

Hope you’ve enjoyed this one guys! Flying knees are a lot of fun to practice because you look stupid if there’s no-one there to do it to. Coming up soon, I might be covering high-altitude kicks i.e. Round kicks which target the abdomen, ribs, and head. I may even bring in a little Taekwondo, just for this next part. We’ll see. Ciao!

Muay Thai: A tutorial [episode7.2:Knees- Offensive Straight/Clinched Diaphragm]

Tutorial Prerequisites:

Stance

Push Kick

Straight or Clinched body knees target the diaphragm, which controls an individual’s ability to breathe. Ever been winded? That’s because your diaphragm has suffered some form of trauma and is spasm-ing temporarily. Now, most people think that the best place to hit people is in the balls. Two problems:

1. You can’t do that in a competition fight.

2. What if your opponent is asian? Hello?! Small target! 

Moving on. Power is achieved from a body knee primarily from groin movement (very similar to the push-kick[http://wobblywindow.tumblr.com/post/2527380537/muay-thai-a-tutorial-episode3-thepushkick]). Let’s begin. Fall into your desired stance (orthodox, or southpaw). We’re going to be using the back leg to project the knee. Shoot the back leg diagonally up, and as you do so, thrust the groin forwards (pushing the knee as far forward as it will go). The groin extension takes a little time to get right, but it should feel smooth with enough practice. Try this with someone who is holding a kick-shield. You could also try a punching bag, but if you don’t strike the center of the bag it will spin around like crazy and you’ll feel as if someone rubbed leather across your knee. But, hey, if it’s your last resort, why not?

The second part of this tutorial is going to deal with clinching body knees. However, clinching body knees can be applied to head-high knees.  You’ll see how. Firstly, what is clinching? Clinching is, well, it’s this:In this clinch, we can see the fighter on the left has the advantage, as his arms are inside the other fighter’s arms. From this position, he has the ability to easily move his opponent around and pull him into his body or throw him off. Thus, in a clinch, we always try to get our hands inside our opponent’s hands. To prevent them from getting inside our hands, squeeze the elbows together. This is a successful clinch.

From the clinch position, we can pull the opponent into our knees, adding extra magnitude to the exerted force from the kick. Let me illustrate:

So, pull the opponent’s head down while clinching as you bring up your knee. Force the knee into the area just below where the sternum is located. If you’re good enough (and your opponent is short enough), aim for the chin.

Practice this with a person holding a kick-shield, but only practice the body ones with them. I imagine hitting them on the chin would slightly irritate some people. This one is harder than the other tutorials to get, so practice practice practice!