I have a theory, so to speak, on combinations that I use when teaching my students to put techniques together.
I believe that as in instructor, I should only teach very basic combinations. Two to three strikes each. Rarely, I'll teach a four technique combination (and the two that I do teach are both boxing combo's, not Muay Thai).
Instead, I try to teach my students to follow up each technique with something. Actually, I try to teach them to follow up each technique with a few somethings.
Let's use boxing as an example. After I throw a left hook, there are a couple of very specific actions I will take, depending on the situation. My two most common follow ups are:
1- Bob and Weave out to the left
2- Right Cross
To continue on the same line of thought, I will follow each of those techniques up with some very specific actions. For example, if I were to Bob and Weave to the left, I would probably do one of the following:
1- Left Hook to the body
2- Clinch (as I straighten myself back up) and Straight Knee ot the body
OR, if I threw the Right Cross, I would most likely follow with:
1- another Left Hook
2- Right-legged Roundhouse Kick to the body
3- Clinching Straight Knee to the body
As you can see, each technique I perform has a follow up, and each follow up technique has a follow up, and so on. This is how techniques get strung together into combinations.
So, in essence, I will teach my students simple combinations, such as Jab-Cross-Roundhouse Kick, or Jab-Cross-Clinching Straight Knee, and then let them build upon the technique to make their own "advanced combinations".
Moving right along, we can now discuss Basic Combinations.
As a note, my students are all (with maybe 3 exceptions) beginners. The two basic combo's that I drill them on CONSTANTLY are the ones that I have already mentioned above:
1. Jab-Cross-Roundhouse Kick
2. Jab-Cross-Clinching Straight Knee
#1- The Jab-Cross-Roundhouse Kick is especially what I (and most people I have trained with) consider to be the "bread and butter" combination of Muay Thai. In truth, it is the "bread and butter" combo of all the striking arts (except Western Boxing) that I have studied.
I have discussed this combo before in another post, but I'll try to rehash it here. I teach this combo two ways. Continuous Rhythm and Broken Rhythm.
For the Continuous Rhythm, the three techniques are thrown rapidly is succession with no pause. Also, the roundhouse kick is thrown from the rear side (the same side you threw the cross from) If you were to practice this using Muay Thai technique, you will notice that throwing a strong right cross makes your roundhouse kick weak. To compensate, we teach that the cross is thrown as a feint so that the Roundhouse Kick can be thrown with full power. The "cross" is thrown directly into your opponents face AND LEFT THERE! Keep the hand in his eyes so that they cannot see the kick. With the opponents vision obscured, you can then choose which target seems most open. Thigh, hip, ribs, or even the head. When first starting to practice this technique, keep the kicks waist and below until you get the timing. You can then start practicing higher kicks.
For the Broken Rhythm Combo, the Jab and the Cross are both thrown with full power, then you come back to position, usually shuffling back a step into optimal kicking range. From here, you can throw a Roundhouse Kick with either leg, depending on your opponents reaction to your punching combo. Again, practice it with a low kick at first, then when comfortable, try kicking higher targets.
#2- Jab-Cross-Clinching Straight Knee. This combo is pretty self explanatory, I think. Important note however! A common thing I have noticed is that most people studying Muay Thai are so conditioned to clinch an opponent by the neck, that they never take advantage of another clinching option. CLINCH THE OPPONENTS GUARD! Instead of always trying to "swim" through his guard to get hold of his neck (and taking an elbow strike on the way in) grab his arms so that you "hook" them where the elbow is bent and pull him across your knee. Try this, you will be amazed at how effective it is.
If you succeed in clinching with your opponents guard and delivering a straight knee, you can then move in closer and clinch the neck.
These are two very simple, yet very effective combo's. Another simple combo is:
Push Kick-Roundhouse Kick: In this case, you are simply using the Push Kick as a guaging tool, so to speak. You use the Push Kick to kick your opponent right into your roundhouse kick range.
Roundhouse Kick-(Skip back)-Push Kick: This one is a little more specialized, but not too hard. You execute a roundhouse kick first, skip backwards to create the room you need, then skip back in with a Push Kick as your opponent tries to follow you.
In practice, you should try to make it a three beat rhythm, meaning the Kick is one, skipping back with both feet is two, and the push kick is three. Your feet should only touch the floor on those beats. To explain further, after landing the roundkick, you should SKIP back with one hop. Do not shuffle your feet going back b/c you need to be QUICK (your opponent will be stepping into you!). When you hop back, you should make sure you hop back enough to allow you the room to push kick an approaching target. After hopping back, you hop back in and Push Kick at the same time.
DO NOT SHUFFLE IN AS YOU PUSH KICK! Many people, when they push kick, step forward with their rear leg, then push kick. NO NO NO! That kills your forward momentum. The push kick should be practiced so that when executed, you are getting double impact! In other words, the push kick is mostly used to stop an encroaching opponent. Double the impact by hopping into him at the same time as the kick. To get the double impact, hop in and kick AT THE SAME TIME!
Another simple yet deadly favorite:
Clinching Straight Knee (with opponent's guard, not neck)-Diagonal Elbow Strike.
I remember like yesterday the first time I saw this in a fight. We had a tape from Thailand showing the latest fights at Bangkok's two major stadiums (Lumphini and Radjadamnern) and I saw a fighter win in the first round with this combo. He came up with the straight knee, and while his one leg was still up, he same-side elbowed and dropped his leg to the ground at the same time, getting gravity to work with him. His opponent never saw it coming (he was defending the knee) and was out cold on his feet.
Well, as I'm sure everyone can imagine, there are a myriad of simple combinations that you can put together. Then, if you practice following each individual technique with some action, your simple combo's will begin to lead into one another creating your own personal advanced combo's.
Hope you enjoyed this. Feel free to contact me with questions and comments by posting here, or e-mailing me at:
Khun Kao Charuad
SuriyaSak Muay Thai at USDC
Posted to Usenet's rec.martial-arts Wed, 22 Mar 2000 20:39:11 GMT
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