OK, my striking guard is up, but how wide/tight should it be?
I'm getting advice ALL OVER the place on this, between several muay thai instructors and more experienced friends, and a boxing coach. Although the difference makes sense between boxing and muay thai (different toolset) I wanted to get the opinions of people on what they used or thought was best.
What I've been told so far:
1. (Loose) One muay thai fighter had my arms completely bracketing my head in a wide guard. He said you can always close up your arms if someone's punching straight for your face, and that having a wider guard still allows you to slip and move more freely. This however, seemed counterintuitive to me, because it seemed like you were just asking to be punched in the face.
2. (Jab hand forward) Another muay thai instructor had me keep my jab hand away from my head and out more. I guess so that it'll be easier to bat away punches? I've seen a couple of other of my friends doing muay thai use this stance, but I've always wondered if it takes power away from the jab or leaves the chin too exposed.
3. (Tight) The boxing coach recommended this. You keep your elbows tight to your chest, and your hands tight to your head. With the elbows in tight it allows you to protect your chest more. This seems to be the most reasonable to me, but I'm wondering if outside of pure boxing, it would have its problems, specifically with the clinch fighting thta MT does so much of?
Just wanted some thoughts from y'all.
I'd alternate between (2) and (3) depending on the situation. (3) is more useful up close if you want to protect from knees and such. (2) is what I was taught for "normal" guard position.
Read Anna's post here - No BS Martial Arts - View Single Post - Sparring videos
I was in a similar quandary, was told 'your guard no good, use this' when i started MT but i think generally the level of boxing ability in MT gyms is not as high as it could be. Number 2 feels much smoother for me.
Read the above post and do as I say. I was coached by and sparred with several pro boxers as well as learning from coaches that had trained olympic gold medalists and pro's themselves,, sparred on countless occasions with no less then 4 female world games gold medalists who were also ranked #1 in USA boxing in their respective weight classes.
I know how to throw hands. Everyones style will eventually develop a little differently and my tactics have changed over time but the above is the base you should start from before you find your own way.
Last edited by Anna Kovacs; 6/28/2008 12:26am at .
I sort of have a weird style when it comes to striking.
I tuck my chin, and hunch my shoulders slightly. I'm still completely relaxed, and able to slip with decent ease. I keep my elbows tight-ish, and my hands by my eyes. When the punch comes, i sort of "lean" into it, grabbing the back of my head. This lets it skid off my arm ,and leaves them open to countering. (sorta like how rampage blocks)
I don't know, it works well for me. I'm sure someone here will bash it though :p
See, i've tried the whole bat punches away thing, and it just doesn't work for me...
Last edited by 3moose1; 6/29/2008 5:01pm at .
Whatever works for you mate, most of the people at my MT gym do that.
Sang, Anna, do you have a link to the original thread? I just wanted to see (in comparison) what bad guard looks like.
Sparring videos - No BS Martial Arts
That guys footwork is probably a bigger problem than his guard, my last instructor used a higher guard like that against kick heavy opponents so it can work for some people.
i suggest if your sparring in muay thai to keep both hands at a rght angle, why because 1 of the main targets is the ribs and the only thing that can protect them is your elbows, so keep them up and bring them back to block another thing keeping the arms up in this way already positions the arms at a rght angle for elbows if there is a punch to your face you x block or swivel, i studied muay tthai for many years
At this point I'd like to remind everyone to keep in mind that you're (as in everyone reading this) probably not one of those "some people" just yet.
Originally Posted by Sang
I can out (kick)box most people with my left hand by my belly button or thigh and my right hand by my shoulder, (or more commonly, both hands by my waist) to the point where even if kicks and knees and **** are allowed I'll still dominate.
This is simply because I had 3 boxing coaches (one in particular who worked with me tirelessly for as long as it took to make sure that everything I did was as technically perfect and relaxed as it could be. I haven't been able to translate that technical perfection to the (competition) ring quite as well as I should but I was lucky to have the resources I did when I first started out. Particularly my boxing coaches because my muay thai coaches, like many muay thai coaches kind of suck at passing on their skills to their students. Even though they are badass fighters themselves.
Basically the path to skill, imo, is to first find where you're relaxed but protected. The pictures I posted are almost always where it's at. You spar from there every day you can, you hit the bag from there for hours paying special attention to everything moving with synchronization (your shoulder and hip moving at the same time most importantly) RELAXED. Not hitting hard, just smoothing the motions till everything just feels so right and so smooth. Then you pick up the pace and power until you're going all out, fast and smooth. Footwork is important even when just working the bag, maintain proper distance, maintain your balance.
Once you're good at that position then you can start fucking off with other ****. head movement, different hand positions, whatever. Personally I have found that holding my hands any higher then my chin requires me to sacrifice relaxation in my upper body, so I dont like to do it unless I think someone is going head hunting with their kicks. I feel your hands are a more useful weapon and I don't like to sacrifice any hand throwing ability. Particularly when aggressive forward movement with a lot of punches will overwhelm most people who consider themselves "kickers".
I think the problem is people look at their coaches or other pro fighters and go "i'm going to emulate that" but dont have a solid base to do so from.
Whenever I would try and emulate the pro boxer style of right hand up left hand down my coach would yell at me "you gotta learn to be an amateur before you can be a pro"
Words to live by.
Footwork, relaxation. If you want to be anything more then a heavy handed slugger everything has to start from there.
Unfortunately, like I said, though many people have much love for their coach, many coaches have a hard time translating their skills into something digestible by their students.
Last edited by Anna Kovacs; 7/01/2008 9:47am at .
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