Originally Posted by yaca you
Great post. I cant believe how easily Kongtoranee handled and put away Sakmongkol! Amazing.
Interesting how Kongtoranee (vs Sakmongkol) would always counter the highkick with a left hook then a lowkick, usually thaiboxers after evading the highkick will throw a hard kick of their own to the body or head.
Hey Yaca, I agree it’s not the norm, but I think this has everything to do with range, specialist technique and natural body build.
You’re right when a loose high kick is thrown the “textbook” fighter would keep his feet planted lean back out of range and then depending on situation counter, probably with a kick to the mid-section. However, Kongtoranee is no text book fighter, his build and specialist weapon namely his hands put him outside the norm of a classic Muay Thai fighter where hands are generally an afterthought to knees and feet.
If you watch the fight again the left hook counter you mention doesn’t really happen till round 3, which is when a Muay Thai fight really starts. Before round 3 Kongtoranee does the textbook lean back with no counter most of the time or blocks the kick on his forearms (which isn’t encouraged). He’s feeling Sakmongkol out range wise for the entire first two rounds. You can see with Kongtoranee he is always pressing to get his hands off from the start, so he’s kind of just inside kicking range and just outside knee range, awkward for Sak the more traditional Thai fighter who comes in head hunting the smaller aggressive puncher with his feet. However, with Kong constantly pressing for his range, this isn’t going to work especially without the threat of knees to ward Kong off and no idea how to block against the punch no surprise the moment Kong ups the anti it all goes wrong for Sak.
The left hand counter IMO is more natural and intuitive to Kong than drilled, you tend to go with what you’re good at, a tall knee specialist may counter with a knee, I used to counter with either a right hand or a mid-kick or both depending on range and timing. In Thailand they don’t really drill you on combos, infact I remember when I first started training in BKK I was discouraged from working combos on the bag and never really drilled combos on the pads. It was hard to get used to , but it did make me a more natural fighter, less by the numbers and more strike intuitive and effective and less open to counter attacks. That’s why I think Thai fighters when fighting can read a fight so much better than their farang brothers.
(Sorry to go on, bored on Sat afternoon!)