Hey guys, sorry about the slow response, but the first thing I’ve learnt about having a baby is you’re never ever ever ever gonna have as much time as you did before. Anyway the little guy’s been born and his middle name is “Buakao” (the correct spelling). I’d decided to name him after a famous Thai fighter and was torn between Kannom Tom, Boonlai, Sakmongkol or Buakaw. In his hospital room there was a poster of that famous painting by Monet of two white lotuses so I kind of took that as an omen to call him “Buakao” “white lotus” and besides Buakao’s become a bit of a hero for me the last few years, especially the way he’s taken on the corrupt Thai MT establishment and set a small but important precedent for the army of still “enslaved” Thai fighters that follow him.
Anyway, back to biz…. southpaws in MT.
Originally Posted by evalistinho
Question here boran how much does the southpaw stance have an effect in Muay Thai? I trained four months in Thailand and one trainer told me "you wanna be good at muay thai fight righty. You want to be great fight as southpaw." Im a lefty so it didnt matter but he said a lot of righties fight southpaw as well.
How true is this?
Yep, in Thailand you get more southpaws than probably anywhere in the world including Cuba. The funny thing is most of them are natural righties converted form the start or early in their career. You hear that a fair bit the "You wanna be good at Muay Thai fight as a righty. You want to be great fight as a southpaw."
It’s funny he said it to you because it has more meaning to a natural righty convert than a natural lefty. The main reasons for the conversion are to gain the usual edge of awkwardness that a southy brings to all combat sports, but in MT mainly to balance out the power and proficiency between a righty’s traditionally powerside on the right and his weaker and less fluid side on the left.
If you’re a natural righty fighting comfortably out of a southpaw stance you have your natural power forward nearer your opponent. Traditionally the weapons nearer your opponent are weaker and usually technically less fluid, especially with front round kicks, which in Thai MT tend to not be pulled back but thrown from a lead position and hence are fast but lack the bite of a kick thrown with the swing and momentum gained from being on your back leg, but if you put you natural power in that weaker role suddenly your lead limbs are that bit more dangerous than a traditional righty fighting orthodox..... Now you can start to see the benefit of having your weaker side at the back, you can gain more momentum with your punch, kick etc. and hence more power and fluidity with what are technically slightly inferior weapons on a traditional orthodox fighter. It just feels more comfortable to throw a round kick from a back leg than a front one, that’s why so many foreign fighters shuffle and switch so much which as is actually bad technique that telegraphs your kick. It’s tough to master the art of throwing a lead leg without pulling it back to make it fluid and powerful especially if it’s not on your natural side so it’s just common sense that if you trying to master an “unnatural technique” it’s gonna go that bit better and be more fluid if you do it on your natural side right!? Same goes for all the weapons, but especially with the kicks.
When a southy fights a righty you tend to see less low kicks and more action around the mid-section and head than usual (just think Yodsanklai with his repeated strong mid and high kicks). This has to do with low kicks of both fighters being easy to counter with straight power hands or power kicks to the mid-section which tends to be the blind spot in lefty v righty MT fights. This makes for quite exciting fights that favour kickers and tend to involve almost all the techniques being thrown by both guys from rear legs, hands, knees etc. which means power exchanges as the front techniques kind cancel each other out slightly. The usual fighting southy paw thing of “Keep moving to the left to stay away from their stronger side.”
Or “Throw right hand down the pipe
.” etc. etc Are all well and good but slightly less meaning full in Thai MT than international MT of boxing as Thais tend to come at each other straight on and stand infront of each other to exchange tit for tat without circling too much. What’s more key is that you just can’t miss with a mid-section round kick off your back leg and it’s very easy to land with your front push kick. Use the left hook and quick low left kick to bring him onto your right sided kicks, knees and punches etc.
Anyway, here’s an example of what I’m talking about. This clip of quality lefty Sam-A (red) vs Tingtong (blue)@ Raja last year. Not the greatest fight Raja’s ever seen but a great example of Ortho v Southey battle between two top guys. Notice how much of the battle is fought around the mid-section as that’s where the “unguarded” opening usually is on both “open sided” fighters, very little low point stuff as they get easily countered with straight punches and knees etc.
And just to highlight the importance of the southpaw in Thailand the southy ATG list is never ending including guys like Samkor, Samart (he switched a lot) Sakmongkol, Sangtiennoi, Orono etc etc to name mere sprinkling and some current southy standouts, Sam-A, Saenchai, Saiyok, Yodsanklai & Saketdao.
While we’re talking great Thai Southies, here’s a great battle between two southpaw ATGs at Lumpini. “The Deadly Kisser” Sangtiennoi Sor.Rungroj (Red) V Orono Por. Muang Ubon:
Originally Posted by rekcutnevets
If you watch the video I included with my opening post, you'll see the instructor lifting his lead leg without telling what type of kick is going to come. Then he turns it into a sidekick. At least that is how I saw it. The way he lifted his foot, it looked as though he could do a push kick or a sidekick from the initial stage. I don't think his stance was optimal for Muay Thai, but it did make me wonder if a Thai boxer could throw a sidekick from a Thai stance.
I am in no way suggesting that teep should be replaced with the sidekick. I was just wondering if it could be used to good effect from a Muay Thai stance.
For me Rev, not really. His stance is not square enough, it lacks the speed and power you can generate in a lead leg teep. It’s just too slow for a lead leg especially if you consider it form a traditional squarer MT stance. He’d have to turn some before he threw it. Not saying it wouldn’t land sometimes, but what’s its purpose? Once it’s landed it’s still putting your feet in a bad position to be countered by a juicy low round kick.
Originally Posted by Matty lll
Hey boran, do you have any videos of your fights? I wouldn't mind seeing them
Flattered Matty, but you may have to wait til about January next year now the little one’s finally been born. I’m usually based between BKK, Trang and London and I’ve basically been stuck in the West for the last 6 months due to the missus being pregnant and probably won’t get back to BKK til early Jan unless I really have to pop back for business. I’ve a few old digital tapes and a VDO tape left plus a mixed bag of photos going back to the early 90s, some of which I’ve already posted in the MT/Kickboxers ATG thread here on ESB. I lost a lot of stuff in the floods of 2008-9 in south of Thailand where I had a lot of stuff stored in a small rural Buddhist temple in Trang. Lost a lot of sentimental stuff like my fav old fight shorts, my 6oz gloves I used to use for years and years on the pads,
lots of photos as well as other important personal stuff & documents unrelated to MT etc.etc. Bit of a shame, but it’s just stuff, it’s the experiences we have and what we’ve learnt from them that really matter in life!