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Old 08-14-2012, 09:08 PM   #19
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Default Re: Muay Thai: Technique Talk

Originally Posted by rekcutnevets View Post
My next question concerns what if often referred to as the Mike Tyson Combination:

This combination works so well because of the opening that is created by defending/reacting to the right hook that is attacking the body. The shift to the left can make a perfect opening for the right uppercut.

I know that body punching can be dangerous in Muay Thai, so I'll leave it to others to say if/when it is an ok time to punch the body. I just want to know if a variation of this combo could work in Muay Thai, but I want to change it a little. How effective would a right hook to the body followed by an upward slashing elbow to the head, instead of the uppercut, work in a Thai fight?
I really enjoyed that clip and your idea (wasn’t the iron one a beast in his heyday!), but the timing and the body mechanics of the uppercut and the elbow are very different. First off, the elbow is a strike that when effective tends to be thrown in a very opportunistic way, largely due to where you find yourself at the time in terms of foot positioning and distancing. It’s one of those techniques that if you’re looking hard to land it you probably won’t, especially off a drilled combo. It gets landed and has the most effect when situation & circumstance take over and you reflexes kick in once you’ve spotted that rare chance in unusual range, if your quick enough you got to let it fly.

In the west train most MT guys train in combos on the pads similar to their traditional boxing brothers and they like to put elbows in the combo. Truth is you’ll almost never land an elbow form a drilled combo as I said above it just never seems to work that way, the mechanics of an MT fight don’t allow it. 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 all about one strike power at the right target at the right time. 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 who on occasion seem to throw certain techniques or combos for the sake of it cos that’s how they’ve been taught to fight, not necessarily picking the right weapon for the right target at the right time, almost robotic in nature and easy to read.

The upward elbow itself doesn’t come from the same place as the uppercut does. Foot work’s slightly different and once thrown it always tends to be on the side of your body as opposed to infront of it like an uppercut, length of limb dictate this. You tend to step in with it and the push with the shoulder more like a straight punch or a jab than an uppercut. To land a very “powerful” upward elbow “slashing” as you put it in the original question requires your hips to rotate more and your back leg to turn much more actually bad technique. A little awkward and nowhere near as fluid or relaxed as a nice uppercut, this kind of over rotated upward elbow is often taught in the west more to look good on the pads than to be effective. The range is also slightly different, it’d be unnatural to be in the right position to throw an upward elbow with power after throwing a powerful left hook body shot which tends to have you leaning forward with your weight to the left, usually elbows when effective are thrown form a very upright position either with a little step in or sometimes not depending on circumstance. The truth is most effective elbows are thrown with very little dynamic force behind them mostly just body weight and hence little wind up and that’s what makes them so dangerous, fast *** and opportunistic.

Check this great clip of a punch of MT elbow KOs. Notice, no combos, look @ distance and almost all very opportunistic strikes dictated by a split second situation. I love the last one!

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