Oh dear, oh dear oh dear, WTF is going on here! I notice the word ignorant was getting banded around a lot so I thought I’d check it out……
Dictionary definition of ignorant:
Lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
Muay Thai Practitioner’s Handbook definition of ignorant:
A person who comes onto a fight forum with little or no experience of either Muay Thai or Savate and then proceeds to lecture experienced fighters, judges and hardcore fans on the nuances of both styles.
This thread’s turned into a long complicated stinking pile of assumptive verbal diarrhoea, but thank god mixed with some clarity and insight from the usually lads, you know who you are. I don’t usually respond once a thread has got so long, but I couldn’t resist and besides I’d never be able to sleep again if I didn’t!!!! (Shouts to Pira who’s always on point and nails it everytime, Winfella, Wilhelm, evalistinho & Dannytsg for the quality & the clarity.
Welcome to ESB Danny!
). By the way lads sorry if there is abit of repetition here, but I think it’s warranted.
First of all ROACH your whole view and understanding of Muay Thai is inaccurate and superficial. You are looking at it through the prism of the western Muay Thai. For all the quality fighters, trainers, fans and fights that we do have in the west on the whole the scene is an inferior 3rd tier replication of how Muay Thai is trained, fought and lived in the home of Muay Thai. However, that can only be expected, how can the west where most people’s first venture into an MT gym is out of a recreational desire compare or compete with the home of MT and its 65,000 pros, whose lively hoods and future life chances utterly depend how hard they train twice a day, 6 days a week, year in year out and who have more pro fights by time they’re 20 than Roach has posts on this forum. My point is how you can have a serious debate about MT vs Savate without mentioning Thailand or Thai fighters! I’m not slagging of western fighters, far from it, they compete well considering their handicap, but we all know there are very very very few who can truly compete at Lumpini standard regularly and win.
Anyway this brings me on to the Dekkers clip and “the best Muay Thai practitioner”
label that has been put on it. Was Jake Lamotta the best the boxing world had to offer at the time?! Not really, well Dekker fills the same niche in his era, he was a tough & brave slugger. Yes, Dekkers is an MT Legend, ATG and all round combat god
, however “the best Muay Thai practitioner
”…..no definitely not! He’s not Thai…..which automatically rules him out of being an MT GOAT, foreigners always have been and always will be inferior to the best Thailand has to offer below say 147 or even 154. He’s a legend more for his fighting spirit, aggressive style and his trailblazing than his MT technique or wins. I’m a massive Dekkers fan; he was an idol for a me in the 90s, a true warrior and MT pioneer, but let’s get something straight, he lost way more than he won against Thais. He’s clinching and knee work was very basic as with most foreigners in the 80s and 90s in European Muay, not just Dekkers but guys like Ronnie Green and all the other early European ATGs. Asking Dekkers to fight kickboxing rules with padded booties against what is basically a kickboxer with MT low kicks is like asking Floyd to fight an amateur boxing bout with one hand tied behind his back, that clip proves nothing. What you also notice about the “savate” fighter is he’s wearing Muay Thai shorts. Now this corresponds with my recollections of fusion FC Savate in the late 80s and early 90s had become, FC sports Savate was very much a fusion of many things, not a pure style by any means.
In the 80s and 90s Martial arts in Europe went through a mini enlightenment with many people question traditional martial arts as they kept failing in the new and increasingly popular FC “Kickboxing” and fledgling MMA arenas, people seemed only too willing to throw of the pyjamas and try something new. As with Kyokushin a decade earlier in Japan many traditional Martial Arts adapted by adopting new more practical techniques and training methods to compete in the FC arena, just look at Toshio Fujiwara’s Kyokushin to Muay Thai legacy left on Japanese Kickboxing still very much alive and kicking in present day K-1. (We had this debate a month ago, don’t want it again. ( http://www.eastsideboxing.com/forum/...=433005&page=4
) This was very much the case with sport or FC Savate.
Savate was a rare fringe martial art, that had abit of a rebirth in an inquisitive era with Kickboxers and Muay Thai practitioners looking for something extra with the result being that Savate became heavily “corrupted” by outside influences. The Sports Savate you see today is more representative of American Kickboxing of the 80s & 90s with a few MT low kicks thrown in. I remember in the mid 90s we had a Frenchman working as a chef in London who came from a so called “Savate” background who was indistinguishable from the Kickboxers I’d faced in the USA only few years earlier, his movement was hard to pin down initially, but in the end having the “tougher” style we always ground him down in sparring. This “corruption” is very much what you’re seeing in that clip Roach posted and as PIRA already mentioned - the sports a throwback to the “glory” days of FC Karate and American Kickboxing of the 80s, silk trousers, powerless, kicks, off balanced fighters, bad boxing skills, shinpads, booties and mullets!
To answer some of you technical queries ROACHY you have to understand Muay Thai is all about power and concentrated pressure. It utilises 8 simple but highly effective weapons with equal venom. “ Real” Muay Thai as trained, taught and fought in Thailand is about constantly moving forward, crowding and pressuring whilst patiently looking for that little window to unload a powerful damaging strike. It’s not a beautiful art like Taekwondo or Kung Fu, it’s not about bouncing around unloading a flurry of well thought out and rehearsed combos like Savate or Kickboxing, it’s not an art with thousands of differing moves and techniques, it’s an art of a few simple and effective moves thrown with maximum power, it’s the ultimate in power striking and pressure fighting. Muay Thai is pure dynamic power, especially in Thailand.
You’ve asked A LOT of questions and made A LOT of assumptions, so I can’t really respond to them all, but I’ve written loads of posts about MT technique in the ATG Muay Thai/Kickboxing thread, the MT technical thread and in many of the irritating but all too regular comparison threads like this one which if you take the time to look through will answer most of your technical questions.
I’ll try to tackle your main question, the “squared up stance of Muay Thai”. I can’t talk interms of Muay Thai for MMA, but I can talk interms of MT vs. Savate or Kickboxing.
The Thai stance is almost square on, a little squarer than a traditional boxing stance, but with most of its weight on the anchored back foot giving you a sturdy platform to fight off and enabling you to strike with full power with every technique in your arsenal. If you’re almost square you aren’t restricted from using weapons on both the right and left of your body with almost equal power as you are in a side stance which you see often in the more traditional martial arts including Savate and KB. Basically you can use both hands, both elbows, both knees and both feet in a split second depending on the situation all form one comfortable stance with most of the weight being on the back leg furthest away from your prey.
There are many reasons for most of the weight being on your back foot, mainly your back leg is your tree and you need to be able to counter with your lead leg fast without pulling it back. It’s also leaves your lead leg in a quick position to defend against round kicks high and low with ease as you don’t have to transfer weight. It enables you to use your front kick fast to jab and as an essential counter kick and to unset your opponent. It can be lifted quickly into a knee to break up an attempted clinch or punch combo as you lean back and push your arms out. But most importantly to this conversation in an MT bout your lead leg is a major and obvious target for damage, for setting up attacks or trying just in general to unset you and keep you off balance, so when it’s kicked you don’t want too much weight on it otherwise, it’ll be game over inside a round or you’ll be constantly off balance until you’re stopped.
This is one of the main reasons why Savate and KB are always going to come off second best against an unrestricted
MT practioner. The movement you like out of Savate Roach puts too much weight on the front leg which is a gift for any MT trained fighter, even a novice & also leads to an off balance fighter who struggles to generate power with his strikes. I can hear you screaming already, “Well they could both do low kicks in that clip!”. True, but again it was a KB bout which changes the dynamic of the fight totally! Against a “bouncy powerless” Kickboxer or Savate guy an MT fighter will try to cut of the space and crowd him with a mind to pulling him into a clinch and getting off his knees and elbows, thus brutally breaking him down. Remember the Savate/KB needs space to kick and punch and if you smother him and he can’t work. Remember as an MT fighter being in the pocket is bread and butter against any non MT fighters, knees elbows, and close in low licks being the order of the day. Dekkers wasn’t allowed to do any this…… he was beaten by the rules not that hybrid form of sports Savate.