Little things that all of us can improve in our Thai Boxing

Think you're THE bad@$$ of the ring and the owner of the Thai pads, try working on these:
  1. Body Mechanics
    Strikes are thrown by your body not simply your limbs. Thus the legs and hips pivot to throw a punch and the punch rotates fully into the target. Kicks are thrown off the ball of the base leg, with a full enough rotation that your base heel is pointing towards your opponent and your hips are maximally abducted.
  2. Limb Independence
    Often times when we throw a jab the rear hand drops and vice versa. Or when we tiip our hands move. Why? They have nothing to do with that strike, don't help us develop anymore power, and none of the neurological or structural connections are the same. Cheating doesn't help, when you do curls your isolating your biceps and you should not be throwing the weight by using your back. Similarly when I tiip my hands cannot help me do it, just as the lead hand throws independent of the motion of the rear hand.
  3. Striking "Negative"
    Most of us are really good at throwing, but less adept at the post-landing-the-shot stage. The "negative" or return to guard is as important as hitting the target. Make sure your kicks are elastic and your punches returning directly to your head. This is done fast and tight, with the same exactness and precision as the "positive".
  4. Accuracy
    Targeting is often neglected in bag or pad work, especially the Thai pads. We excuse power for accuracy forgetting that a softer kick can do more damage than a poorly placed powerful one (not that power should not be developed). Also it's safer for your holder if they are reasonably sure you'll hit the target rather than them. Thai pad gear is made big not for the striker but to protect the coach, thus we need to unleash our devastating strikes to a specific chosen spot on the pad rather than arbitrarily on its surface.
  5. Conditioning vs. Efficiency
    A fighter can "always" be in better shape. I remember getting ready for my first amateur Thai fight a few years ago and getting frustrated by what I felt was a lack of conditioning shortly before the regional tournament. My coach, Ryan Blackorby, grinned at me and said, "of course your out of breath, those were the hardest rounds I've ever held for you." The flip side is that we must always be improving are destructive efficiency, that is, using the absolute minimum amount of energy to achieve our goals. Thus mechanics and RATTLE must be optimized for the fight we face.

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