It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to this series and now is a good time to continue. In general I’m still working on the things I’m always working on, which are getting kicks online, boxing and defense. But I feel that what I’m exploring right now is more specialized, more detailed perhaps than the sometimes unmeasurable success of getting “better” at something.
So I’m working on low-kicks. This is in part because JR has been back from China and if there’s one thing that you want to steal from JR (and in truth there are many) it’s his bone-crushing leg kicks. I don’t tend to wince at images of fighting, but when I see JR blasting his third or fourth kick to some poor fella’s thigh in a matter of a few seconds, I almost have to look away. You can hear it.
Kevin and I purchased a thigh pad from Fairtex that is tremendously bulky and well-designed. We have one for each thigh, but Kevin has been wearing the left pad so far so that I can work on attacking the front leg of an orthodox fighter. It’s been great, working on blasting that front leg from different angles to set up kicks or off of punches. Leg kicks don’t score very highly and for the most part it’s best to use them as a means to damage an opponent, slow them down, get in their head… the fun stuff. I’m still aiming to kick the body more than anything, but getting at that front leg has, thus far, been more successfully integrated into fights than the body kick so I reckon I’ll keep working on both.
Together with low-kicks, elbows are not only a weapon that are readily accessible at close range but they are also a weapon to be used in order to close range, which is something I’m always working on. I have a bad habit of clinching when I’m still within striking distance, but once you grab on you generally can’t punch at that great power distance anymore because you’ve cut off the optimum distance or your tied up. Elbows can be thrown while the arms are still swimming, whether you’re too deep on the inside for punches or working your way inward. They’re a great close and middle range weapon and if there’s one thing you want to steal from Master K (and, again, there are many), it’s his elbows.
There are tons of elbows, different angles and speeds and purposes, those that cut and those that smash, those that lead into something and those that break out of something… tons. So I’m starting simple and just getting my right elbow going, coming over top and clapping down at an angle like an “overhand” and also a stabbing elbow that works well at a slightly closer distance. Both are nasty, both can cut and if the overhand elbow comes down on the jaw it’s a KO for sure. I’d like to throw at least five and land at least one in my next fight.