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hi there I know your super busy training every day. I just wanted to ask your advice on how to overcome fear of getting kicks caught and take downs. I currently train with 3 guys, my partner has a good 4 stone of me so he is hard to get down anyways but I just fear that takedown. Ive been injured twice with heavy takedowns, my ankle and back. 

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On 11/14/2019 at 2:26 PM, Banana36 said:

hi there I know your super busy training every day. I just wanted to ask your advice on how to overcome fear of getting kicks caught and take downs. I currently train with 3 guys, my partner has a good 4 stone of me so he is hard to get down anyways but I just fear that takedown. Ive been injured twice with heavy takedowns, my ankle and back. 

When you say "takedown" are you saying it in the MMA sense, of an explicit takedown to the mat, or do you mean being swept, etc, as in Muay Thai rules?

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Practice landing safely, sounds like a disappointing answer but Jesus does it help. Grapplers, bjj judo MMA guys etc actually understand this fairly well and practice falling drills to land totally clean without breaking anything or feeling much hurt at all. It's possible, and then you aren't scared to go down if youre unlucky enough to wind up in that situation. If there's a bjj teacher at your gym ask to show you a Break Fall.

Obviously, perfect world, don't get taken down, but if it has to happen then being confident in falling safe will prevent you from getting injured. It's like skating or snowboarding - the fear of going down during a fast and sharp major turn is exactly what will make you go down and hurt yourself.

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On 11/17/2019 at 6:50 PM, Banana36 said:


Sorry I mean being swept etc with Muay Thai. I dont practice MMA at all 🤣

There are a few things. Practice having someone hold your leg and learning to hop to maintain balance and the proper lean. There is a great old session with Arjan Surat where he introduced this very elemental response to caught kicks, you can see that here:

This bouncing on the standing leg is very good training, and not easy. Let the person holding your leg move you forward and back, and really learn to get air on your bounce. What you will find is that not only will your balance and confidence in having your leg caught improve (the purpose of the drill), you will also learn to feel that you can control your opponent a bit, with the stiffness of your leg. With your shin you can kind of hold your opponent off, even as they are steering you.

There's a second element to this, and I think Sylvie's going to do a Technique Vlog on it, which is practicing throwing your kick, and when the kick lands leaving it there, as a kind of leg bar, rigidly pinning your opponent. You can't do it every time, but it's a very good skill to adopt.

There are other counters and controls once your kick is caught, such as bending your leg, collapsing the distance, throwing crosses, but all of them rely on developing balance and confidence in your ability to control your opponent with developed rigidity and position. If you notice, in high level stadium Muay Thai there are very few dramatic sweeps, despite there being lots and lots of body kicks thrown.

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20 hours ago, Banana36 said:

Is it true that takedowns are not big scorers?

It depends. If someone catches your kick, your kick scored already. So what they do with that can either neutralize your score or kind of get a "bonus" on top of it. If they land a strike before sweeping you, it's a big score. If they just sweep you, it could just be a neutralizing move to the score of your kick.

I second what Kevin said, that you just need to have your kick caught a lot to take the fear out of it. Do it as a drill, then have your partner increase the unpredictability and pressure. The only way to stop being freaked out by something is desensitization therapy of experiencing it over and over. But start with control, then move toward more fight-real scenarios.

Here's a good example from Manop: https://web.facebook.com/329140641003498/posts/526036014647292/

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