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So, I have been training Muay Thai for about a year, and finally had my first fight Nov 6. I wanted to share my experience and maybe get some feedback from the more experienced fighters on the forums about what my training priorities¬†should be for my next fight. Obviously, my trainer has some strong opinions, but I like to get different perspectives ūüôā The fight was sanctioned under ISKF rules in Florida, which means no elbows and very limited clinch.

 

This is going to be a long post, so please feel free to skip to the end, where there is a link to the youtube video.

 

I am 5'8", and walk around at 140lbs. I had planned to fight at 135lbs, but about 2 weeks out from the fight, the promoter told me I needed to be at 130lbs if I wanted a match. I was very unenthusiastic about cutting weight, but desperate to fight (I had been waiting several months for a match) so I followed the advice in this blog post:

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2008/01/18/how-to-cut-weight/

and managed to come in 128lbs. My opponent was 5'2", weighed 129lbs, and had a record of 2 wins and 1 draw. I felt like shit the last week of training because of the lack of carbs. But it was 'day before' weigh-ins, so I had time to rehydrate and refuel. I had some pre-fight anxiety, which I wrote about thusly:

"So I am less than a week away from my first fight. I keep thinking to myself "I must be crazy. Why did I agree to do this?" I'll be sitting calmly at work, and suddenly get a shot of adrenaline as I think of my opponent, as I picture entering the ring. I keep thinking of the worst things that could happen. I'm not really afraid of being knocked out, although that would be bad. It's more like the nightmares I used to have, where I'm so angry and I want to hurt someone but all my movements are in slow motion and nothing seems to land. And I'm scared of gassing out: of being so exhausted that my arms and legs feel so heavy and dead. Those are the things I fear: being helpless and tired and dumb. Everyone warns me about the adrenaline dump, and tells me that once I'm in the ring I won't be able to think and I'll just throw whatever my body remembers best. I've written a list of 8 techniques that I'm going to carry in my pocket until the day of the fight. Four of the techniques are "reaction techniques", and four are "initiation techniques". I think that should be enough."

(For those that are curious, my list was "1. Jab 2. Teep 3. Parry to punch 4. Parry to Knee 5. Leg kick 6. Hook to kick 7. Jab, cross, switch kick and 8. Superman punch". In retrospect, kind of silly. But I found it very comforting.)

Writing down my fears really helped me to process them. I realized the things I was actually afraid of (being totally helpless, getting totally gassed) would be nearly impossible considering I had been training Muay Thai for 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, for over a year. Yes I could lose the fight, but I had done everything my trainer told me to do to prepare, and I wasn't going to embarrass myself or the gym.  Reading Sylvie's blog posts also helped me to keep perspective.

The day of the fight came, and I was almost last on the card (I think I was the 20th fight?). We got there at 4pm, and I didn't fight until after midnight. I managed to take a nap in the 'locker' room, and stayed bizarrely calm the whole time. I'm generally a pretty anxious person, so I expected to be a bundle of nerves, but it just wasn't the case. Several fighters from our gym fought back-to-back, so I didn't really get much of a warm up, and didn't get a thai oil massage. My trainer is very traditional, and was clearly unhappy and superstitious about it, but I kind of just shrugged it off. In a way, the fight felt pre-determined to me. Either I had internalized the techniques, or I hadn't. I kept thinking of a quote from Muhammad Ali "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." I had a huge physical advantage with my height, and while there are absolutely people who train harder, I felt fairly well conditioned.

Then the fight happened. I kept expecting a shot of adrenaline, but it never came. I don't know if that's good or bad. I kept thinking "Surely as I warm up, I'll start getting excited". Nope. "Surely as I stand on deck, I'll get pumped". Nope. "Surely when I walk into the ring and see my opponent, my heart will start racing". Nope. "When the bell rings, THEN I will go into Beast Mode". NOPE. It was very weird. I just felt calm and detached, and totally in control of the fight.

Watching the video afterwards was hard though. I did some things 'right', but so much I did wrong. I controlled the pace and the distance and landed some good knees. But everything looks so SLOW and I looked so LAZY. My guard is terrible: I keep leaning back and wildly swinging my arms when I should be keeping them tight and leaning into her punches. I could hear my corner screaming at me to "Go forward! Engage!" and I straight up ignore them because I was out of breath, felt like I was winning, and wanted to play it safe. After the fight, my trainer was clearly very frustrated with me, but didn't lay into me too hard because I had won. But he felt that I probably could have KOed or TKOed her if I had just followed up more after rocking her. I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously, it's preferable to end the fight decisively without letting it go to the judges. On the other hand, I felt very dominant, and it seems strategically advantageous to keep something in 'reserve' for my next fight. I don't know. Or maybe ultimately I'm just lazy and like to do the bare minimum, haha.

Here's the fight. I am the very tall one with purple shorts:

Comments and criticisms welcome!

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Thanks for sharing your experience, and congrats for you first fight!
I remember one day the trainer recorded a few videos of some people in the gym sparing, and after watching 3 sparing that I did, I thought I totally suck at everything I did, I look slow and chaotic in all my moves! I guess this is a normal? Or maybe not. My trainer told me that it wasn't as bad as what I thought.
Can't wait to read more from others here! 
(PS: I have had the same nightmare since forever (even if I never had a fight), I know how the anxiety from it feels, and it's not nice, glad to know during the fight you were calm :) )

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I find watching video of myself the worst thing haha. I always focus on the mistakes, which I suppose is important for growth, but I feel your frustration at the playback. It really isn't as bad as you might think.

 

For me watching, the biggest thing is improving your strength and cardio. In the second and third you seemed more tired than anything - letting openings pass without striking and not causing as much damage with what you did land compared to the first. It'll also help with a tighter guard (being less tired).

 

Take notes from the experience and carry that focus into your training. I think you will do well. Beautiful first fight!

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I think you stood your ground nicely and used your reach and height advantage very well. 

After reading your intro I see what you mean by "lazy" - yeah it might look like it, but that's not necesserly a bad thing. And I think it will come with more training.

I don't like watching people in amateur fights smash each other with full strength head on - it usually looks very chaotic. You looked a bit restrained to me, but in a good way. The height difference was really visible here and I think you could totally smash her and KO her, but I don't see the point really. In my opinion you should kinda look out for your opponent in an amateur fight. You don't get paid for it, both of you are doing it for the thrill/love of the sport/other reasons, so I don't think it would be wise to send someone to the hospital. I know people might not agree with me, but that's my opinion. I'm aware that it's a fight, but well...

So overall, congrats on your first official win! 

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Thanks for the replies everyone!

 

Flora: those dreams are the worst. But I'm really fascinated by how universal some dreams are. Like being chased, or having teeth fall out.

 

Newthai: I did have some worries about my conditioning going in. I'm really a "slow and steady" kind of gal, but fights seem to require much more in the way of explosiveness. I'll definitely be doing more plyometrics in this cycle.

Micc: thank-you for the kind words. It was a very cordial fight. Everyone said we had the friendliest weigh in photos they'd ever seen, haha.

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Great first performance Yuki, first fights can be a huge blur and your wasn't. You were very present in this fight. Your head was still, you stayed so nicely engaged in the eyes. Pretty awesome.

The small thing that really stuck out to me, technically, was in the first round in the Thai plumb. This was were you could have finished the fight. But your hands were not locked, and there was not enough draw back or turn to make space for yourself, pulling her forward. If you clinch with bare hands in practice the lock on the Thai plumb can sometimes be a problem with gloves on. At the earlier stages of development it is best is to try to cross palm to palm or at the wrist, and dig the elbows in for leverage. Look at the palm to palm gripped showed here:

The above is not exactly the Thai Plumb, and it's part of a system involving the head and a squeeze, one that Sylvie uses a lot, but you can see how the palms/wrists lock - they can't slip. You can move from palm to wrist if you need. If you try to lock how you did in this fight it can be hard to hold the grip in gloves. Going wrist to wrist or open palm to open palm is more stable. Cupping back of the hand, which feels natural in bare hands, is more difficult - advanced Thais can plumb this way with the cupped hand because they are not so much using the hands to control the head and neck, as the pinch of the arms, and their body frame. At your height, at this level of fighting, such a good lock would be a definite fight finisher.

(oh, and p.s. I jumped in and edited your fight video in. On the forum if you just put the normal YouTube url in the post, the video automatically is embedded).

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 I did have some worries about my conditioning going in. I'm really a "slow and steady" kind of gal, but fights seem to require much more in the way of explosiveness. I'll definitely be doing more p

 

I know you are talking about energy and fitness levels here, but I see it in your fight style too. One of the more interesting questions facing a fighter in development is: how much to I go with what I feel is my "nature" and how much to I work very hard to change it? This can be really complicated when trainers have a vision with how you "should" fight based on either what has been successful for them, or on your body type (Sylvie had long struggles with this). Some things are worth changing through hard work, some things that really are you should be embraced, because ultimately fighting is an expression of you. It's the fighter's path to figure out which is which.

In watching the fight I really could see your "slow and steady" nature, though it wasn't that slow at all, you had a nice pace. It was more that you had a uniformity to your striking, in terms of tempo and power. Something that might be very interesting for you is to really work on your teep with your length. Teep to the high torso, the low torso, the thighs. If you got good lean back on this it would make you very hard to deal with, and it would compliment your nice round kicks. But mostly why I recommend it is because a good stiff teep could compliment your "slow but steady" comfort level. It works like a great jab in boxing. It would allow your medium tempo, strike, strike, strike comfort, but because it is read as a defensive strike, it would make your more aggressive round kicks and combinations feel more explosive, in contrast.

Anyone can have suggestions of course, but it is something I thought about during your rounds. Throwing it out there. :)

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K. von Duuglas-Ittu: Wow, thank you so much for the detailed advice. It is super helpful. I love Sylvie's technique videos. I knew that clinching would probably be a good strategy going into this fight, so I watched Kenshin's "Drowning the Genius in Clinch" video to get some insight on how to enter the clinch successfully, but I didn't get as much actual clinch practice as I would have liked. And you're absolutely spot on: in my gym we almost always practice clinch without gloves, so I wasn't well prepared for 'locking' my opponent's neck/head. That video is exactly what I needed.

And thank you for reminding me of the 'personal' nature of Muay Thai. I really feel this is what sets it apart from other martial arts that are not as 'fighting' oriented. In things like Karate or Kung Fu where there's lots of forms/katas, there's generally a 'right' way to do things. But the beauty of Muay Thai is that whatever works in the ring can be considered 'right'. And what works for your trainer might not work for you. I sometimes lose sight of this because I respect my trainer a lot, and I want to please him. But he's a 185lb male, and I'm a 140lb female, and that makes a difference; both in phenotype and the field of competition we face.

Also, I'm so glad you have suggested I cultivate the teep. I love teeps. I've had a nagging concern that I might become a one trick pony, but as you've pointed out, there's actually a lot of variation to the technique.

Once again, thanks so much for the great advice.

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So, I have been training Muay Thai for about a year, and finally had my first fight Nov 6. I wanted to share my experience and maybe get some feedback from the more experienced fighters on the forums about what my training priorities should be for my next fight. Obviously, my trainer has some strong opinions, but I like to get different perspectives :) The fight was sanctioned under ISKF rules in Florida, which means no elbows and very limited clinch.

 

This is going to be a long post, so please feel free to skip to the end, where there is a link to the youtube video.

 

I am 5'8", and walk around at 140lbs. I had planned to fight at 135lbs, but about 2 weeks out from the fight, the promoter told me I needed to be at 130lbs if I wanted a match. I was very unenthusiastic about cutting weight, but desperate to fight (I had been waiting several months for a match) so I followed the advice in this blog post:

http://fourhourworkweek.com/2008/01/18/how-to-cut-weight/

and managed to come in 128lbs. My opponent was 5'2", weighed 129lbs, and had a record of 2 wins and 1 draw. I felt like shit the last week of training because of the lack of carbs. But it was 'day before' weigh-ins, so I had time to rehydrate and refuel. I had some pre-fight anxiety, which I wrote about thusly:

"So I am less than a week away from my first fight. I keep thinking to myself "I must be crazy. Why did I agree to do this?" I'll be sitting calmly at work, and suddenly get a shot of adrenaline as I think of my opponent, as I picture entering the ring. I keep thinking of the worst things that could happen. I'm not really afraid of being knocked out, although that would be bad. It's more like the nightmares I used to have, where I'm so angry and I want to hurt someone but all my movements are in slow motion and nothing seems to land. And I'm scared of gassing out: of being so exhausted that my arms and legs feel so heavy and dead. Those are the things I fear: being helpless and tired and dumb. Everyone warns me about the adrenaline dump, and tells me that once I'm in the ring I won't be able to think and I'll just throw whatever my body remembers best. I've written a list of 8 techniques that I'm going to carry in my pocket until the day of the fight. Four of the techniques are "reaction techniques", and four are "initiation techniques". I think that should be enough."

(For those that are curious, my list was "1. Jab 2. Teep 3. Parry to punch 4. Parry to Knee 5. Leg kick 6. Hook to kick 7. Jab, cross, switch kick and 8. Superman punch". In retrospect, kind of silly. But I found it very comforting.)

Writing down my fears really helped me to process them. I realized the things I was actually afraid of (being totally helpless, getting totally gassed) would be nearly impossible considering I had been training Muay Thai for 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, for over a year. Yes I could lose the fight, but I had done everything my trainer told me to do to prepare, and I wasn't going to embarrass myself or the gym.  Reading Sylvie's blog posts also helped me to keep perspective.

The day of the fight came, and I was almost last on the card (I think I was the 20th fight?). We got there at 4pm, and I didn't fight until after midnight. I managed to take a nap in the 'locker' room, and stayed bizarrely calm the whole time. I'm generally a pretty anxious person, so I expected to be a bundle of nerves, but it just wasn't the case. Several fighters from our gym fought back-to-back, so I didn't really get much of a warm up, and didn't get a thai oil massage. My trainer is very traditional, and was clearly unhappy and superstitious about it, but I kind of just shrugged it off. In a way, the fight felt pre-determined to me. Either I had internalized the techniques, or I hadn't. I kept thinking of a quote from Muhammad Ali "The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights." I had a huge physical advantage with my height, and while there are absolutely people who train harder, I felt fairly well conditioned.

Then the fight happened. I kept expecting a shot of adrenaline, but it never came. I don't know if that's good or bad. I kept thinking "Surely as I warm up, I'll start getting excited". Nope. "Surely as I stand on deck, I'll get pumped". Nope. "Surely when I walk into the ring and see my opponent, my heart will start racing". Nope. "When the bell rings, THEN I will go into Beast Mode". NOPE. It was very weird. I just felt calm and detached, and totally in control of the fight.

Watching the video afterwards was hard though. I did some things 'right', but so much I did wrong. I controlled the pace and the distance and landed some good knees. But everything looks so SLOW and I looked so LAZY. My guard is terrible: I keep leaning back and wildly swinging my arms when I should be keeping them tight and leaning into her punches. I could hear my corner screaming at me to "Go forward! Engage!" and I straight up ignore them because I was out of breath, felt like I was winning, and wanted to play it safe. After the fight, my trainer was clearly very frustrated with me, but didn't lay into me too hard because I had won. But he felt that I probably could have KOed or TKOed her if I had just followed up more after rocking her. I have mixed feelings about this. Obviously, it's preferable to end the fight decisively without letting it go to the judges. On the other hand, I felt very dominant, and it seems strategically advantageous to keep something in 'reserve' for my next fight. I don't know. Or maybe ultimately I'm just lazy and like to do the bare minimum, haha.

Here's the fight. I am the very tall one with purple shorts:

Comments and criticisms welcome!

Okay, you need to be really proud of yourself for this fight. You look GREAT for a first fight. And don't worry so much about the "lazy" slowness; that's a thing that you see from the outside and you'll always see it, even when it's not really there anymore. When I watch this video, I can see that your mind is racing but your body is waiting - so the actual experience of standing in the ring is like you're going fast and it's a blur, you're just trying to react, but when you watch yourself when you're calm it's like, "GO ALREADY!" I still see this when I watch my own fights; my own padwork. 

You showed a good range of techniques and when you attacked you weren't flailing. Your spacing was nice. Those are really hard to accomplish in your first few fights because it takes so much to just get yourself to calm down and focus, but again you did great.

What I'm really impressed about is your description of how you prepped yourself for this fight, mentally. Go back to those same exercises now that you've fought already, picture the fight in your mind and correct the "mistakes" you see in your mind. Think of it as recording over your memory of the fight and fixing all the things you see as mistakes with things you wish you'd done. Imagine your way through a perfect fight - being active, fast, breathing, doing all those moves you thought of beforehand. (Those were great, by the way. I'd recommend taking it down from 8 to about 3, and choose 3 moves that no matter what happens, you KNOW you can affect someone with those moves because you're great at them.)

I've got a lot of fights by now and I still think, "I could have finished her if I'd done X" or whatever. Just bring it to your training. If you backed off or didn't smell blood and go for the finish, work on that in training. If you don't train it, it won't come to the ring with you - but if you do train it, you'll make huge progress before you know it.

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And thank you for reminding me of the 'personal' nature of Muay Thai. I really feel this is what sets it apart from other martial arts that are not as 'fighting' oriented. In things like Karate or Kung Fu where there's lots of forms/katas, there's generally a 'right' way to do things. But the beauty of Muay Thai is that whatever works in the ring can be considered 'right'. And what works for your trainer might not work for you. I sometimes lose sight of this because I respect my trainer a lot, and I want to please him. But he's a 185lb male, and I'm a 140lb female, and that makes a difference; both in phenotype and the field of competition we face.

 

Pretty cool you see this clearly. Not everyone does because Muay Thai in the west can come filtered through very narrow technical pathways, and it is natural to want to emulate your trainer. But in Thailand this is really a big truth. Sylvie's first trainer in Chiang Mai, a westerner Andy Thomson who has been training Thais for 20 years, told her "There is not 1 Muay Thai, there are 1,000s. Each person has their own Muay Thai." And Den, her Thai trainer some years later told Sylvie "Everyone learns the same Muay Thai, up to you to put it together". At Sylvie's current gym, Petchrungruang, the trainer has a very distinct style that he likes, but he is so open minded no Thai fighter comes out of the gym looking like any other. It's kind of amazing. His own son fights very unlike how he would like. Big clinch fighters, or very artful defensive fighters all come out of the gym. You can feel that the gym just feels that everyone has their Nature, and this nature just comes through. Once you figure out a kid's nature you try to find the techniques that compliment and express it.

I know I'm just saying what you have said above, but this is a really exciting part of Muay Thai. And it is exactly as you say, it's because it's a fighting art, proven and evolving in 1,000s and 1,000s of fights all over the country every year.

 

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Also, I'm so glad you have suggested I cultivate the teep. I love teeps. I've had a nagging concern that I might become a one trick pony, but as you've pointed out, there's actually a lot of variation to the technique.

 

Off the top of my head there are not only teep location variations (the thighs, the hip points - to interrupt kicks - low in the abdomen, mid stomach, solarplexis, face), but there are all styles of teeps. You can hit with the ball of the foot, the point of the toes (this is painful), the heel. You can teep short and stiff, or lean back and long. You can jump on the teep, or turn the teep into a side kick a little for power. And then there are tons of combinations off of teeps, including a cool one Sylvie recently learned where, after setting with teeps, you "miss the teep" on purpose and fall into a reverse elbow. The teep is its own world.

It's a great way to attack the gas tank, change levels when fighters are too concerned with hands. Sylvie in fact just has added the teep to her comfort zone and it is making a huge difference in the last few fights.

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I knew that clinching would probably be a good strategy going into this fight, so I watched Kenshin's "Drowning the Genius in Clinch" video to get some insight on how to enter the clinch successfully, but I didn't get as much actual clinch practice as I would have liked.

 

Sylvie has really grown well beyond what she knew in that fight, in the last year or more, and in fact has really started focusing on clinch entry. Maybe she can do a video share of what she is working on. There are lots of things you can do - you can just pick one of course - but I think she's broken through to a new level of awareness on this. I'll see if I can get her to put something together.

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Pretty cool you see this clearly. Not everyone does because Muay Thai in the west can come filtered through very narrow technical pathways, and it is natural to want to emulate your trainer. But in Thailand this is really a big truth. Sylvie's first trainer in Chiang Mai, a westerner Andy Thomson who has been training Thais for 20 years, told her "There is not 1 Muay Thai, there are 1,000s. Each person has their own Muay Thai." And Den, her Thai trainer some years later told Sylvie "Everyone learns the same Muay Thai, up to you to put it together". At Sylvie's current gym, Petchrungruang, the trainer has a very distinct style that he likes, but he is so open minded no Thai fighter comes out of the gym looking like any other. It's kind of amazing. His own son fights very unlike how he would like. Big clinch fighters, or very artful defensive fighters all come out of the gym. You can feel that the gym just feels that everyone has their Nature, and this nature just comes through. Once you figure out a kid's nature you try to find the techniques that compliment and express it.

I know I'm just saying what you have said above, but this is a really exciting part of Muay Thai. And it is exactly as you say, it's because it's a fighting art, proven and evolving in 1,000s and 1,000s of fights all over the country every year.

 

I love this description of teaching.  That is true of the best art schools too - individual teachers with strong styles, but no "house-style" for the ensuing artists.

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Off the top of my head there are not only teep location variations (the thighs, the hip points - to interrupt kicks - low in the abdomen, mid stomach, solarplexis, face), but there are all styles of teeps. You can hit with the ball of the foot, the point of the toes (this is painful), the heel. You can teep short and stiff, or lean back and long. You can jump on the teep, or turn the teep into a side kick a little for power. And then there are tons of combinations off of teeps, including a cool one Sylvie recently learned where, after setting with teeps, you "miss the teep" on purpose and fall into a reverse elbow. The teep is its own world.

It's a great way to attack the gas tank, change levels when fighters are too concerned with hands. Sylvie in fact just has added the teep to her comfort zone and it is making a huge difference in the last few fights.

OMG miss the teep and reverse elbow - EVIL.  Is there a video of this?

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Evolve put out a video that demonstrates the fake to reverse elbow (among other combos):

 

Yeah, that's not quite it. That's a fake knee which has a different spacing and timing. But I'm sure everyone can get the idea. You set up with teeps, and then teep and miss to the side, but land quite deeply to that side of your opponent, and reverse elbow. The key to it all seems to be that the fake allows you to cross the distance really naturally, you kind of "fall" to the side of your opponent. The set up may keep them rigid, the miss may confuse them for a second. A big element of the reverse elbow as Sylvie learned it is getting your lead foot deep enough, to the side (or beyond) your opponent's foot. The teep miss accomplishes this in a great way. Many westerns attempt reverse elbows without any step depth, so they are inaccurate or lose power. Of course this is a once in a great while trick, but I love how sound in principle it is.

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Thank you so much for the incredible responses!

Sylvie: What a great mental exercise, to reimagine my fight! I love visualization. I don't really enjoy running, so that's usually how I entertain myself during my obligatory 5k every day. But it's just general combinations. I like the idea of a very specific walkthrough.

That 'fake' teep to elbow sounds so tricky! It's too bad elbows are not allowed in Florida Amateur. Although that's probably a good thing, because I have a day job and need my face intact haha.

I would love to see more clinch entry technique. It seems like many of the kickboxing schools around here do not train clinch AT ALL, so if I could achieve even a competent level of clinch ability, I would have a huge advantage

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Yeah, that's not quite it. That's a fake knee which has a different spacing and timing. But I'm sure everyone can get the idea. You set up with teeps, and then teep and miss to the side, but land quite deeply to that side of your opponent, and reverse elbow. The key to it all seems to be that the fake allows you to cross the distance really naturally, you kind of "fall" to the side of your opponent. The set up may keep them rigid, the miss may confuse them for a second. A big element of the reverse elbow as Sylvie learned it is getting your lead foot deep enough, to the side (or beyond) your opponent's foot. The teep miss accomplishes this in a great way. Many westerns attempt reverse elbows without any step depth, so they are inaccurate or lose power. Of course this is a once in a great while trick, but I love how sound in principle it is.

Thank you Kevin.  Want to try it now.  On my kitchen stove.  Not a good idea.  Tomorrow!

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@Kevin: Yeah, it's similar enough I thought the video would be helpful. Always love Sylvie's content though, and if she does film about this I will be very interested to see/hear her thoughts about such a combo.

 

Really enjoying this entire thread btw.

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Truly enjoyed reading this thread, as I prepare for my first fight this week. Thanks for sharing your experience, MTetris, and I really hope I am able to stay as calm and in control as you did. Gotta say my two biggest fears (and I am pretty sure I am not alone in these, as Sylvie's blog posts on fighting in Thailand suggest) are (i) losing it and just being all over the place, having an "ugly" fight, and (ii) gassing out from being tense, as it will be a five rounds bout. 

I loved to see all of the good feedback, which I will try to take with me into the ring - particularly having a few techniques in my head that I know I can rely on, and locking hands when going for the clinch. 

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