This was my second time training with Dieselnoi, so it was a continuation of some of the foundations he laid out for me last time. He focused more on strategy and tactics in this session. The first time we met he showed me how to use kicks and teeps in the middle of the ring to cut off space, get your opponent in the ropes, and then grab in the clinch and go nuts with the knees. If you’re a clincher or knee fighter, you want your opponent on the ropes. This time he elaborated on that tactic, still working to cut off the ring and get your opponent into the ropes, but he explained how the first two rounds (which aren’t really scoring rounds in Thai scoring) you just cut off the ring and block, mostly. Let your opponent bring their weapons out and you just chase them down and stymie their attacks. Then, when the scoring rounds start, you’ve already worn them down a little bit and that’s when you bring out your weapons: teep and kick to move them into the ropes, then grab and knee.
You can watch and read notes on my first session with Dieselnoi here
my first 10 minutes with Dieselnoi above, the full 54 minutes is available with audio commentary for my Patreon Supporters, you can watch it here.
2:30 pulling turning in clinch:
Here Dieselnoi shows me how to wait for the knee from your opponent, when they’ll be on one leg, and then pulling them and turning them to a terrific off-balancing and then throwing your own knee. It’s partly anticipating the knee of your opponent based on natural rhythms (as you gain experience you know when someone will throw a knee, which is usually right after you’ve thrown a knee, so you can even bait them into it) and then timing your turn; but it’s also about arm position. He shows how holding the shoulders or the neck is a very solid, stationary position that is meant to lock your opponent into place so you can throw straight knees. If you are clinching with your arms, basically controlling from the insides of your opponent’s elbows, that’s better for turning – you can still have one hand on the neck for better control, but even two arms against two arms is a turning position more than a kneeing position. He keeps his stance wide even when kneeing so that it’s hard to turn him on knees, which is basically a defense against exactly what he’s teaching as offense here.
2:50 leg back for knee: When practicing the Dieselnoi Knees on the corner of the ring, he’s very insistant on the stance being wide and the foot of your striking knee stepping back before being thrown. This is very commonly taught, as it adds power to the knee. What’s unique, in my experience, to Dieselnoi’s approach is how insistant he is on the squared off, bow-legged stance in addition to the foot back. It’s for balance as well as power.
5:30 knees in clinch: Here Dieselnoi is showing how to throw the knees in the clinch off of steps and turns.
6:40 double plum: The double inside lock position isn’t commonly achieved in real Muay Thai fights. Dieselnoi got it, eventually, in a lot of his fights which is partly why he was so devestating. But for most fights where both fighters know how to clinch relatively well, getting the double lock is very difficult. It’s probably the most dominant position possible in clinching. But once you have it, because it may not last very long, you have to really capitalize on it, which is what Dieselnoi is showing here. Just a few of those pulls and knees and you’re done.
7:20 correcting wide stance: Feet can tend to narrow out when throwing knees or trying to get high-lock positions, which is a dangerous foot position that will get you thrown. So Dieselnoi is insistant on the wide stance, for balance and power.
9:17 repeat left knees as set up: This is my favorite. This is when he shows how to throw the left side to open up and then the right side for power. When Dieselnoi gets going on his knees, with his energy and speed, he’s like a goddamn thresher! It’s unreal. Do it like this.
Dieselnoi goes through a variety of techniques in these first 10 minutes. He starts out with the ring strategy, where we’re moving around on the floor. When we get into the ring he shows a bit more of how to position the hands in the clinch, so when your arms are on the shoulders or neck the opponent is really stagnant and you drive straight knees in (he doesn’t do those chicken-wing side knees at all really), but if you have the insides of your opponent’s elbows, which is a kind of longer range grip, you use that position to turn your opponent when they’re trying to score. But since his game plan is to get that lock on the neck/shoulder, you have to bring your foot back before driving the straight knee in. Otherwise you have no room for power. Bringing that leg back is essential for power and keeping your stance wide and even is essential for balance, so your opponent can’t turn you off of your knees when you’re on one leg.
One of the most important, and my favorite, thing that he worked with me on is the strategy of using your left side (or whatever your front side is) to set up and move your opponent to the perfect spot, then throwing your right side (or power side) as the finisher. It makes perfect sense when you apply it to boxing: jab, jab, jab, cross. But for Muay Thai it was something of a revelation to me. Especially because if you’re Orthodox and facing another Orthodox fighter, your opponent’s right side (meaning your left side attack) is open all the time. If you tag that enough they’ll change their position and then their other side opens up to your power side. Double-wham!
This is the first 10 minutes of an hour-long session, the entirety of which is available to my patrons through Patreon, which you can access for only $1 a month.
If you are already a Patreon supporter you can watch the full 54 minutes here.