What I’m Working On – Pt. 4 – Precision, Footwork, and Knees

Accuracy and Precision I’m not sure how I did it, but in my last fight I kicked some part of my opponent that was hard or pointy and I...
Accuracy and Precision

I’m not sure how I did it, but in my last fight I kicked some part of my opponent that was hard or pointy and I got a bone bruise in my right foot.  I shouldn’t be kicking on my foot anyway, but it’s easy to ignore a little foot contact wrapping around a bag or on the end of a pad… until you have significant pain as a result of that contact.

So I’ve been trying to adjust my kick to only land on the shin and not let the top of my foot touch the pad or the bag, which is harder than I thought it would be.  It requires me to shorten my kick a lot, which is also a good thing because I’ve been working on that for a long time without really making it consistent.  I swear – I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it many times again: injuries teach you how to adjust and pain teaches you to adjust quickly.

I also have been concentrating on precision striking with my hands.  I’ve gotten better and it’s evidenced by the swelling on my right hand’s front knuckles, which is exactly where I want to be punching but I’m obviously doing it with a slightly off angle to result in the swelling.  So, I have the bull’s eye but now I have to find the center mark of that.


One of the most awkward things about my boxing training is footwork.  Muay Thai utilizes a great deal of footwork.  One of the most salient points I learned from Master K is that Muay Thai is 8 limbs, but good Muay Thai is in the feet and hips.

I don’t land my hands often or well in fights because I don’t set them up with footwork, angles and distance first.  Boxing is all about moving to a position where you can hit someone flush and then getting the hell out of the way so you don’t get hit back cleanly.  It’s good practice, even though the footwork doesn’t necessarily match between boxing and Muay Thai.  But that footwork is what I need to close distance and set up shots.


I have pretty strong knees.  I’ve ended more fights with knees than anything else and I’ve made my trainers take a moment on a number of occasions from a knee.  Despite landing hard knees in fights, the number of knees I throw that only tire an opponent or miss throwing because I’m too tightly locked up in a clinch is a much larger number.  I need to create space in the clinch and Den has shown me how he wants me to do this, but then I have very little practice in actually doing it.  My clinching partners don’t clinch the same way that the women I fight do and I don’t turn and fight out of the lock as strongly during fights as I do in training.  So I have to keep working on this turning and pivoting in clinching to be able to open up space and find an angle to land these knees that my trainers have to deal with on a daily basis and then get pissed at me for not subjecting my opponents to them.

For the sake of fairness, I’m working on getting my straight knees consistent enough to hit my opponents with them instead of reserving them for my trainers only.


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Muay Thai

A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see patreon.com/sylviemuay


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