Jan 10, 2009

Evading the Low Rear Roundhouse Kick (Muay Thai)

Of all the things I am terrible at in Martial Arts, my biggest weakness is blocking. Well, as a result, I end up trying to evade as much stuff as I can before shooting in for the takedown or the clinch.

Here, Duke Roufus shows us a subtle trick for one of the most important evasions in Muay Thai and MMA, avoiding the low rear roundhouse kick.


He makes a very good point in telling us that the rear kick covers a lot more distance than the lead roundhouse, due to the footwork and mechanics of the kick. While you can just scoot your front leg back when your opponent throws a lead roundhouse, you still get hit with the same evasion with the rear roundhouse.

So, how do you adjust? It's stupid simple, but it requires excellent footwork and timing.

1) As soon as you see your opponent stepping forward slightly and/or turning on the ball of his front foot, take a half step back, bending your knees and dropping your upper body ever so slightly to maintain balance.

2) Quickly draw your front leg back while straightening up your body (your upper body should be in front of your legs, leaving you a bit off balance for a second. This can be used to create the illusion that you are closer than you actually are, if the opponent is good and doesn't look down when he kicks) to watch the kick sail by you.

3) As soon as the kick is almost at where your leg was, go back to a proper stance.

Keep your hands up- kicks are good ways to draw attention away for a punch to the head, and assume your opponent will attack in combination.

In the same line of thinking, if your opponent kicks again immediately after his first kick, don't try to evade and check the kick.

Be prepared for a shot off a feint- learn to sprawl from the off-balance upright position that you end up in.


Anonymous said...

Good point about checking after the initial evasion to react against a secondary kick- You're off balance after moving out of the way of the first kick, so unless you have a lot of space, trying to evade again will likely have you eating a roundhouse kick.

tt said...

good post

Graf's ATA said...

Great video!

Dan said...

This is a good technique, but there are many techniques to counter a low leg round kick. A really good one is to step in and punch (cross if they throw a right kick, and hook if they throw a left kick)

I'll try to find some video links for you, or post some YouTube ones myself. lol.


Derek Manuel said...

Great technique, definitely something that should be drilled in every fighters mma workout routine.

You made a good point by stating how simple it is, but your brain won't react like that in a real situation unless you drill it over and over.

Anonymous said...

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you Wow! Thank you! I always wanted to write in my site something like that. Can I take part of your post to my blog?

Punch Kick Choke said...

As long as you link back to the original article, that's fine.

KarateFighter said...

KarateFighter ("KF") on "Evading the Low Rear Roundhouse Kick (Muay Thai)"

KF trains in the Korean karate of Tang Soo Do (TSD). Sparring rules in TSD forbid kicks below the waist. Safety is the reason.

Changing the scene to self-defense, MMA, Muay Thai, etc.; low kicks are to be found / expected. Thus, it's always wise to cross-train, here by visiting PKC.

We have seen, in the MMA arena, the clear setbacks that Shotokan karate-based fighter, Lyoto Machida, suffered @ UFC 104 against Shogun Rua's devastating low kick attacks & counters. That's why KF thinks this Post, Article is especially pertinent.

KF certainly agrees with PKC that it takes a bit of thinking to defend against low kicks. Certainly evasion is one of the tactics to be used generally to deal the highly effective low kick. Again, with the tendency of traditional karate fighters to rely on stances over highly mobile footwork, articles like this are a great resource.

KF will have more to say on a follow-up comment. KF proposes a karate-solution different, outside of the Muay Thai realm.


KarateFighter said...

KarateFighter ("KF") Comment #2 on "Evading the Low Rear Roundhouse Kick (Muay Thai)"

Let KF open by saying what a phenomenal coach Duke Roufus is. He really explains the technique well and breaks it down into very understandable parts. When he demonstrates the evasion, you really get the impact of what you need to do to defend against the rear-low roundhouse kick.

As a lead in to the traditonal karate solution, KF as a general rule in sparring NEVER steps back in the face of an attack. Stepping back, backpedaling, backwards motion is something that my style of traditional karate eschews.

In contrast boxers, kickboxers, Muay Thai, and many karate practitoners do move backwards in sparring, HOWEVER, traditional karate trains you to position & prepare to fight. KF believes that in a fight, anything within the rules is permissable, so I might draw upon the technique shown here--it would not be my 1st or 2nd choice.

As an example, KF will recount UFC 104, a classic battle between Muay Thai (Rua) & Shotokan karate (Machida). Although Machida won the match technically, KF sides with those that awarded the bout to Rua based on full contact fighting skill.

Lyoto Machida's 'elusive' strategy including backward movement was overcome numerous times by Shogun Rua's low / roundhouse kicks, eventually compromising Machida's trademark Shotokan kumite style. Duke Roufus's presentation here highlights why Rua's aggressive Muay Thai attack was so successful in that match.

KF will expand on this; also make reference to DAN of Dan's Muay Thai Comment for a preferred karate response to the low round kick attack. KF agrees in principle with DAN's suggestion.


Punch Kick Choke said...

KF, you've commented here many times before, but I've always wanted to ask- I'm korean, but I've never considered Tang Soo Do as Karate- what traditional style of Karate would you liken it to?

KarateFighter said...

KarateFighter ("KF") @ PKC re "Tang Soo Do as 'Karate'"

KF, perhaps colloquially, thinks of Tang Soo Do (TSD) as 'karate.' KF believes that TSD shares many similarities to the main styles of Japanese karates, particularly Shotokan karate.

However, KF will respond @ PKC's query by indicating some of the reasons why I prefer TSD over the popular Japanese karates.

One, KF believes that TSD retains more of the influence of the Chinese karates from which traditional karate in general descended.

Two, certainly TSD emphasizes kicks to a greater degree than most Japanese karates. A benefit of kick training is not always technique, but the added fighting strength & conditioning from arduous kicking practice.

Third IMO, TSD conveys more of an offensive nature in the techniques, particularly sparring, in constrast to the highly defensive philosophy of Japanese karate.

One could point out more differences; these are important factors why KF studies TSD. KF himself considers TSD a martial art of karate style, although TSD's Korean formation definately sets TSD apart from karate, if you mean karate is Japanese.

My perspective--KarateFighter

KarateFighter said...

KarateFighter ("KF") re Comment #3 on "Evading the Low Rear Roundhouse Kick (Muay Thai)"

Following on DAN of "Dan's Muay Thai,' and on KF's offensive commentary above for Tang Soo Do (TSD), KF's traditional karate answer to the low rear roundhouse kick is to counter by going on the offensive.

DAN says, "...to step in & execute a Right Cross..." In fact the very 1st Kicking 1-Step Sparring Technique taught in TSD presents a similar strategy.

The very 1st TSD Kicking 1-Step, you perform a R Front snap kick to the abdomen, step down & execute a 1-2 L Reverse High Punch thrust into the face, R Middle Punch shot to the ribs. Should the front snap kick fail, the technique tranforms into DAN's step in & punch, here a 1-2 double punch, high & middle.

This is a very good way to handle the aggressive, roundhouse kicker. Move straight-in & strike, strike-strike to different body zones. Why evade when you can destroy?

In karate, if you are serious, you defeat your opponent quickly & decisively. Makes for very short MMA matches. No jumping around playing 'tag.'

If you want to practice the mobility & evasion of sport fighting, that is fine. But that is not KF's definition of karate. Bona-fide karate fighters eventually come to position, stand & then fight dismantling the opponent.

Thanks to PKC for entertaining my comment.