Here’s a good subject. Striking for street defense or MMA competition. How does all that work?
When it comes to striking for MMA, where everything is combined, you need to understand the differences between hitting with a Boxing gloves compared to a bare fist or MMA glove. That plus the takedowns and clinching.
Here at Ivey league Mixed Martial Arts we teach Muay Thai Kickboxing and Boxing as our primary styles of striking. Those are some of the more common styles that top level MMA fighters use.
Good Muay Thai Kickboxing schools are rare and we just happen to be the only school in Annapolis that teaches “real” Muay Thai.
One of the most challenging things for us (the staff) is to teach everyone the right balance of Muay Thai that’s going to work on the streets or in an MMA cage.
Lets look at some of the things below and this will give you a better idea of how you can make your striking better suited for MMA or self defense.
First thing first, head movement. Being that the MMA gloves are so darn small you need to focus on head movement all the time. A moving head is much harder to hit vs a still head. Always be working on your slipping, shoulder rolls and ducking skills. Defensive skills are a must!
Getting in and getting out without getting knocked out..
It’s rare in MMA to see 2 guys in the middle of a cage just brawling. The gloves are so small that one slip up and you’re done. Focus on movement using good footwork. That plus get in, attack and get out. In and out with different attacks like punches, knees, elbows and kicks will work best.
The takedowns. Takedowns also make striking different in MMA. You have to pick and choose your attacks more wisely otherwise you might get taken down. Likewise, you must also use your striking to set up your own takedowns. The best thing for opening up and stopping takedowns is the use of a good jab. Work on your jab all the time!
Overall, Muay Thai doesn’t need to change that much in order to have success in MMA. You just need to know the differences and train accordingly. Below are some great videos of the best strikers in MMA. Study them and you’ll see what works in plain sight.