Defense against Muay Thai Grapple

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by Steiner, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. zac_duncan

    zac_duncan New Member

    Speak for yourself... Nothing gets my qi flowing like grabbing a fat man's diaper!

    Where's my orgone accumulator?
  2. zac_duncan

    zac_duncan New Member

    Oh and here we have video of taiji_buttertroll getting pwned by a muay thai push kick.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  3. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    Ok will jump in here as best i can.

    It is fairly well known that tendon structures are used often by the body for movement generation.

    On example would be during running, where the Achilles tendon plays a major role in the generation of power.

    I would have to argue that tendon and sinew doesn’t ONLY attach muscle to bone. (of course the Achilles does)

    Especially in the hip joints there are a multitude of structures that connect bone to bone, this is actually true of most bodily joints. Also some of the muscular tissue associated with joints is of a distinctly different quality to that of a lifting/ work muscle such as the bicep.

    although the below diagram shows a dislocated shoulder, around the joint is a connective structure holding the joint together, also above the joint a tendon from bone to bone can be seen.


    again below is a shot of the knee joint, which shows tendon and connective tissue from bone to bone. (again here an injury is presented)


    I must MAKE IT CLEAR though that training of the internal structure is NOT only related to tendons and connective tissues. Some muscle groups are used due to their proportion of tendon to muscle, and their role.


    Here the muscles and tendons connecting to the hip joints.


    The goals of training connective tissue is to allow the body to more effectively store and transmit power, without fatigue or tearing of muscle, if action is required 'from cold' ... as most action in real life is.

    Connective tissues are 'trained' to become more elastic, stronger, able to obtain a 'twist' force. This then allows the exponent to effectively store and release power without damaging the joints of the body and keeps all the joints in good condition.

    It also gives the adept a better 'line' for the force to travel along, creating what we call a connected structure. this transmits the maximum power in every movement (elbow, knee, forearm, hands, legs, kicks, sweeps, throws, locking, groundwork etc ... all contained in the three major IMAs), because the body is aligned to every movement.

    You are effectively being hit by the whole weight of the person with no recoil back into their structure (that is one of the hard things!!) Something that is lacking from the sequential muscle firing generation of many external striking methods.

    Imagine this, I take a dead, solid weight the size of your average man, extend a piece of wood or similar from it the size of a fist, accelerate it to quite a speed and slam it into you. The effect would be substantial I am sure you would agree, crushing the ribcage or internal organs.

    Now i do the same thing, but put 100 joints into it, and lash them together with varying strengths of elastic(muscles) and slam it into you. The effect would be far less due to all the elastic acting as shock absorbers.

    This is the difference i like to make between connected and disconnected structure.

    Each of the internal arts use these connections differently.

    Xing Yi will use a battering ram type of connection, with extreme mobility. Like above your being hit by the whole of the exponents structure the whole time.

    Ba gua will twist and untwist these connective structures to create allot of power in tight or open spirals.

    Tai Chi will disconnect its structure then reconnect suddenly, making the opponent unable to grasp then be hit by connected power.

    This connection is just one idea in the IMA. there are many things to add to get a complete overview.

    As correctly pointed out earlier, most modern clinches end up going to ground. Lets look at why this is.

    Look at the picture supplied. Both exponents are holding onto each other very tightly. effectively they have formed one mass .. thus one falls so does the other.

    If one clinched and the other doesn’t grab them, but moves effectively, strikes with connected power and off balances them for throws the result would be different in my experience.

    Now i must point out that most Muay Thia fighters train HARD. TRAIN REAL and train against FULL RESISTANCE. Few Tai Chi or IMA people could claim the same in my experience. Respect is due to these people that train so hard.

    This may be one reason that our IMA arts are dying. The hard work of the old masters is rarely replicated. Muay Thai has kept their art alive ... and for this they are respected. Most of us that train IMA seriously are charged with the task of resurrecting our arts from the brink of disappearance.

    Just My thoughts

  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter


    *That's exactly what Taiji Buttertroll looks like when he get's pwned!
  5. Taff

    Taff The Inevitable Hulk

    "Pwn" is the Welsh word for "pack".
  6. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    So that's actually the vicar sitting at the table with the little old lady... the grandson who has been getting pwned by the vicar kicks the meddling old lady in the head and then the vicar tells the grandson to pwn so they can elope? :confused:
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    errmm... somehow something tells me your thoughts on physiology don't exactly wash with the facts of human anatomy and how the human body generates power for sports or anything else.

    If the tendons are responsible for generating power why do athletes spend the majority of their time training their muscles?
  8. zac_duncan

    zac_duncan New Member

    It's also web-humor-jargon for "owned" in typically meaning either getting beaten to crap or having your arguments completely destroyed by reason.

    In this case, it refers to the video of the dashin young thai fighter kicking our philosopher friend in the face.
  9. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    the last quote relates very well to 'short' power in IMAs.

    read above ... maybe you just dont know the facts .....

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  10. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    who said that people tendons were 'responsible' for their movement?

    they are an integral part of total body power, it is found in all sports as the articles above demonstrate.

    But is not necisarilly a 'responsible' factor in external endeavors.

    THIS is what seperates the internal arts. They have more focus on a tendon or connective structures potential.

  11. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Please post the reference link to the citations you've posted.

    errm... you did. See below.

    or was that someone else?

    Obviously. Muscles by themselves without their attendant tendons... lol.. wouldn't be much use now would they.

    They seemingly would be... how else would you punch someone in the face if you had no tendons to work in conjunction with your muscles and bones? Pretty hard to kick someone and not get your tendons involved. Care to explain how you manage your 'external endeavors without your body using your tendons?

    Just what exactly is soooo different about how they train. Everyone working their muscle groups recruits their tendons in the process. People do not have conscious choice in the matter. They are involuntary... it's not possible to say "right... gonna kick that bloke in the nuttage... but will not use my tendons... don't want to go internal on him".
  12. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    is a nice article

    Re -read that sentence you posted ... tendons are USED by the body for movement generation ... NOT 'responsible' FOR movement generation.

    Agreed. My point is that the use of muscular power is trained in external systems such as muay thai ... any tendonal strengthening or usage is a BY PRODUCT not a FOCUS of training here is the difference.

    Ok mate. You are just making things up now ... no one said that you could do anything without useing tendons. that is ridiculous

    this is what was said ... just in case you missed it again.

    man alive ....

    ok what makes it different.

    In the internal arts the primary focus of training in the beginning is the training of your connective tissue. NOT just the ones connecting muscle to bone but also all other connective tissue also.

    In the external arts (of which i have trained many) the Initial primary goal is to increase power through training the muscle to a great degree. As a by product tendons MAY be strengthened. BUT NOT USUALLY. Hence strapping on weight lifters joints and tendon and ligament injuries prevolent in many sports. Their muscle power has become too much for their joints because their tendons and connective tissues have NOT been trained, regardless of their muscle training. Indeed when i studied Judo seriously i developed pattella tendonitis for this very reason.

    How do you train tendons in the internal arts? many many ways. From slow tai chi forms, speciallised standing methods that stretch and strengthen the tendons, deep twisting actions and much more. Explaining the entire Li Gong fase of IMa training is not easy!!

    ok .. we getting there now ???

  13. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    First of all, I would recommend that you heavily peruse this website:

    I would specifically refer you to this part:

    Before I even get started, there is little point in trying to lecture me on anatomy - I've got a BSc Honours in Anatomical Science from the University of Manchester. I also did the further anatomy units in my final year and I wrote an essay in my final paper on the hip and shoulder joints specifically, although I could probably do the knee joint too. Besides this, I am a massively interested layman in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and health and fitness in general. Let's get to the facts.

    Tendons attach muscle to bone, it is LIGAMENTS that attach bone to bone. These are two COMPLETELY different things.

    Your understanding of the stretch reflex is obviously poor. The only role the tendons play in this is when the tendon stretches, there is a nervous response that initiates from the golgi tendon organs (obviously in the tendons at the relevant area). This causes the muscle to contract to release the stretch and prevent the tendon being damaged from over-stretching. This does not mean that tendons provide power, it is still muscles that move the body. The sole function of tendons is to transfer power from muscles to the bones to allow movement, they do not develop it or have any influence on the amount of force. Little more on this later.

    What?!? Sorry but that is just pure ga-ga. Complete pseudo-science. Again, take a look at Grays anatomy if you don't own a decent text like Martini, or better yet you can take a look at the REAL pictures by picking up a copy of Goslings anatomy text. Don't bother if you're squeamish.

    One of the reasons why I am often found knocking IMAs (which I do actually like and read about) is often because of the garbage science content ie. there isn't any truth in any of it. All this talk of tendons and connective tissue is simply not true. Although some of your comments have a vague basing on real physiology, the theories themselves go completely off track. The idea that connective tissue can twist and somehow store power is ridiculous and it never fails to amaze me when people claim it is the main source of power from a good MAist. A good kick for example will be completely down to technique, all the components of strength (maximal, explosive, strength-speed etc.) and the neural drive of the kick itself which will mostly be down to practice that reinforces the intra- and inter-muscular co-ordination and the SSC. I do believe that connective tissue has a limit on beginners in that it is not used to the movements, but after a couple of sessions the connective tissues will be more used to the loads imposed and less limiting to the movements. Aside from that, it is all flexibility and motor patterns that limit the movement. If it was connective tissue conditioning, how would you get someone who is naturally a good kicker but has never kicked before? That is when someone has naturally good motor skills, not that they have conditioned connective tissues. I hope I explained this okay and you can understand what I'm saying. Look around the link I gave you and you might get a better understanding if you don't get what I'm talking about. An exercise physiology text might be more helpful.

    And how many times will they be successful? The whole idea of a clinch is to control the other person. If someone clinches with you and starts to pummel you with knees, other strikes, locks or just tosses you around like a ragdoll, you aren't in a place of power to move effectively and strike back which is why people clinch back. Going for throws is a good idea but it's pretty damn hard when you're in a poor position clinch-wise.

    Any more questions on the anatomy thing, just ask :)

    Edit -

    I doubt that, it was most likely due to a hip flexor/posterior chain imbalance. I've had it too, not fun.

    Also, tendons are much more thoroughly strengthened at higher loads and volumes. Slow forms and "special stretches" simply do not have an influence on them because the load isn't high enough. Check out a lifter like Sandow or Brooks Kubik - they have very thick, visible forearm tendons at the wrist because they are HEAVY grip trainers. Check out Dinosaur Training by Kubik for more information. Although some of the science in there is debatable it is overall a great book. The fact that heavy weight trainers get injuries is BECAUSE of the intensity and load of the work which is obviously lower in IMA workouts.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  14. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Thanks for that. :)
    Will give a read.

    ? Meaning that they are use in conjunction with the muscle - but the muscle would actually be the 'responsible' factor. If that is the case I misunderstood your earlier post and can agree. If not... then I am not sure what you're saying.

    I'm having a hard time seeing how you can consciously decide to use your tendon. It's not an either or option. If you want to use the muscle it will recruit the tendon regardless of whether you want it to or not. You can not actively will your arm to use tendon only... so there is no way to focus on the tendon as such. In Muay Thai (my gym at least) we are very aware that one must have healthy tendons. The stretching, strength training and massage regimes all contribute to this. So it's not as much of a by-product as some may think.

    I have to admit that we don't believe that it's possible to do much with your muscles without giving your tendons a workout as well.

    No I'm not making anything up. I didn't post it to be flippant. It was posted to illustrate the point that the two (muscle and tendon) work together. You can't isolate your tendons from you muscles.

    Ok, then my question would be how you go about training your connective tissue other than tendon without having to use your muscles? What other connective tissue is it that you speak of?

    Again, when you are using your muscles your tendons also benefit from this. There is no way to isolate the two from each other. They are not mutually exsclusive systems in the functional real world.

    It wouldn't be implausible to think that many pro sports players end up with tendon injuries and and other connective tissue injuries because they stress the aforementioned tissues much more than the vast majority of martial artist ever do.

    However I think it's far too much of a generalization to make to be honest. It's easy to study pro sports players as there are any number of mechanisms to quantify injuries etc. where there really aren't the same structures in place for martial artists. I would doubt there was even a single study of internal martial artists and training related injuries ever done. So that would make it a bit apples to oranges. Not to mention that most internal martial artists go through no where near the physical demands that even your semi pro football player (soccer for Americans) goes through. I doubt you would ever find an IMA practioner that puts his body through a workout that would reach that of a collegiate wrestler or a rugby player.

    In terms of weight lifters... power lifters generally have very good tendon strength elasticity etc. This particular form of weightlifting places great stress on the tendons thereby strenghtening them. With bodybuilders I would probably agree there are some major imablances taking place though - the focus is on image - not functionality. Though most people still consider strength and resistance training based on a notion that is straight out of the 1950's. Most of the martial artists that I know aren't real into bodybuilding anyhow... the ones that do hit the weights tend to focus much more on functional strength. Which has massive benefits for power generation and healthy tendons an connective tissue.

    Hmm.. much of this sounds exactly the same a functional strength training regimes that are gaining more ground in the gyms these days and always have been a staple of wrestlers and athletes. To be honest it's much of how we train our fighters, not only in Muay Thai but also in Boxing.

    Ok I get some idea of what your getting at. FWIW I appreciate your effort to respond. Not to say that I agree with it completely though, and to be honest much of it seems like what I just posted above... very similar to functional strength programs and perhaps Yoga. From what you've posted it doesn't sound like it's exsclusive to IMA... except for the tendon isolation bit... which I am still having trouble with.

    Out of curiosity... how related is Tendon-Changing Chi Kung to what your speaking of? :confused:
  15. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Slip - I think I've got it covered :D
  16. onyomi

    onyomi 差不多先生

    The "Tendon-changing Classic" is a rather poor translation of Yijin-jing, imo. I think "Channel-changing Classic" would be somewhat better as what the exercises seek to change is the flow through the energy channels/meridians as opposed to the physical tendons. From a TCM pov the goals are opening the energy channels, increasing the lung capacity, strengthening the dantian, gaining mental control over the flow of qi, etc. For those who don't buy into the qi thing, I can say the exercises also probably do have the added benefit of stretching and strengthening the muscles and tendons, as well as increasing lung capacity, blood oxygenation and other benefits.
  17. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Cheers for that. I knew my heavies would show up. If I'm ever in doubt I could always just type the word 'toning' and it's practically like a Bat signal! :D

    Holy Tendons Batman! Someone's posted an anatomic/physiologic fallacy in sector five!
    Right Robin... We're all over it!

  18. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Quick, to the TONEmobile! :D
  19. middleway

    middleway Valued Member


    Thanks for the responce and links.

    I am in no way as qualified to contradict what you say relating to tendons, ligaments and connective tissue.

    I will however try to address some points you have made from an IMA perspective.

    Agreed. I think a misunderstanding may occure because we generally call all connective tissue tendons. This is incorrect obviously. Appologies! :D

    When talking about connected structure we talk about mainly the clear line of force by aligning the skeleton and connective structures.

    How does a cat jump so high with such small skinny legs with little muscles. The size of the huge tendons throughout there legs may be a key? The same with Gazells etc. I dont have the qualification to comment but i would bet that they play a store and release role.

    What is your opinion on the article i posted and those findings? Its an interesting subject.

    When standing in a posture for an hour, muscles just dont have the ability to maintain such constant exerssion according to IMA. They will begin to fail and the connective tissue will take over the role of supporting.

    I have a very well built MMA ist in my xing yi class that has very strong well developed muscles. He is the first to fail in standing practice. If support and movement are dependant on muscle strength why is this the case?

    What is your take on this by the way? interested in your thoughts.

    by Anthony Blazevich PhD

    If you clinch someone and they strike your legs everytime you knee them (ever been given a dead leg), catch your leg and throw you on your head, wont stand still and constantley step into your centre out of you knee range, are unusually stable dispite your efforts. What do you do?

    also, what if the guy is alot stronger than you?? can you still throw them around like a rag doll?

    out of interest.

    thankyou for the insights into what modern medicine says.
  20. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    oh and by the way .. thanks for the links. very interesting.


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