Tips on southpaw/countering

Discussion in 'Kickboxing' started by minamo9, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Hello. After recently switching from MMA due to moving to a new city, I'm kickboxing in an advanced class.

    I can attack decently, but my defense fails, and i often cant stay in one stance to long due to my background as as a taekwondo-ka. I have some questions, and i hope to people are willing to answe then.

    1. Due to my recent switch i still keep my head down alot, resulting in being punched alot. How do i get myself to keep my head up without turtling right away?

    2. I tend to lose control (as in, dont know what to do, not as in going crazy) when someone is rapidly punching at me with jabs and hooks. How do i recover from this without covering up too much? Im reasonably fast and can weave, but since i train in an advanced class the punches are high speed and accurate. Any tips what i can do to improve my control in such a situation?

    3. I'd like to learn more on countering. I have been watching alot of vids, but the counters i saw so far dont seem that effective in sparring, because they see them coming after 1 time. When is the right time to counter, with a maximum chance of damage to the other and a minimum of me getting hit?.

    4. I tend to switch legs back and forth alot due to my background as a taekwondo-ka. I'm a lefty. I tend to be quite quick with my legs, but my steps on defending and attacking just go miserably because i dont have a front leg. Should i stand southpaw or keep regular stance as a lefty? in MMA i bothered less with it cause i focused more on ground fighting.

    5. My trainer explains every combination as if you were with your left leg in front of you. However, i want to learn southpaw combinations and the left leg ones dont make sense anymore then. How can i flip combo's from righty to lefty without asking the teacher to do the entire class over?.

    I know these are quite some questions, but i would be thankful if someone would take the time to answer them.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    - If you are a grappler, you want to put your strong side forward. If you are a striker, you may have options.
    - To switch side in the middle of fight is not a good idea. Any boxing coach will tell his fighter to attack when his opponent switches side because that mean his opponent is "tired".
    - If you hide your head behind your guard, when your opponent punches you, it's not hard to wrap his arms from inside to achieve "over hook" or "head lock".
    - You should develop different skill sets for uniform stance (you and your opponent have same side forward) and mirror stance (you and your opponent have different side forward).
  3. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Keep doing the Advanced class but do their basic class as well to find out what they know as fundamental.
  4. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Thank you for replying to my thread. However:

    From nature i AM a grappler. But is a kickboxing class, and unfortenately it is not allowed to go for the legs.

    Head locks are not allowed either in kickboxing. Or are you reffering to clinching?.

    @ Embra: I already do. It mostly consist of stamina training and basic combinations. Those things do not work at the advanced fighters, and i dont learn counters there.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I don't know about everything else, but the flipping of combos I could answer.

    Rather than think of it as a left/right kick/punch/hook/elbow, refer to it in your head as a lead or rear hand punch/kick/hook, roundhouse.

    For example, a southpaw right hook would become a "lead hook". A left kick would be a "rear leg kick".
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  6. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    That is actually a very nice tip. Thank you for putting your time into explaining that :). I hope other people can help out with my other points.
  7. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Even boxing allow over hook (clinching). You may not get any score for that. At least you can interrupt your opponent's jabs and hooks (your 2nd concern).

    2. I tend to lose control (as in, dont know what to do, not as in going crazy) when someone is rapidly punching at me with jabs and hooks. How do i recover from this without covering up too much? Im reasonably fast and can weave, but since i train in an advanced class the punches are high speed and accurate. Any tips what i can do to improve my control in such a situation?
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  8. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    I think i can see your point. Thanks for your input :)
  9. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Hi, I train in Kickboxing and Muay Thai.

    It sounds to me like you need to start doing attack and defend drills. I suffered from similar problems to you having done other martial arts previously and this is what helped me immensely.

    It also seems you are a little out of your league in regards to the group you are training with currently. I would suggest training with people more around your level while you get the basics down. You might have experience in other martial arts but you should not feel the need to go into an advanced group just because you feel you can roll with the big boys. Don't let the pride eat you up here. If it's not working quite how you want it to don't be afraid to drop down a level.

    Unless you are a natural southpaw I would suggest sticking to what you are and concentrating on building up a solid foundation and basic skillset. If you are a southpaw naturally your instructor should be helping you with adaptation. If not then you need to have a discussion with him regarding the matter.

    Concentrate on learning how to kickbox rather than trying to gel it with everything else you have learnt. You'll find you'll pick it up faster. This is especially in regards to kicking (of which I had similar issues too with stance shifting).
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  10. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Thanks alot for your input :). Attack and defence drills might work out indeed. Will take time though. Do you suggest live action or the punching bag?.

    Reason i'm training with an advanced group is because they do not fight at all in our beginners group, but just learn basics. I know all the basics, problem is i can't apply them in combat, so alot of sparring should let me get used to it eventually. I do see your point though.

    About the southpaw thing: normally i would always stand front with my left leg (im a lefty) but steady speed kicks dont tend to do alot of harm in my group. However, if i put the left leg behind it is more powerful, but also slower.

    I find it to be a difficult trade-off, also because if i stay with my left leg in front of me i need to powerpunch with my right.

    Im much stronger with my left and would prefer jabbing with right, but that does not work when im not southpawing. However, when i am southpawing, it feels like you say it, unnatural. So this is a difficult choice for me. I hope you can expand your opinion on the matter.

    With Kknd greetings,

  11. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    I'm exactly the same. My left hand is more powerful with hooks and I jab with my left and kick best with my left. What I've found is continous repetition of kicking and punching with my right on a heavy bag to improve strength and power, and flexibility. Also work on using kick to guard -> jab -> sidestep to hook combos to weaken your opponent and get your left in.

    You will eventually develop the power you need for the right, you just need to work on developing it. At this stage try not to focus on having a big left or right finish and just try to focus more on the overall balance when fighting out of your natural stance.
  12. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Thanks alot for that advice, that looks really helpful. Do you have any specific tips on my points of countering and facing up without turtling in a fight?.
  13. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Yes, attack and defend (take it in turns to throw basic combos at each other while the other defends them). You'll get used to where the shots are coming from, taking them, how to defend them properly, and keeping your eyes on your opponent instead of behind your guard. You need to start with some drills to get out of the bad habits before you try to apply them in sparring or you'll just go back to what you were previously doing.

    Then when sparring just start by playing on the back foot. Get your partner to just throw jabs for five minutes so you get into the habit of parrying, weaving, etc. Then slowly start introducing other techniques as you get comfortable.

    It honestly sounds like you're jumping right into the deep end here. Don't feel inclined to jump right into sparring with advanced fighters without a good defence base or you'll just get wasted everytime without ever really understanding why. Just take your time, get the basics of defence down, once you do then start throwing out counters (like jab parry into jab) then take it up a level. You'll get more out of it that way and so will your sparring partners.

    Where are you based by the way?
  14. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Thanks alot for the help Unreal :)

    I am currently living in Holland, training at Katz Factory in Assen. Problem here is there is not a middle class.

    At the beginners class people are taking wide swings without really knowing what they are doing and at the pro class everyone's reasonably good.

    Thing is i'm quite fast and use that to my advantage, i just have not found out yet how to apply that in defending. I will take your advice start drilling on the bag (assuming the trainer lets me on off days) and see how that goes.

    Btw, it is not like those guys go all out on me, they hold back and try to explain something when i'm doing it wrong, but mostly they are like 'ýou get it, you have potential, it just takes time'.
  15. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    I'd just find someone in the class who's half decent at teaching (or who knows what they're doing and has patience) and get them to give you a bit of one to one on defence for a few sessions, along with some drills, then try applying it with a few different partners. If they think you have potential they should be happy to help you out.
  16. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    It is true that some are willing to help me out, however, they are also training for matches and are often busy with other stuff. They do give me useful tips though.

    For example one guy told me he always hit the gym and punched with light weights there. When he laid them back after a while he punched much faster. Same goes for ankle weights and dashing speed.

    I take your advice and try to stay one one leg. I do have trouble keeping my balance in the long run, because i'm not good enough in dodging and weaving my body yet. That is essential if i want to become a good counter fighter.

    I will continue to use the jab counter. Due to my taekwondo background i have no trouble countering kicks, it is more the rain of punches that kills me. I will try to clinch in now and then to reduce the damage and see if i can avoid them by dodging.

    How do you counter straights and hooks?
  17. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I do this a lot.
  18. Unreal Combat

    Unreal Combat Valued Member

    Sorry, I have not been well so I haven't been able to respond as fast as I would.

    Or you could use heavier gloves, which is what alot of people do when training. You could do the weights but I find that speed and power will come naturally over time. There's no real wrong or right here.

    Balance will come once you learn the proper techniques. A key fundemental in any discipline is nail the technique before applying speed and power. Once you nail the technique, assuming you're flexible and agile (from your Taekwondo I would hope so), you won't have any problem from either side. Just nail that technique and frorm through repetition.

    A good example from me is I used to be really weak at throwing right roundhouses above abdomen height. After about a month of just hammering the roundhouse I'm pretty comfortable throwing it once I've warmed up. I'm still not quite where I want to be with this leg but considering how weak it was before in comparison I'm very happy with how it has come so far. What did I do? I just kept nailing it and nailing it on the heavy bag until I got it where I wanted it. Taking my time by throwing left followed by right. If you use the bell format (3 min rounds followed by a 30 sec rest when training) then take the time to do a quick stretch on the groin and back of the knee areas between rounds. Start at a comfortable height (I always start with low kicks, around knee height, when working the heavy bag) so you can work the technique and then build the height up through the session as your legs stretch off more from the workout.

    In a flurry keep your head up, so you can see what's happening. Don't put your head down. Use your backfoot to lean in and out. When you counter make sure your head isn't static (otherwise without even looking a seasoned fighter will know where to hit). Use stepping jabs along with your backward leanout to employ a hit and run style assuming you have decent range. The most important thing is to keep cool and not panic. It might be a hard hit, but it's still with a glove on. Get used to the feeling. Once you are you'll find the flurry easier to deal with because you'll realise it doesn't really hurt that much giving you more incentive to keep your head up and watch for an opening.

    Counter straights the same way as a jab, take it on the glove and follow up with a quick strike. Hooks use your weave, or take it on the glove (I raise my elbow upward slightly from guard when taking the shot), and follow up with one of your own or throw a roundhouse. You can also use your front kick though this would require good timing and reflexes.

    With all punches you should be comfortable taking them on the gloves before you start employing counter techniques. Get used to doing this and then the movement involved with that.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  19. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    Thanks for the tips, appreciate it. My gloves are already quite heavy. I'm using 14 OZ gloves with reasonably small hands.

    Geuss i just need to keep training to get the balance right. After negotiation with my teacher i got the keys to the dojo, so i can train on the punching bag anytime. However, i fitness quite intense a few times per week, so i dont know if i will be able to pound on it daily.

    I still take alot of damage at sparring, because i still duck away. I try to stay up, but it goes automatically as a response. I think it is mostly psychological. I hope i can get passed that, because it is essential in any martial art.

    Especially with the flurry i'm often in danger. after a few left right combinations my head becomes a easy target followed by a big hook on my head.

    Countering goes pretty well with the jab now. As long as they throw a single punch i can counter them easily. in flurry's however, i still loose control.

    I talked some with students and my teachers (2) and learned why i am getting so much hits on the head. It seems i still take too much of an mma stance while fighting and dont cover my chin up enough. Also i still lean forward to much when going for combinations myself an easy target for countering.

    I need to get used to keeping my hands close to my head and keeping my chin close to my chest. It is quite difficult to make long punches and kicks while keeping myself small in the meantime.
  20. minamo9

    minamo9 ファイター

    So, update time.

    Things are slowly getting better. I manage to keep up my gaurd more, an am overcoming the fear of taking punches. The combo's slowly go better, but i can mostly only follow them with the teachers, mainly because they slap me against the head if i forget to keep my gaurd up while i kick, or sweep away my leg if i put it in the wrong place. Bit harsh at first thought, but it does work effectively, and they are praising right away when i am doing it right, so i dont mind.

    I still workout with the advanced guys and it goes alot better. I have the feeling im growing fast in a short amount of time. I manage to keep the gaurd up and notice im quite fast when it comes to countering. I'm usually able to sneak in a few jabs at the nose. I do fail to follow up properly with kicks or my right hand, but i geuss that comes with time.

    At the moment I'm coping with two problems.

    When the tempo is going steady i have no problem keeping my head up, but when my opponent gets a few hits in or goes alot faster i start to duck again. I tend to get in panic because i cant see the punches anymore and i cant all block or catch them. Any tips on this?.

    Second, last training i was hit 3 times by a good hook, and that was not the first time. The last one almost knocked me out. Whenever i have my gaurd up i fail to block the hook, especially when they counter. How can block the hook fast when i see it coming at the last second? the elbow block does not work, because they just adjust it to land near the back of the head then.

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