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Counter With The Knee With Peter Aerts

Counter With The Knee With Peter Aerts

Knees are powerful strikes to land that can crack ribs and even break faces. One well placed knee can end a fight in an instant, even if the fight just started, as we have seen with the UFC’s fastest ever knockout. The thing that stops knees from being a go to for most fighters is their range. Knees are a really short range strike, second only to elbows in terms of being the shortest striking technique. 

This means that you need to get into close range to even have a chance of landing a knee. This usually results in knees only being thrown in the clinch by most fighters. While this means that you can land knees with a degree of certainty, it also makes it harder to land really powerful knees. Most knees that are thrown in the clinch are what people generally call side knees. These target the side of your opponent’s body and generally land with the side of the knee or the thigh. 

These knees are generally not that powerful and are more so meant to score points than do damage. Getting a really powerful straight or spear knee from the clinch can be difficult. To do that you will usually need to be in a dominating position in the clinch. A spear knee will also take more time to land, giving your opponent more time to defend. 

You can also choose to throw knees from the outside. These will usually require some kind of step, jump or lunge into range to actually land. This makes them a very telegraphed technique and one that your opponent will likely have enough time to see and counter or defend. 

This is where using the knee as a counter can be really effective. Using a knee as a counter is really effective for a few reasons. First, this deals with the range problem as your opponent is closing in on you, making it easier to land a short range strike. The second is that since your opponent is coming forward, their energy and momentum is coming forward as well. This means that if you land a knee as a counter while they are coming in, the damage and power will be dramatically increased. This means that there will be a big increase in the chance of that knee ending the fight. 

Third, even if this doesn’t end the fight, your opponent will likely be stunned. This means that you have an opportunity to either take control in the clinch or move out of your opponents range. Using knees as counters will also dissuade your opponent from coming in and attacking, as they will be wary of this powerful counter. 

In this video, renowned striking coach Peter Aerts shows off a way to use the right knee as a way to counter an aggressive opponent. The drill that Aerts uses to show this technique is very simple. Aerts has his partner throw a rear straight that Aerts parries and then uses a long guard. Then Aerts steps forward while keeping his long guard and lands the knee. 


The long guard is an important part of this technique as it will help catch any follow up strikes that your opponent might throw. It will also help jam up your opponent if they come forward. It also helps after landing the knees as if you want to go into the clinch. With your arms in that position clamping down into a domination clinch to land more knees is a good and easy option. 

The Lumberjack Manual by Peter Aerts
If you like this technique and want to learn more from striking coach Peter Aerts, then check out our complete video series featuring him, available now!