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Countering Punches With Kicks With Morgan Charriere

The addition of kicks to combat sports like kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA fundamentally changes so many aspects of striking. The addition of kicks even changes the way that people punch and fight with their hands. Since kicks are the longest range weapons that are available in combat sports, the range that the fight takes place at is increased. 

This means that if your opponent wants to land their punches on you, they are going to have to move in for a much farther distance. This gives you more time to counter with different weapons. If you want to maintain as much distance between you and  a charging opponent as possible, cutting them off with kicks should be your go to. 

In this video Morgan Charriere shows how you cut off an opponent advancing using punches with kicks. Morgan Charriere is a French Mixed Martial Artist and is currently competing in the European MMA promotion Cage Warriors in the featherweight division. 


The video starts off with Charriere having his partner come in with either a jab or a cross with both of them being in an orthodox stance. As his partner is coming in, Charriere uses a lead leg roundhouse kick at his opponent’s body to cut off their advance. It doesn’t matter which punch they are throwing at the time you are countering, you just need to get them to stop coming in. The lead leg roundhouse kick can either be a switch kick or it can be a lead leg roundhouse straight from your stance. The switch kick will be more powerful but the lead leg roundhouse from stance will be quicker, so take your pick. 

After landing that lead leg roundhouse, Charriere says that instead of bringing your leg back to where it was. Instead he says that you should switch your stance, putting the leg that you just kicked with into the rear. This will put you into what is known as an open stance scenario, with one fighter in southpaw and the other in orthdox. While you’re switching, you should try to land with your lead leg on the outsides of your opponent to get a superior angle on them. 

From here you are going to fire off a kick from that same leg you just kicked with, but now it’s in the rear, so it will have more power. Charriere recommends throwing this kick to the head or to the body. Charriere says that you can also go to the leg with the second kick. Doing this will get your opponent thinking low, setting up a future high kick. 

After landing that kick you have a few options. You can retract your leg back into a southpaw stance and move further out to the side. This would take an even stronger angle for follow up strikes, while making it harder for your opponent to counter or even defend. 

If you aren’t that confident or strong in your southpaw stance and don’t want to stay in it long, then you can switch back to orthodox. You can still move out to the side to take a stronger angle but it will be harder but the trade off is you will be in your stronger stance.  You can also choose to disengage and move back to a safe distance. 

It is important to note a few things. First, you don’t need to land the first lead leg kick to the body, you can also go for the inside of your opponent’s lead leg. This will not only cut them off but also knock them off balance and take them out of their stance. This will throw off their balance and probably make them drop their hands, leaving them open to your follow up strikes. 

The second important thing to note is that this counter needs to be changed if you and your opponent are in opposite stances from the start. If your opponent is advancing from the opposite that you are in and want to create the same kind of counter, you will need to use your rear leg kick to cut them off instead of your lead.

You will also want to avoid switching into the other stance for the follow up kick and instead want to retract your leg back to its original position. Taking a more powerful angle on the outside is still recommended. 

European Striking Fundamentals by Morgan Charriere

If you like this counter technique and want to learn more from Morgan Charriere, then check out our complete European striking fundamentals video series featuring him, available now!