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Defend The Front Kick And Counter With Juan Cruz Quintana!

Defend The Front Kick And Counter With Juan Cruz Quintana!

Front kicks are useful in so many different situations. They can be used as a push kick or a teep to create distance and prevent your opponent from entering the pocket, or they can be used to cause damage. Because of the wide range of their functionality they are used extremely often, especially in Muay Thai.


Because of the frequency in which they are used, good defensive options are extremely necessary to stop your opponent from landing it and to finish your defense in a good position so you can counter. Opinions about using your hands to block kicks vary because while you lower your hand to block a kick you are leaving your head undefended.


However, as you will see in this technique, there is a way to both defend the kick quickly with your hand while also keeping your head safe. The key to this technique is quickness, both in the technique itself as well as in reading the kick before it comes so you are prepared.


In this video, Juan Cruz Quintana demonstrates an extremely useful variation for defending against the front kick, while setting yourself up to counter with a powerful roundhouse to the leg. Check it out below!


The Technique

For this technique, we are going to assume that both you and your opponent are both in the orthodox stance, and your opponent throws a lead leg front kick. The technique would change if your opponent threw the front kick with his back leg, because in order to do that he needs to close more distance which puts him in a better proximity to land punches as well.


The basis of this technique is fairly simple as far as the movements it requires, but it is more about proper timing and quickness. Utilizing this defensive strategy just a little too soon or too late could put you in an extremely compromised position, so definitely take your time drilling it in the gym.

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As your partner throws the lead front kick you are going to block it with your hand, sweeping it to the side from the outside of your partner's leg. So, being that you are both in orthodox stances, as your partner throws his left lead leg, you are going to use your left arm to block the kick.


As he throws the kick, bring your left arm across your body and to the outside of his leg, You are going to sweep the momentum of your arm to the left and to the outside, causing him to step in the direction. As a result, he will step just past you and will almost be completely turned around, exposing his back.


At this point you have two different options. You could stay in the pocket and try to land some good strikes based on how you are positioned, or you can take a step out of the pocket, allowing you and your partner to essentially reset and then begin your attack from there.


Assuming that you stay in the pocket and do not step back since you have a pretty good position at this point, you are in a great spot to land a powerful roundhouse kick.  After you sweep the leg to the outside it will most likely cause your partner to turn about 90 degrees. This puts you in the perfect position to land a right roundhouse kick right to the back of your opponent's lead leg.


In your traditional leg kick you would be aiming either at the thigh or the calf. These strikes definitely hurt, but from this position you are able to strike the back of the thigh right on the hamstring. This is definitely going to cause significant damage, and may cause your opponent to move into a more compromising position for you to add additional strikes.


As previously mentioned, you always have to be careful when defending kicks with your hands. To mediate risk, perhaps you don’t go to use this technique on the very first front kick your opponent throws. Maybe instead you let him throw a few to get a feel for his timing and take note of what he does with his hands while he is throwing the kick.


In doing this, you might notice that he is not protecting his head when he throws the front kick so instead of countering with the roundhouse, you land a few punches up top. You could also choose to counter differently in an MMA fight, as you may decided to go for a takedown since your opponent is starting to expose his back.


These are all good things to think about to improve your fight IQ. being on point with your timing and knowing what your best counter option is while also keeping yourself protected. Those are all of the major arenas of thought you should be entertaining when using a technique like this.


About Juan’s Instructional 

Juan has devoted this instructional to crisp striking techniques and combinations. Included you will find techniques such as fundamental stance footwork and movements, left and right hand parry, absorbing the middle kick with a block, dodging straight punches and counterattacks, and so much more.

Crisp Striking Techniques and Combinations by Juan Cruz Quintana

Crisp is the perfect way to describe Juan’s technique as you watch him flawlessly execute everything in this series. Not only does he provide top tier technique, but he provides the insight necessary to understanding why these techniques work so well. Increase your overall striking and your understanding of the art, check out his instructional now!

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