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Dutch Vs Thai Style Approach With Jake Mainini

Dutch Vs Thai Style Approach With Jake Mainini

In the world of Kickboxing there are only two styles that truly matter. Both identified from their country of origin. Muay Thai from its home in Thailand. The other being Dutch hailing from its home in the Netherlands.

Never heard of Dutch kickboxing before, That is not a surprise although the names that have represented Dutch Kickboxing are legendary.

Ramon Dekkers known in the ring as “The Diamond Dutchman” was the first big star in Thailand. Dekker not only competed in Muay Thai competition, He dominated with his different style. Dekker is known as the man who went to Thailand to face their champions. His style was ironically Dutch, Hard and fast.

Thai boxing is only watched by fans that are in the know, so maybe the name Ramon Dekkers does not ring a bell.

What about the Name Bas Rutten? Bas is a multiple time world champion. Strictly in kickboxing Bas had 16 fights, he won 14 of them and all by knockout. His move to MMA was just as successful. Bas earned a record of 28-4-1.

What made Bas Rutten’s fighting style so memorable was his ability to absorb damage and return strikes in devastating nature. This is the hallmark of Dutch Kickboxing or “Dutch Style”. In Traditional Muay Thai the lead leg is light. Often used to quickly lift and check kicks with the shin. This leaves the fighter on one foot, effectively taking power out of a counter. This style of “Shield” is also used for kicks to the body. Thai matches often turn into fighters taking turns firing shots and defending.

As mentioned before, the Dutch approach is a bit different. Take the outside leg kick for an example. In Muay Thai, the lead leg is lifted, and the kick is checked with the shin. In Dutch weight is shifted to the front leg, Knee bent, and the body becomes hard like a wall. The kick will be absorbed then the body is already in position to immediately return with a strike. This is oftentimes a lead hook, but can also be a half beat kick. (Half beat is a timing term used when referring to striking while an opponent is in motion.)  

Below is a video of Jake Mainini out of the Hard Knocks Gym in Boston MA. He is a veteran fighter and great trainer. Check it out!


See how Jake takes the shot then shuffle steps and uses a chopping kick to the inside. The kick is coming upward at a steep angle, opposed to a cutting kick coming down. This is a quick return and great counter.

Check out more from Jake Mainini! Click Learn More!



A key note is what Jakes feet are doing, to start keeping your toes forward keeping the knee strong. He also notes that putting a little weight forward  foot flat to keep his leg strong and loading it to return.

The two first options Jake gives us are to the inside lead leg or to the liver. Either direction a fighter decides to go, his back foot does the same thing. It comes forward and out.

The placement is hard to explain but pay close attention to his back foot. It pulls him off center line and also builds the power for the counter.

Moving on Jake touches on blocking kicks to the body. Same concept about absorbing the blow, Loading and returning a shot. This time Jake uses his lead arm to catch most of the power and his trail arm to brace. Jake turns his upper body into the shot slightly. 

Now that Jake has absorbed the shot he gives options, options ,options. They say variety is the spice of life, and Jake is showing how to sprinkle your opponent with all sorts of pepper!

First Jake shows that the turn allows for him to switch his feet and return with a Switch Kick.

Second, Jake is showing that he is already loaded up for a left hook to the body. He notes that after kicks most fighters leave their body open. This is because in training fighters are told to protect their head and face while kicking.

Lastly it’s a small adjustment, but a favorite. Take that same loaded hook and go to the head. In later rounds of a fight, an opponent might get lazy, or you have hit the body enough times they guard low. Now is the time to go up top.

The Fundamental System of Muay Thai by Jake Mainini

Jake is incredibly knowledgeable as you can see from the video above. To be honest it is hard to do his work justice in words. If you like the idea of Dutch style kickboxing, or are looking to add some partner drills to your repertoire check out what he has to offer.