Explosive Striking With Thiago Alves
Boxing, Kickboxing, and MMA is all about one thing. Smashing another human being. The key to smashing is the other guy is not going out and just throwing punches. Every person who has ever seen a fight can emulate the movement of a punch or kick. The idea of rushing into a fight and swinging for the fences is the epitome of “High risk, High Reward” behavior.
What we have seen consistently in all combat sports is that athletes that utilize good defense and counter striking have a greater chance at winning fights. The adage reigns true, “Defense Wins Championships”. Unlike Homer Simpson’s ability to take damage until his opponents fall out due to exhaustion, a real-world fight cannot operate like this. It would be a landslide for the other fighter if Mr. Defense managed to survive.
The most calculated ways to exchange in striking, will involve counters. A counter is the ability to block or evade a strike and then strike back. Good form while blocking will leave you in position to strike back.
A great example of counter striking is Thiago Alves. Thiago Alves is a former welterweight title challenger. During his title fight with George St. Pierre Thiago was dominant on his feet, out striking GSP. GSP Used his superior wrestling to keep Alves on the ground, attempting to avoid the inherent danger of Alves striking.
Before anyone can counter, they have to learn to block. Learning to block the right hook is a invaluable skill. The right hook is both one of the most common punches thrown.
The reason for the right hook’s popularity is the power the hook has. It only takes one to land and end a fight. Learning the counter to the right hook both takes timing and good form.
In the video below Thiago Alves shows how to block the right hook and gives some helpful tips.
In the video Thiago shows that the hand comes up to the ear with the elbow forward. This creates a shield for the temple and jaw.
Thiago explains that a half step laterally away from heavier strikes will take some of the power out of the strike.
The other key point that Thiago makes is the principle of the frame. Using the front hand to “Frame” on the opponent’s face. The frame has two primary functions. The first is to maintain distance between you and your partner. The second and more important function, is to create a blinder. If your partner can not see what is happening, it creates opportunities to counter more effectively.
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As mentioned above, a fighter cannot expect to just block and have the expectation they can win the fight. Countering is can be devastating when done correctly.
Making use of the openings that good blocking has created requires a strong response. That response can be in the form of a punch or a kick, but either one that is chosen needs to be explosive!
A great example of this is countering off the jab with a kick. Thiago shows how to do it below!
In the video we see the first step is to paw the jab down with our trailing hand (hand by back leg). Then immediately following with either a Slice kick into the lower ribs or a traditional roundhouse. What Thiago emphasizes is the kick must be strong and knock your opponent off centerline.
The consequence of not having an explosive counter will result in your leg being wrapped, and your opponent getting a counter of their own!
The best fighters in the world can strike explosively, and know when to implement their power.
Thiago is one of the most explosive fighters in MMA history. He garnered 23 wins with 13 knockouts. That is over half of his pro wins by putting someone to sleep. Thiago is not just a great fighter, he has been a striking coach for one of the largest MMA Gyms in the country.
American Top Team has employed Thiago as a striking coach since 2017. Thiago also has a great instructional set on utilizing “Explosive Striking”.
The information in the set shows how to effectively build power when attacking and countering. Thiago covers the fundamentals of striking and how to make each of them hit with devastating power. Check it out today!