How To Control The Distance by Rafael Cordeiro
In this video, the legendary head coach of Kings MMA, Rafael Cordeiro, goes over the importance of distance control and a simple drill that teaches you about the concept.
Coach Cordeiro starts off the video talking about the importance of distance control and how if you can control the distance, you can control the fight. This is an aspect of combat sports that many fighters, especially ones early on in their amateur career tend to ignore, or maybe not even know about the concept at all.
If you can control the distance, you can now dictate the pace of the fight and when the action takes place. This means that you can control how much energy you and your opponents use and more importantly when each of you takes damage and throws shots. This is basically you controlling the entire fight as if you were choreographing it. If your opponent tries to move in you can hold them at bay and if they try to retreat you can chase them down and apply pressure while keeping yourself safe.
In order to help teach and ingrain this concept, Coach Cordeiro shows us a very simple drill that shows us the practical application of distance control. The drill is built around the basic Jab-Cross combination, starting off with it. As you retract from throwing your rear hand cross, you are going to extend your lead hand out but not as a jab or a strike, but as a way to measure and control the distance. From this position, you are able to keep your opponent at the end of your reach. This allows you to follow up safely, as well as see any movements or strikes that they may make, giving you the time to react properly.
The next part of the drill is about keeping that distance control and measurement while in motion. Coach Cordeiro says after you land your 1-2 and establish your measurement, to move forward and backward to simulate what a reaction would be like in a real fight.
When you move forward, you could be moving to keep your distance with a retreating enemy, who was rocked by your attack. You could also be pushing back a stubborn opponent after you land your 1-2 so you can control more of the ring.
In terms of what you could be doing when moving back, the measuring arm works as a perfect defense tool. Like we mentioned earlier, it keeps your opponent far away from you, so you can see all of the attacks that they might throw and defend them accordingly.
This is good for when you’re fighting someone who likes to charge in after your attacks. Keeping them at bay will not only keep you safe but also allow you to follow up with your own strikes, as you have your own distance to work with. This measuring arm is also able to help you defend takedowns, as it can give you the time to sprawl, as well as a frame to help stop your opponent's charge.
Learn your Muay Thai Fundamentals from one of the best coaches of ALL-TIME! Rafael Cordeiro takes you through the essentials to make Muay Thai as easy as possible to learn!