How To Intercept The Jab Or The Cross With A Front Kick By Firas Zahabi
Traditionally called the front kick in English or "teep" if you want to use the Thai term or "Mae Giri" for the Japanese term.The front kick is when you kick someone standing straight in front of you with your ball of your lead leg. You start the kick by bringing the leg up curled with your knee bent and chambered then doing a knee extension and curling your toes backwards then connecting on someone's body, leg, or face with your ball mound of the foot.
It's also called a front kick because it distinguishes them from "back kicks" where you attack the person with your leg but your back is facing them. And all of them are different from a "Push Kick" though since you want to strike not shove. As Fiiras Zahabi says in the video you want to poke them and do damage.
Here in this video First Zahabi shows how and when to use the teep against an opponent advancing with their jab
Who is Firas Zahabi?
Firas Zahabi is a Mixed Martial Arts Coach who operates the world famous gym TriStar in Montreal, Canada. His name "Firas Zahabi" actually translates to "Golden warrior" in Arabic.
Firas was the head coach for George St Pierre who is widely regarded to be the greatest pound for pound fighter in the history of UFC. GSP also had some of the best striking in his division and arguably the best striking defense in any division.
How To Do The Technique
The front kick is a very versatile weapon. In Muay Thai they say the front kick beats everything. The lead leg front kick is considered by many experts to be as important as the jab but for kicking. You can attack with it, or you can time your opponent with it as they are advancing for an attack. The front kick can intercept someone's jab, round kick, elbows, or hooks.
Firas starts the video by saying the most important thing is to have your gloves above your eyebrows in your stance. Below the eyebrow is not acceptable here because of the vulnerability of throwing the front kick leaving you open as the kick can slide off their belly and leave you open to counters. Most problems that fighters have with their front kick is that they either feel off balance so they are hesitant from throwing the kick or they relax and drop their hands and leave their head open
Firas here is never relinquishing his guard and staying compact. Start off the drill by parrying the jab and getting that down. Parrying your arm to the side not pawing down. As the jab comes, poke them with the front kick then chamber the leg after. Now it doesn't matter if you can't read if it's a jab or a cross, You have one beautiful counter for both straight punches. When the opponent advances with the jab make sure to parry at the same time you are teeping. Now for intercepting the right cross with the teep, for the hand position you are going to use a long guard instead of catching the cross earlier than what you would do with the jab.
Another thing is the lead leg teep has a kind of weird range for the one doing it as it could miss if the opponent is just outside the jab as it will feel that the kick is shorter than some might expect. Firas says if you are far then you might need to hop in and slide to kick but that could be telegraphed. According to Firas, the timing when they are in their jab range is a great opportunity to throw that teep. If they can jab you, you can teep them.
Firas Zahabi's Instructional