Keep Your Opponents Hands Occupied To Land A KO Worthy Head Kick With Marlon Moraes
The art of striking has more strategy than meets the eye. Especially to someone who doesn’t train, they likely aren’t going to pick up on feints and other subtle movements that are more strategic than anything else. While having power and landing strikes is obviously one of the main goals, winning the strategic game is just as necessary.
In the simplest form, one of the main goals or strategies in fighting it to create openings. Whether this is to the head or the body, an opponent who trains knows how to protect themselves from these shots. Therefore, it is your job to have the technique to properly outsmart their defense.
You aren’t guaranteed a fight winning blow every time you capitalize on an opening. However, the more you land those kinds of strikes, the better your chances are of connecting just that one punch or kick that lands perfectly. Incorporating proper timing into your movements is also key to not only creating these openings, but taking full advantage of them.
In this video, Marlon Moraes demonstrates a simple yet effective technique to draw his opponents hands away from their head to land a gnarly head kick, check it out below!
The head kick is one of the more deadly and savage kicks in the game. So much power is generated from the legs and there is so much more surface area than the fist to hit the sweet spot for the knockout. That being said, fighters are highly trained to defend against these given the consequences receiving one can bring.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are hard to land; you just need to make sure to set it up correctly. The first and most obvious step to doing this is to somehow make your opponent lower their guard. You can get super complex with this, but there are also simpler routes that are just as effective.
One of these options is to make your opponent parry one of your punches. In that split second where your opponent is parrying your punch, he is not blocking his face. In doing this your timing has to be great because your opponent can also throw a punch off of his parry and counter your shot.
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In this video, Marlon uses a simple one two combination. He throws his jab and then follows with his right cross, anticipating his opponent to parry the punch. As soon as his opponent moves that hand away from his face for the parry, Marlon delivers a mean right head kick. As stated, the setup for this seems fairly easy, but there are a few things you should consider.
You need to determine what you want out of that right cross. Do you want to try and land it to cause damage, or are you more so throwing it out as a distraction? Have this decided beforehand because depending on what you chose can change the technique up a bit.
If you put a ton of power behind that right hand, you are off balancing yourself and really loading yourself up for a switch kick rather than kicking with your right leg. If you do it quick enough you may have some time to reload to throw your right head kick, but the parry happens so fast that you may have missed your opportunity.
Instead, you can throw that right hand out as more of a distraction. It doesn’t even have to hit your opponent in the head, but his reaction is going to be quick and he is going to parry it anyway. By not adding a ton of power onto this punch, you can more easily keep that right leg loaded to throw the head kick as soon as you see the opening.
Also, you may think about throwing some regular one two combinations before throwing the leg kick. Jump into the pocket, throw your one two, and get out. Your opponent will start to see a pattern and will begin to think he knows what is coming. As soon as you see some of his reactions begin to change where he is really anticipating both punches, throw the right cross out lightly and immediately toss up your head kick.
This is a technique you should drill countless times in the gym. Not because it is super difficult, but because it requires good timing and the more you drill it, the easier it will be to pull off in a fight. You also get to determine how most of your partner's react. Perhaps you spar with a few people throwing that one two combination a few times in a row. How many times does it take for you to land that for your partner to really start anticipating your next move? Play around with that and get a feel for how to use this technique with all of its potential.
About Marlon Moraes
Marlon began training Muay Thai at the age of 7, complementing it with Jiu Jitsu at the age of 15. He had national success in Muay Thai competition before making the transition to MMA. He has fought in Xtreme Fighting Championships, World Series of Fighting, and he made his debut in the UFC in 2017. He has had the opportunity to fight some big names such as Henry Cejudo and Jimmie Rivera, who he knocked out in the first round via head kick.
His list of achievements in multiple different fighting organizations is seemingly endless. His fundamental Muay Thai techniques really show in his striking, and his switch to MMA has clearly opened a door for him to succeed in many forms of martial arts. Currently fighting out of American Top Team, he holds a black belt in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
About Marlon’s Instructional
Marlon has devoted the majority of this instructional to forming a savage switch kick. Included you will find techniques such as placing and setting up the leg kick, using off balancing kicks to set up strikes, incorporating feints into deadly combinations, and so much more.
Marlon is a UFC veteran who has been training for nearly his entire life. Not only is his technique exceptional, but his ability to explain the philosophy of the sport for everyone to understand is unmatched. Make your kicks a working part of your arsenal and develop your game around the fundamentals, check out his instructional here!