Start Sweeping Opponents Throwing Knees At You With Jompop Kiatphontip
Muay Thai is one of the most dynamic martial arts there is; known as a brutal striking art where all “8 limbs” are allowed to use - punches, elbows, kicks, and knees; it has another vital element to it which makes it much more exciting to watch - sweeps and takedowns.
Usually, when students come from other striking arts to train in Muay Thai, they find it rather bizarre that a lot of the work done is more like grappling than striking - here, students are introduced to the unique art of the clinch that only Muay Thai has.
Many trainees find it difficult to get the hang of the clinch and find themselves rather hopeless in the hands of experienced fighters, but this does not mean that they cannot use any of the grappling parts the clinch has from range.
To use any form of an effective and reliable sweep, we need to have some kind of prolonged contact with our opponent’s, which usually happens in catching kicks and knees where we can leave our opponent with one leg to base on and sweep it quickly.
You can find many Muay Thai fighters using sweeps outside the clinch with success. Usually, those fighters are more confident in the distance, so by keeping the distance and catching the opponent’s strikes for a sweep, they can still look good in front of the judges and crowd without entering the clinch.
Who Is Jompop Kiatphontip
Like many native Muay Thai fighters, Jompop Kiatphontip started his muay Thai journey at an early age; Jompop made a name for himself pretty early where Songchai's talent scouts found him and took him under their promotion; Jompop has fought in the prestigious Lumpini stadium, but shortly after he moved to the Rajadamnern stadium where he managed to rank as no.1 fighter, Jompop had a short career as he retired at the age of 23, but he has gathered a lot of experience fighting 161 fights and winning 131 of them. Currently, Jompop is working on the development of the Kiatphontip Gym in Bangkok.
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Catching The Knee And Sweeping Our Opponent
Jompop starts by saying that an easy knee to catch and start with is the switch knee, where the opponent needs to make a big movement switching his legs and only then throwing the knee; this gives us a lot of time to anticipate and catch the knee.
Before we catch the knee, we need to make sure we step to the side; the side we choose to step into is the side opposite to the knee thrown at us; for example: if my opponent throws a left knee, I will move to my left side.
If I try to catch the knee without moving to the side, I can get knocked out before I’m even able to grab it; by moving to the side, I remove the danger and power the knee has
When I catch his leg, I need to get a “scoop grip” where my hand slides under his leg instead of over it; this way, I have much more room to lift with less power.
After I caught the knee, I am ready to sweep; I simply lift him, pulling his far shoulder/neck down, and sweep the leg to finish and take him down. Notice that it all happens simultaneously, and there is no break in between the steps.
This technique can be used the same way against a normal knee with no switch, here we have less time to react and catch, but as we get better at the technique, it will become easy for us.
To finish, Let’s Break Down The Sweep
- Step aside to the opposite side of the knee thrown
- Catch the knee with a scoop grip from under
- Lift the knee and pull his far shoulder down with your hand
- Sweep the leg and take the opponent down to the mat
Learn More From Jompop Kiatphontip
If you enjoyed this technique breakdown by Jompop Kiatphontip, you would love the entire series where Jompop goes over Muay Thai’s elbows and sweeps in-depth - “MASTERING MUAY THAI ELBOWS & SWEEPS BY JOMPOP KIATPHONTIP” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.