Switching Our Stance To Create Space With Katel Kubis
Managing the distance is managing the fight in all combat sports. By controlling the range, we can deny or allow techniques to be used; if an opponent wants to punch us and manage the distance well, keeping it in the kicking range, he will never get to me.
When we see a fighter dictating the range of the fight defensively and offensively, we know that he’s got the upper hand, as he is composed and prepared everything so the fight will be to his advantage.
But managing the distance is a vast subject with many techniques and tactics inside of it that we must learn; it is not an easy subject to master, but it is a subject many practitioners look past and don’t give enough time to train properly.
We have three primary distances we can use in a fight, and we call them “Zones” :
Each zone presents different tactics for us to use, but this is a subject for another day; today, we will look at the transitions between the different zones, which is crucial for practitioners to develop as it can be very dangerous moving between the ranges naively.
The first transition practitioners would learn to use is the long steps mixed with head movement or any other defensive maneuver. For example - we are in the punching distance, and we want to create space, the danger will be his kicks now, so as I take a long step backward, I must keep my guard tight and put weight on my lead leg to prepare for a low kick that might come.
As you can see, the stepping transition doesn’t take us out of danger; it relies on anticipating what is coming to mitigate the damage. But what about switching our stance to open the distance? Now we can move our leg out of the way, and we are far from our opponent, and this is what we will learn in the next section.
Who Is Katel Kubis?
Katel Kubis is a Brazillian striking coach for MMA at American Top Team. Katel was an MMA fighter himself before becoming a coach which helped him understand better the integration of Muay Thai into MMA. Katel has developed many elite fighters and world champions. He is known for bringing the lethal calf kicks into American Top Team that got a lot of recognition lately, especially when Dustin Poirier beat Conor McGregor in their rematch with those low kicks.
Learn To Land And Defend Calf Kicks With Katel Kubis! Click Learn More!
Switching Stances To Land Our Punches
In this video, Katel Kubis will teach us how to avoid the calf kick as part of his new series. Katel starts by telling us that we can use steps backward to avoid the calf kick, but sometimes the opponent will be rushing forward and putting so much pressure that we won’t be able to create space and avoid the kick by stepping back.
So we will learn how to switch our stance backward to southpaw and make our opponent miss his kick, opening the space for us to follow up with punches.
When the opponent is coming forward at us were going to start by stepping backward, and if we see that he is getting too close, we are going to switch our stance into southpaw, and if he is still too close, we will take a step to our right and get to an angle where he can’t get to us.
Notice that after we switch our stance backward, we'll use our back leg to push us into an angle and take our head out of the centerline simultaneously. Now, after we step sideways, we will pivot so we are at our opponent’s back where we have the advantage.
Now, remember, as the opponent is pressuring forward, he will try to kick our leg as hard as he can, so we want to take our leg out of the way, and then if it tries to follow up with a punch, we take an angle out of the centerline, so we make a miss and pivot, so we're at his back.
Once we get used to the drill, we can punch while switching our stance back; we can throw the Southpaw Jab while switching to a left straight to a right hook as we take an angle and finish with another left straight that he can't see.
Learn More From Katel Kubis
Suppose you liked this technique shown by Katel. In that case, you could learn about the system he uses to deal with the calf kicks in his new instructional - “Counttering The Calf Kicks - Katel Kubis” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.