Upgrade Your Defensive Counters With This Counter Sweep From Jompop Kiatphontip
In MMA in general and especially in Muay Thai, knees to the body happen frequently and are effective. Whether they are from the clinch or just right up the middle, they have the potential to cause an immense amount of damage and need to be defended against properly.
Depending on the situation you may be able to use your hands to block them, but you have to be careful because then you are leaving your head wide open and unprotected. If you are going to use your hands to block the knee, you need to have a counter to throw back before your opponent has the opportunity to start punching you.
One option is to catch the knee if you are able to see it coming and react properly. The upside to catching the knee is that now your partner has poor balance on one leg, but he still has both of his hands to hit you and you only have one hand to defend with. A counter option from here needs to be quick and in the back of your mind to execute immediately.
The basis of this technique includes using your free arm after catching the knee to take advantage of your partner’s lack of balance while using one of your legs to kick for a sweep. As you go through this video, take note of the small details such as footwork and hand placement, and notice how big of a part they play.
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For this variation, Jompop assumes his partner throws a high left knee right up the middle. As you read your partner’s movements and see him switch his feet to begin throwing that left knee, the first thing to do is to take a step to your left to get off of the centerline. As your partner’s knee comes up, use your right arm to catch the leg, scooping right under the knee.
Simultaneously, your left arm is going to go across to the right side of your partner's neck, establishing a sort of collar tie. As you use that collar tie to pull your partner to the left, your left leg is going to stand in front of your partner’s free leg, eliminating his ability to move it and causing a trip which results in the sweep.
Some details to pay attention to include how your arm is positioned when you catch the knee. You should be scooping under the leg so your hand is facing the sky, not over the leg so your hand is pointing towards the ground. This makes it much easier to hike that leg up high and really get your partner on their toes, keeping them off balanced.
As you practice this technique and start to do it quicker and quicker, all of the components of the technique should flow into one fluid movement rather than three separate ones. As soon as your partner throws the knee you will step to the side, catch the leg, get your collar tie and sweep all in one quick motion. Additionally, those moves will be done the same way if your partner throws a right knee instead of a left, all of your grips will just be opposite.
This technique is such a great option for so many reasons. If you have taken a knee to your ribs or liver before, you know how important it is to defend against. Not only do you protect your body with this technique, but if you land a sweep you get your points in Muay Thai, or can set you up for a top grappling position in an MMA fight.
You can also use this technique in a similar way to defend against body kicks. The act of catching the leg will be slightly different, but your grips and trip will be the same to produce that off balancing effect. As you are drilling this, start slowly to really get a feel for all of the movements and then when you begin to understand how everything works, pick up your speed and work on making everything a single movement.
About Jompop Kiatphontip
Jompop, like most Muay Thai fighters, began fighting at the age of 9 in the Phattalung province of Thailand. With an exceptional career in South Thailand, he attracted the attention of scouts and began fighting on the big stages in Bangkok. He has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, and was Ranked number 1 in the famous Rajadamnern Stadium.
Following his fighting career, Jompop retired at the age of 23 to pursue a degree in law. After attaining his degree, he returned to Kiatphontip Gym in Bangkok to continue teaching the art. With an impressive 161 wins on his record, Jompop’s career speaks for itself.
About Jompop’s Instructional
This instructional has been entirely devoted to mastering Muay Thai elbows and sweeps. Included you will find techniques such as opening the guard to land elbows, catch push kick to elbow counter variations, defending against elbows, defending sweeps from the clinch, and so much more.
When picking an expert to learn Muay Thai from, Jompop is as traditional as it gets. Becoming one of the biggest names in Thailand and in the sport, there is no better person to pick up your technique from than him. Increase the effectiveness of your elbows and sweeps from all different positions and become the fighter that your opponents dred, check out his instructional here!