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damien trainor

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Don’t train not to be hit, train on how you react when you are hit

30 Aug Posted by in Blog | 7 comments

I’ve often heard a phrase “The idea of fighting is to hit and not be hit back” now sometimes people can take this too literaly by concentrating too much on not being caught at all during training, which isn’t a bad thing but you shouldn’t only work on evasion. Reason being at some stage you will get tagged and it’s going to come as a huge shock when it happens.

I’ve seen people go down off shots not because they were hit on the button but because they weren’t used to being hit, the intial shock is what put them down. Usually you can tell from their eyes if they have been truely hurt.

Now I’m not saying you have to learn to take punishment Bovy style as not many people can do that and I certainly don’t enjoy being hit. Ronnie Green said to me many years ago “You must train on how you react when you get hit.”

Obviously there are plenty of drills you can do on the pads where you’d block and counter back, the same type of drills can be done in your sparring.

What you don’t want to do is get frustrated when you are hit. If you can counter back instantly then great, if not don’t worry you will get your time to even it up, remember you have five rounds, but don’t wait too long.

While I was in Thailand the trainers often said that differences between westerners and Thais was how eratic we can be when we are hit. “Jai Rorn” (hot heart) we get hit and instantly want to hit back without thinking. The Thais on the other hand think “Mai bpen rai” (no problem/never mind) they wait and strike back at the right time.

Another one to watch out for is that generally people have patterns, they will attack with a certain amount of techniques like a three hit comb or five hit combo etc etc. So it’s good to try and pick up on this quick.

The trick is to try and break his rhythm, for example even if you defended all of his attacks in his mind he has set out and achieved what he wanted to do which will makes his confidence grow, a confident fighter is a dangerous fighter. Even if you defend all and respond straight after it could run the risk of just going tit for tat. What you need to do is counter in the middle of his attack.

Most people don’t enjoy being hit so if they are tagged in between their assault it will more than likely stop them completing it. So in their mind they have failed at that point and if it keeps happening it will effect their confidence on how they will attack you.

There is a huge emphasis on Muay Thai scoring now which is indeed important, you need to know how to win the bout, but there are other aspects in the fight game such as those mentioned above which are just as important to know and learn.

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  • Mick Howarth says:

    Great blog post as usual, Mr Trainor!
    This is something that seems to confuse my beginners more often than anything… I have a few simple drills getting them to take light shots on the thighs, arms and foreheads whilst encouraging them to hold their position just to get used to the feeling of being hit (albeit lightly) without being overwhelmed and turning their backs and flinching which is the natural. I almost always get someone questioning “Wouldn’t it be better to avoid/block [whichever shot it is we’re practising taking] by doing x, y, z?” Which is fine, but missing the point which you make perfectly here.

  • fairy cakes says:

    🙂 great information there! Taken on board, Thank you x

  • Fire Shin says:

    Very well said, DT. Did know breaking combos pick up points, though. Learn something new everyday!

  • Fire Shin says:

    Sorry! I mean ‘didnt know’

  • John Paul Maley says:

    Fantastic article to read as you have seen it and done it: its not purely picked out of a coaching manual. In a relative newcomer to thaiboxing at the age of 36 and its something that I was thinking about ie that it felt strange to be tagged, that it was un-natural and how do I counter that. Thanks Damien, I will look forward to my sparring with this in mind!!

  • Ronnie Green says:

    It to me was the way like when you cross a busy Road and you react so you do not get Knock over. And the fight game about seeing it before it happen I move to win.

  • I was so frustrated before I heard this….

  • Adam Batley says:

    Great article.

  • howard says:

    Damien who said you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    Each time im on your website i seem to learn something new.
    Example even after training now more on than off for 32 years i still get sidetracked into full power techniques and 100% workouts until both you ad my training partner russ thornley said one day power one day technique etc etc etc.
    What you say about learn to be hit NO i could dish out the most savage leg kicks even full on to both your shins so you faceplant-BUT could not take a kick to my thigh even off a soft kick instant deadleg.
    So again i 100% agree conditioning is whats required to be an effective fighter.

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