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.