Any tips on how you adapted Muay Thai to MMA? » MMA General » MMA Training » Any tips on how you adapted Muay Thai to MMA?
3/15/09 10:55:08PM
I'm looking for tips or maybe links on adapting traditional (think Bao Quach) Muay Thai for MMA. I know there's not a ton of science to it but if maybe someone who was transitioning over saw something useful I'm looking for anything.

I'm 5'7" 155 and a Sean Sherk reach lol (63") in case that helps.

I've been looking for articles everywhere on effectively using Muay Thai to its fullest in the cage but there's nothing on it. And the place where I train is B plus level at least, it's still traditional pure Muay Thai with big gloves and everything.

So any striking advice from someone with that experiance would help.
3/16/09 11:21:21AM
focus less on the kicking aspect, it leaves too open for counter manuavers in mma.....focus more on your upperbody strikes (punch combos, elbows etc.) and espcially work on the thai plum....not neccisarily the thai clinch, cuz there are multiple clinch tactics other than the plum in muay thai, but for mma purposes, any clinch tactics other than the plum should be taken from freestyle wrestling, greco wrestling or even judo
3/16/09 6:53:46PM
A big problem with MT in regards to MMA originates at the stance. Most MT styles require a light front foot, but in MMA you've got to worry about the takedown, so it's necessary to have some weight on that front foot so that you can still execute a good sprawl.

When I think of guys who are successful with a light front foot or MT type striking game I usually associate it with names like Anderson Silva and Donald Cerrone. These guys may get put on their back often, but they've got that long and lanky BJJ guard game to back that up. If you're short of limb having someone in your guard isn't exactly going to work to your advantage. So this is a thing you'll have to consider when you think about MT in MMA. I remember hearing once from a noted trainer something along the lines of- "If I'm a good kickboxer and I move into MMA, the very first thing I'm going to learn is how to fight off my back"

Then, you've got guys like Thiago Alves who have had success with a MT oriented striking game. Again, when put on his backside (like he was earlier in his career) he wasn't as successful because he doesn't have the long limbs to work a good guard game. Even though his BJJ pedigree is there. So what did Alves do? He shifted his stance a bit more forward and focused on defending the takedown and beating up the legs of his opponents to help defend the takedown even more. Then, when he did end up in those clinch situations he utilized his knees to the body to keep wrestlers and judoka honest. We saw this with Wandy and Shogun in Pride, too.

So all in all with you having short limbs I would suggest to finish more combos with a leg kick (only after you've established your punches.. don't go to them too early against wrestlers) and then after that I would suggest working on upper body strength and endurance to fend off the takedown, pummel for hooks or a plum, and deliver knees to the body on a lot more regular basis. I'd also disengage the plum with elbows to the head. You've got to make them pay for getting in too close. Also, if you're fighting rangy guys who want to play that outside game then you can go more into a traditional MT fight because they're going to be shooting doubles from way outside, and you should be able to fend those off pretty easily.
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