Okay, so How do you defend against
a) an elbow strike?
b)a knee kick?
c)the ever popular punch or knee to the ribs?
d)a hook to the head, like a left hook or a right hook to the head?
e) a spinning back kick to the head?
Let’s put this through the technique filters I qualified in earlier posts.
a) An Elbow Strike
. I’m going to assume you are talking about either a horizontal/cross elbow, or rotating/corkscrew elbow from a standing position. With that, here are some options:
1) Interrupt/Pre-Emptive Attack with an up elbow on the receiving side of the strike as you step into the attack. The elbow position will act as a fail safe/cover if the incoming elbow is faster than your attack, or if you are reacting slowly. You could also interrupt with a Jab, Cross or Takedown.
2) Dodge/Evade the attack while leaning back and return with a punch off of your mirror side, or an elbow of your own. If you dodge by ducking under, you will have an opportunity to shoot.
3) Deflect the elbow along the same path it was thrown as you lean away from it to unbalance your opponent. After which you can Punch or Elbow the opponent in the head, punch, and knee or kick them in the exposed area of their body, or tie them up and clinch.
4) Cover/Block using the High boxing covers listed above. Make sure to follow up with a counter attack or clinch.
b) A Knee Kick
. If this is a knee kick while inside the clinch, read up on my thread Breaking a Clinch
to see how to deal with that. If this is a free standing knee without benefit of a clinch, then I offer you the following (this also covers “knee to the ribs”):
1) Interrupt/Pre-Emptive Attack with a jab or cross. In training you can put this into practice by shoving your opponent off at the chest, shoulder or face to simulate this. You can also hit them with a push kick as you see them load the knee. Since your opponent is on one leg, it should be easy to upset their balance.
2) Dodge/Evade the attack by stepping or circling away from the attack and strike with a lead hook or elbow. If you dodge by stepping back, you can return fire with a kick (push kicks work real well), or shooting on the opponent’s leg.
3) Deflect the knee by patting/sweeping it toward your opponent’s centerline from the outside in. Counter with a striking combination of your choice, a takedown or clinch.
4) Cover using the appropriate body cover as you step back to lessen the force. Follow up with a counter attack or clinch.
c) A Punch to the Ribs
1) Interrupt with a punch or elbow off the opposite side while keeping the applicable body cover in place.
2) Just like knee kick, you can Dodge/Evade the attack by stepping or circling away from the attack and strike with a lead hook or elbow. If you dodge by stepping back, you can return fire with a kick (push kicks work real well), or shooting on the opponent’s leg.
3) Deflect/Catch… Eh… I can’t seem to come up with one on this particular technique.
4) Cover using the appropriate body cover and counter with a strikes, a clinch or shooting for a takedown.
d) Hooks to the head
are easier to deal with because of the angle of attack.
1) Interrupt with a straight punch off of the side that is receiving the hook, or with an up elbow on the same side that is receiving the hook as you step forward. You can also clinch high or shoot low if you see it coming soon enough.
2) Dodge by leaning back and returning with a combination of your own. You can also duck in and shoot.
3) Catch the hook by stepping in and reaching into the angle of the hook with the arm on the side being attacked and secure a grip on the back of your opponent’s head. Use that grip to bring them in to an elbow, or knee off the opposite side, or tie them up for a clinch.
4) Cover using the appropriate high cover listed above and then counter attack with your own punches, takedown or clinch.
e) Spinning Back-Kick to the Head
. I’m going to say this is a back heel or back hook kick.
1) Interrupt with push kick to the back of your opponent, or shoot a low single on their supporting leg.
2) Evade by stepping back or ducking and coming forward with your own striking combinations or takedown.
3) Step forward to cut into the angle of attack while holding up your high cover. If you get hit with the leg, it will be high up on the backside of their thigh, and will not have the same amount of power needed to hurt you. You can either tie up the opponent and sweep their supporting leg, or attack with combinations.
4) Cover with the appropriate high cover and make sure to dip/bend your knees to mitigate the impact while blocking.
This should be more than enough to get you going. If you need any clarification/details don't hesitate to ask.
Muay Thai Basics by, Christoph Delp
Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker
Bas Rutten's Big Book of Combat by, Bas Rutten