In the sport of Muay Thai, that simple and powerful kick is the cornerstone of almost every fighter’s game plan. Imagine what would happen in a fight if you could take those kicks away from your opponent. I am talking about that tricky technique of kick collections. As I was re-watching all of my coach’s fights I came across one of my favorites: Jongsanan vs. Therdkiat.
In this fight Jongsanan amazingly collected more than 25 of his opponent’s kicks, frustrating Therdkiat to the point where he all but completly abbandoned kicking in the last round of the fight. Today I’m going to analyze and highlight some of my favorite moments of Jongsanan’s tactics in dealing with his opponent’s kick offense that day. Some of them are so dramatic it borders on comical.
You will notice almost immediately that Jongsanan has a simple and effective method of catching and dealing with his opponent’s kicks. While many Nak Muay tend to collect at the end of their opponents leg for more leverage and instantianously counter or sweep, Jongsanan often catches higher up on the calf allowing him to powerfully turn and thrust his hips forward, lifting his opponent. This immediately takes his opponent’s balance allowing Jongsanan the time and position for a series of offensive options. This style of collecting is a signature technique of the his.
To the right is the Woodenman (in blue shorts) after collecting a left kick. You see him delivering a classic lower kick counter to the standing leg of his opponent. While this often causes the kicker to fall Jongsanan kept Therdkiat on the defense with a strong followup kick.
Sweep and Dump.
Once you catch the kick another option is sweeping and dumping the kicker to the canvas. By slightly turning the opponent’s leg you can keep his body turned away from you making it very hard for the kicker to give an effective counter attack. Also once you have turned them you can lift causing the kicker to hop. That makes it almost effortless to sweep out the standing leg.
To the left is an example of Jongsanan performing this technique.
Moving on to another variation of this style of kick collection is worth exploring because of its historical interest and its dramatic effect. But this method has been banned from the sport entirely. This is the infamous “Plowing” technique. Once the kick is caught and the initial lift and twist is achieved you put on hand on the kicker and literally run him across the ring. This is so effective that is hardly seems fair.
To the right is Jongsanan plowing his opponent into the corner. Notice that once Therdkiat has no where to go he receives a powerful flying knee to body. Because the kicker is pinned against the ropes his body absorbs most of the force making this kind of knee attack increadibley powerful.
One of the most dynamic highlights of this fight comes when, in his typical aggressive manner, Jongsanan plowed across the ring to launch a flying knee and literally knocked his opponent, himself, AND the referee out of the ring and onto an unsuspecting judge. I cant help but to grin every time I watch this. There were two other times in this fight where Therdkait was plowed out of the ring but this is by far best one. While there are rumors that plowing was made an illegal move in Muay Thai because of Jongsanan he denies it, saying it was probably because of a fight between “Rainbow and Don”. Perhaps that will be another fight worth looking at another time.
There are so many increadible moments during this fight that I would love to share but sadly I had to narrow down the selection. Having said that anyone who is a fan of Muay Thai owes it to themselves to watch the full fight. While Jongsanan and Therdkiat met in the ring on another occassion where Jongsanan suffered an early knock out, this particular fight really is one of the more entertaining fights the sport has had. Here is the full fight. Enjoy…
Sensei Ben Brown is the founder and Head Coach at PHAS3 Martial Arts, a Muay Thai focused martial arts school in Santa Rosa, California. PHAS3 offers a family atmosphere that welcomes students of all skill levels from beginners to the most competitive fighters. PHAS3 is a Woodenman Certified Muay Thai training school.