In every sport there are established, basic techniques and specific guidelines on how to perform them. Of course, there are truckloads of variations and different ways to train these techniques, but they’re still pretty universal. And then there are those who “break the rules” and do all kinds of weird or unorthodox techniques. They perform low-percentage, high risk techniques that come out of left field and surprise opponents who are used to working with the regular techniques.
Mixed Martial Arts and muay Thai are no different. Over the years, I’ve seen some really weird stuff that shouldn’t work but did. In other cases, MMA fighters just copied techniques from the traditional martial arts (the ones they loathed so much in the beginning. Yup, it’s my pet peeve again. :-)) and tried them out in the ring or cage.
Muay Thai is slightly different as it has a very long history and includes a lot of cool moves to begin with. Some are now illegal in the ring where as others are mostly forgotten or deemed unreliable. But every now and then, a fighter makes them work real well.
Here are some examples:
MMA front flip:
You don’t have to call it a front flip though, you can call it an atomic butt drop attack or something like that, if you prefer. Still, it did the trick.
MMA Cartwheel #2:
Sakuraba does his cartwheel at 50sec of this clip. He also does some more cool stuff but let’s stick to the cartwheel for now.
MMA Cartwheel #2:
This one is pretty nice as it looks like he’ll miss. But he doesn’t… :-)
Muay Thai Cartwheel/Handstand kick:
In this clip, you can see Saenchai in action. He’s currently one of the best muay Thai fighters around and routinely uses his cool handstand kick. In this clip, you can see him pulling it off many times during relaxed sparring. Don’t be fooled though, he does it in the ring just as well.
You’ll also see a lot of other funky leg techniques from Saenchai. I particularly liked the inside-to-outside leg kick as I thought I was the only one who did that. Wrong once again… :-)
The point of these techniques is surprising the opponent. If you can pull off one of these funky moves , you have a good shot at landing a solid blow or knocking him out. If you miss or he sees it coming, you’re usually wide open and risk some damage yourself. So you better make sure you land the shot…