Rhythm and cadence is a massive part of being an intelligent fighter, as anyone can get into a fight and swing as hard as they can for every punch and kick. Whether you are competing in MMA, Muay Thai, Karate, Boxing, or any other combat sport. It is the fighter that can read reactions, set timing and rhythm and then change this timing and rhythm, that will be able to set and create openings to capitalize on.
Fighters develop rhythm and cadence to the point of where if you just saw the movement of a silhouette, you would be able to know exactly who it is. In our next video we will show a great way for Muay Thai fighters to break the rhythm of a fight and capitalize on knowing what their opponent will do next.
A lot of times you will see fighters go back and forth, throwing a combination or kick, then almost allowing for the other person to hit them back with a combination or kick, until it is their turn to throw again. These sequences are like a dance in that each athlete knows what is coming next and at what timing it is coming at, the first person to then break this timing and rhythm will win the battle. The rhythm in the video below is swing kick, check, swing kick, check, over and over again.
Knowing this rhythm, Clay uses his the understanding that after his check the opponent is expecting him to swing kick back with the opposite foot he checked with. Instead of using that rhythm they have set, he changes his timing buy using a front push kick or teep with the same foot he just checked with.
Clay executes a high level technique where his checking foot does not come down before it reaches out for a teep with the same foot, but one can also place this foot down for a split second to gain balance and power before shooting it out again. To do this technique correctly, the support leg must be straight at the knee and your heel must be down to generate balance and power.
Saenchai is a beautiful example of a Muay Thai fighter who consistently sets traps by setting a rhythm, so that his opponent expects a certain weapon to be used. Then breaking the rhythm he just set and using a different weapon to catch his opponent off guard.
This concept and idea can be used in many different ways, this is just one of the ways it can be executed.
For more in depth analysis check out The Ultimate Guide to Striking for MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing.