What if martial artists had the ability to create an illusion of proximity of distance, in a split second take that distance away, and then reappear at that same distance. This is essentially what is happening when you see fighters such as Israel Adesanya, Connor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather lean just out of distance and then come right back with a clean shot.
There are two separate ways to do this on a pull or fade counter. One (which is shown in the video below) is to keep on the balls of your feet. Raise your rear heel off of the ground and lean your head and body weight over your lead leg, by about 60-40%. This in turn will make your opponent believe that you are at a distance closer than where your foot positioning is. This illusion is great because the classic move everyone believes is right at this point is to strike to the face, as it is the closest target. Unknowing that you are drawing out this reaction to take advantage.
As your opponent then moves to strike, you should evade the attack by switching your weight again 60-40 but this time onto your rear leg. We can do this by simply placing the heel of your back foot to the floor and reaching back with your head a tiny bit, carful not to be off balance. Another big key here is to keep you knees bent, so that it can allow for balance and power. The traditional Muay Thai stance may have more trouble with these types of dynamic movements as it teaches a bit more of a rigid form.
From this lean back we can then shoot off of the back heel forward again into a cross counter, catching our opponent off guard with their jab hand extended out and not back at their face yet. I think of my read foot as a spring during this movement, my heel is up and comes down to hit the floor, then immediately shoots back off the ground into a cross.
The second way, which you can also see displayed in the video above. Is to step back with your rear foot, in turn pulling your head back a few inches, and then stepping back into range with that rear foot again to commit on your cross. In both instances the lead foot does not change its place, which holds your actual striking distance in place and gives you the ability to stay in range.
I prefer option one, but try these out in training and see which one works best for you. Check out our Boxing Gloves and Shin Guards that are used in this video, check out our shop, like and subscribe to the youtube channel for more and follow our instagram.
For more in depth analysis check out The Ultimate Guide to Striking for MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing.