Axe Kicks and Overhands! [Technical Article]


This is the concluding segment of a three part series. The other parts can be found below:

Part 1: Footwork

Part 2: From Below

In the second part of this series we studied the blind angle and the advantages of attacking one's opponent through this. It is a common tactic among master strikers and there is a lot more to be said on it still (for instance it is the reason that Muhammad Ali and Anderson Silva fight with their hands low - not because they are arrogant, but because it makes their punches difficult to see). In this article, however, we are going to focus on the least used blind angle, techniques which come from above. These are far less common than techniques from below, partly because there is a very limited amount of legal techniques to throw downward onto the top of an opponent's skull (particularly with the banning of downward elbows in mainstream kickboxing and MMA), and partly because most strikers who choose to vary their attack do so by throwing uppercuts and attacking from below exclusively.

Take a look at this photo of Joshua Clottey covering up against Manny Pacquiao. This was basically the story of the fight, Clottey could not compete with Pacquiao's footwork, speed or power so he chose to survive and he did so excellently - coming out of the fight largely unmarked and in much better shape than most of Pacquiao's victims. You will notice that Clottey has braced his gloves against the sides of his forehead and is keeping his chin down, elbows in, hips thrust forward so that his abdominals are tensed for body shots but his is upright enough to effectively nullify Pacquiao's uppercut. So Pacquiao set to work with his famous combinations, landing in double digit bursts, but did little damage. You will notice that the one place vulnerable in Clottey's excellent guard is the top of his head and that he has obscured most of his own vision. Boxers (and Nick Diaz) are less opposed to taking punches on the forehead as it is the hardest area of the skull, but the top of head is less dense, and less prone to taking damage. Additionally one cannot see punches to the top of the head coming, I'm sure most readers can think of time their shower or some other household item fell on their head with no warning.

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\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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