Since Muay Thai has eight weapons as opposed to the 2-4 normally utilized by other striking styles, combos are usually heavily varied. This is one of the greatest strengths of Muay Thai, but even though combinations are infinite, traditionally-trained fighters can still fall into certain grooves that can make the next technique easier to see coming. For instance, the majority of the time if a strike was thrown from the lead, the next strike will be thrown from the rear. Even if that strike could be any one of four weapons, having narrowed it down that much is a big help for defending against it.
This opens the door for a very simple strategy to shake up traditional combo structure and catch opponents off guard – simply double up the same strike! A double jab is fairly common, but when was the last time you threw two crosses in a row, two lead hooks in a row, or two power head kicks in a row?
The strikes don’t have to be identical. One of my personal favourites is a short cross (no hip turn) to throw off the opponent’s sense of how far they are from me by just knocking on their defense, followed immediately by a full cross that penetrates the defense fully. You could throw a lead hook to the body followed immediately by a hook to the head, or a lead cut kick to the inside thigh and then go to the head with the same kick. Try mixing doubled-up strikes into your combos, you’ll be surprised at the effectiveness!
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