How to Use Punches to Lay Down Cover Fire

In this Tip of the Week, Striking Coach Vince Salvador shows how to lay down cover fire, meaning he throws punches to help him move to the angle he wants. This lesson is good for Boxing, Kickboxing or MMA.


Coach Vince:
How’s it going? I’m Coach Vince from the arena and this is your striking tip of the week.


A lot of times when you’re striking, your exit plan is almost as important as your entry. So what way I go after I punch is really important. If I throw my left punch and I move this way, he’s going to hit me with something that’s in that direction.


So when I use punches to move, I’m setting myself up by laying down cover fire before I actually take the angle. It could be this side, this side, it doesn’t really matter. If I want to go this side, I punch with this side. So if I’m throwing my right hook, in kickboxing, we’re in this range here. But I throw here, I can use this to step off to the angle. He has no time to throw a hook, no time to throw anything.


And what I’m doing is I’m putting a defense in my offense and I’m moving my head, my feet, everything off the center line. And when I do it, I’m not swinging my head wild so he can kick me in the head, knee me in the head. I’m just using this head movement to get me into a better angle.


If I want this side, it’s the same thing. I could use it in combination, punch it and move to the other side, but if I punch in that direction, his counter will be a little bit late before after I move. So if he throws anything after that, let’s say an uppercut, when I move my head, I come offline by setting off that trap and taking the easy way to the angle right here.


If I want to use it in combination to the other side, I can do it this way, get to the corner. If I have a more a higher IQ or ability with my stances, I can switch my feet. I can be southpaw. I can do it on this side, too. Same thing. They all work in the same idea of me punching in a direction that I’m going.


If it’s pure boxing, simple boxing, it’s the same idea. If I throw my left hook and I move this way, I’m a lot safer. Same thing with kickboxing and MMA. It all applies.


So tip of the week, punch into the direction that you’re going. Don’t just go without laying your cover fire.

How to Use Inside Leg Kicks to Shift Your Stance

In this Tip of the Week Striking Coach Vince Salvador goes over inside leg kicks, and how you can use them to shift your stance and set up other combinations in a Kickboxing, Muay Thai or MMA fight.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going? I’m coach Vince from The Arena. This is another striking tip. And we’re using kicking to setup this now, and we’re using it to set up angles by setting up the kick to the inside leg. When I first throw the kick, really important where I land, right? So if I start for my kick here and I land here, I’m in range for getting hit. Another thing that will happen there is if this is MMA, easy take down where my legs are so close to him and I don’t really have power to the inside leg. So if I’m using it to set something up, I’m going to watch my right leg drop to the corner here. So if I fire that inside leg, I step off line already. Now my right foot is already in kick position. So if I need to, I can just fire this again, right?


If I want to fire a hard shot to the body, I’m already there. But I’m going to use this to move instead, right? So I use my footwork to set up my positioning again, but now I’m doing it off a kick. So I’m setting it up with the right hand, I shift off line, now I’m southpaw. He comes forward, I’m in a different angle now. So I’m just using this to shift and I’m not going to wait for him or draw myself into any kind of battle. If I go here and I go backwards and shift, he’s already waiting for me. I want to go as fast as I can. So when I go to the inside, he moves forward right away. So when he feels that, he moves forward right away, I’m already in the angle, right? So in the kickboxing, I want this guy to come forward. I’m going to keep him at my range, and so I’m ready. When he comes down here, I’m having a better angle. Now I can hit him from southpaw using a different stance and a different attack. That’s your tip of the week.

How to Land Fast and Effective Low Kicks for MMA

A low kick can be a very effective weapon for a fighter. In this video striking Coach Vince Salvador breaks down how you can use the low kick in Kickboxing or Muay Thai.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going, I’m Coach Vince and this is Enrique Marte. Today’s tip of the week is a kickboxing and Muay Thai tip of the week. A lot of times when we’re throwing the low kick, you see a lot of people in MMA or even in kickboxing, they’ll throw a big wide kick jumping into the kick for power and it’s not wrong, some guys prefer that. José Aldo is really good at that, by getting you to go backwards, as you go backwards, he jumps into the kick. Good, it’s a real powerful kick, but in MMA it can go both ways. I can take him down if he misses that kick or if he times it wrong. Right, so we’re going to work on a shorter kick. It’s more of a cut kick. The kick is to score and to damage a leg. I’m not really picking up my lead leg too much.

I’m not jumping into the kick. If he jumps into the kick and I punched at the same time, he’s going to be off balance. We want to score with the kick. A lot of times we can use this for the low-low as well. We’re chopping really low. But when we’re chopping that kick our whole body is not turning much. Then we’re scoring with the same power as a regular low kick without having to jump. So when we throw the hook, in boxing when you’re taught to throw the other hook, you’ll pivot that front foot to get more of the angle for the hook. But in kickboxing, if I turn the hook and miss, my leg’s exposed, get my leg chopped off. So I want to make sure when I throw the hook, I don’t really turn my foot just the hip so I can still chop the kick.

Right, so it’s a little faster too. So he throws a hook a lot faster. If he throws the hook, pivots his foot as he throws the hook, it makes it perfect, there’s no way he’s going to turn back for the kick. So, again. A lot faster it scores, harder for me to do anything if this is MMA. I come forward, he’s out of the way. If he does a big, big jumping kick, I can take him down if I really pressed the issue. And that’s your tip of the week.

Is Your Ego Preventing You from Growing in Martial Arts?

Switching things up in this Tip of the Week, MMA Coach Charles Martinez discusses something that can hold any athlete back. Your ego. Your ego can really limit your ability to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new skills, so listen up closely to what Coach Charles has to say.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey, this Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and this tip of the week slightly different than what I normally put out. I’m always really focused on technique, but today I decided to talk about how to actually make growth in the sports, right? All of these sports have a similar thing. You’re trying to learn new technique, you’re trying to add to the technique and then you have to do it under pressure.

A lot of times what prevent us from getting better really is our ego. Our ego doesn’t want someone to best you. You want to go harder and harder, and you want to make sure that you win every exchange. That’s not always the best way of being, right? You want to make sure that your technique is getting better. In order for your technique to get better, sometimes you have to do it against people that are better than you. They’re going to get the better of you, and then you have to try to analyze what’s working, what isn’t working, especially with sparring and live rolling.

People are going to get the better of you, and there’s always that, “Well, he started it. That’s why I started going so hard.” That’s the most common thing I’ve heard. I’ve heard guys in the fight team say it all the time. “Well, he started it.” Well, just cause you can do something to him doesn’t mean that you should. Right? There’s varying skill levels. You can learn from each level of someone better than you or worse than you, depending on how you take the lessons.

If you want to smash and smash and smash, that’s fine, but eventually someone will smash you and it limits your growth, right? Yes, you want to practice your technique perfectly, but you shouldn’t see someone getting the better of you as a failure. You should see as an opportunity to analyze what you’re doing, and see why they were able to get the better of you rather than seeing it as a bruise to your ego or a challenge to your manhood. It should really just be taken as a lesson. They got the better of me. Now, let me see why and let’s see what changes I can make to make my technique better so I don’t have to just use brute force or speed in order to win. That’s your tip of the week.

How to Control Your Opponent With a Dominant Clinch

Having a dominant clinch can be a great way to control a fight and impose your will on your opponent. In this video striking Coach Vince Salvador teaches some clinch fundamentals you can use in MMA or Muay Thai.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going? I’m Coach Vince. This is Jeff Creighton, one of the pro fighters here at the Arena. Today I have a clinch tip of the week.

Whenever I’m clinching, as basic as it gets, the first thing’s first is I need a grip. I can’t just grab him over the top or anything like that. He’s going to hit me. I don’t have anything to control him, so when I enter the clinch, I want to have a good grip and my favorite grip for being the shorter fighter is the head in the bicep. Going here is good if it’s Jeff. Jeff has full plum. It works really well. He can knee me up the middle, right? It’s a good strong position, but for me I would have to bring the crown of his head down and it’s going to be a lot harder. I would have a lot more strength because I’m a lot shorter and heavier, but it’s not something that I like to keep so I go right here.

The second thing is my hips. My cup is going to touch his cup. So if he tries to knee me now, not as much power, I’m leaning back. Easy knee, I go down.

Another thing too, a good way to block a knee is just to keep my knee up. So if he tries to throw knee and he can’t knee me. But if I’m here, even with the right knee he can’t really knee me, all right? So I can use that to keep his hips away and give him no space, no angle for the knee.

Another way for me to create the angle is if he’s standing straight up like we’re supposed to do to defend the knees, I can break him down with the grip and also with my leg. I can go to the inside of his thigh, break his waist down, turn my leg in to get a better angle at this and push him back so I can throw the knee to the body. And that’s a good way to create space. Hips in is the key. Hips away. You get kneed. That’s my tip I think.

How to Sneak in a Body Shot for Kickboxing

In this Tip of the Week, Kickboxing Coach Vince Salvador shows how can sneak in a body shot against his opponent by adding it into his various striking combinations.


Coach Vince Salvador:
Hi, I’m Coach Vince, kickboxing coach here at The Arena. This is Zach. Today we’re doing a kickboxing tip of the week.


This tip of the week is how to steal a body punch while I’m in combination. So, a lot of times when you throw a hook, the counter will be coming from that side. So what I want to do is roll my head underneath just like in boxing. But as I roll underneath, I’m going to trail my right arm to the body so that I can get power with that body shot as I go underneath the center line. So when I throw here, I go underneath center line, I come back up, throw the hook on that side. It gets all his weight on that leg and I got shot from there.


So again, I’m going high, low, high, and then the low kick. And in combination, it makes it faster so I don’t have to set up that body shot by itself. I’m using my body momentum to set it up and it gives me one strain of power. It makes it easier, it makes it harder. That’s my tip of the week.

How to Safely Slip a Punch in Kickboxing

Slipping punches is a skill you’ll need to learn for both Boxing and Kickboxing, but they must be used differently because of their different rule sets. This week Coach Vince Salvador shows you can slip a punch in Kickboxing and protect yourself from any kicks that might be coming your way after the punch.


Coach Vince Salvador:
I’m coach Vince. This is Jeff Creighton. And today we’re doing a kickboxing tip of the week. Usually in boxing when you slip a punch, you can use a lot of head movement where you’re not really moving your feet and bending at the hips. And there’s nothing wrong with that. In boxing, you can set up a lot of counter shots from there. Upper cuts, so you can come over the top. And it’s a good viable counter and defense for boxing. In kickboxing, a lot of times if I try to, when Jeff throws his jab and I slip my head out here and he throws the kick on that same side, he can kick me in the head. If he’s taller than me, he could throw the knee, and it’s going to put me in a lot of bad positions for kickboxing.

And so in kickboxing, when I slip, I’m going to use my back foot more than anything to get me out of range, and out of position. And it also sets up shots here. You can also set up kicks from that same position, from the right or the left, that doesn’t really matter. But when he kicked, what we’re doing kickboxing is moving our feet so that our head comes off that center line to not only our upper body, but our lower body. So when we move our feet, it keeps us out of range. And it also sets up range for longer weapons. Left kick after. And that’s your kickboxing tip of the week.

How to Properly Catch a Kick and Counter Attack

Catching a kick the wrong way will not only hurt, but could end your fight a lot quicker than you planned on. In this Tip of the Week, Coach Vince Salvador shows how to properly catch a kick, and how to counter attack, whether the fight is MMA, Kickboxing or Muay Thai.


Coach Vince Salvador:
How’s it going? I’m Coach Vince and this is your Muay Thai tip of the week. Usually when you’re catching a kick, what you don’t want to do is open up and try to catch like this. It works in the movies, but in a fight you’ll probably break a rib. Also, it’s easy for him to pull out from this position, and I can’t really hold that, right? So I want to, first things first is keeping my elbow tight so when he does kick, I can either cover over the top. If I want to catch, I’ll step and come underneath. So even if he kicks hard, I’m here. Now all I do from this position is I’m going to hollow my body out and clear the leg to this side. In kickboxing I could drop it, punch him. Muay Thai, I can use it for other things like sweeps. MMA, takedowns. It’s a good way to catch someone off guard and take them down from their kick.

So we’ll do the first one as an MMA one. He throws a kick and I catch underneath. I can bring that across, easy take down. All right. Next one, we’ll do more of a of a kickboxing option. Same thing, I can come over the top counter with my punches or pull here and then punch. All right. Muay Thai option the sweep. I’ll catch the same way, clear from here, drop. Get some points from the sweep, right? So a little more, a little quicker catch here and sweep. That’s your tip of the week.

Two Ways to Change Boxing and Kickboxing Stances

Whether it’s in Boxing or Kickboxing, footwork plays a very important role in landing and avoiding punches. In this video Striking Coach Charles Martinez shows how changing stances can improve your success in landing combinations.


Jamarr Coleman:
Hey, what’s up everybody? This is Jamarr from The Arena and I’m here with striking coach Charles Martinez. Hey, coach, I have a question. Hey, I was sparring and I got caught in the eye and this guy kept changing stances on me. So can you show me how to shift and change stances?

Coach Charles Martinez:
Sure. That’s actually a two stage problem. Offense, defense, right? So, if we’re just talking about defense, whichever stance we’re standing in, if we’re mixed lead, if you switch your feet, all right, this is the battle. The battle is lead foot versus lead foot. My lead foot on the outside, I’m winning. Your lead foot on the outside, you’re winning. So it’s a matter of creating a better angle by keeping your lead foot on the outside and putting the person… Getting all your good hard tools lined up with me and taking away my hardest strikes. That’s the defensive aspect of it, is keeping yourself in the right position to land.

Offensively, go back to your stance. There’s a couple of different ways to do this here. You throw the one-two, I pull. All right. Easy to chase, but it’s a good time to shift. If you’re going to shift and change your stance, it should be for a reason. Right, so if I throw the one-two and you give me a little space, you create the opportunity to shift. All right? So it just feels like another jab, right? So it feels like jab, cross, jab. But it’s really not. It’s jab, cross, left, straight. Now my right foot is on the outside of your foot. I’m outside of your power zone, and I could throw and put you back in towards my power side. One option, that’s shifting on my advancement with a step all the way through, right?

Another option would be, I’m throwing the one-two and you’re defending the one-two. All right? You’re defending the one-two. Stepping through on the one-two. All right? That’s just a very simple version of it. But a lot of guys, when you throw one-two, they defend away from their face and they pull at their punches, right? So when you advance that way, a lot of times they don’t expect the punch to be there, right? Because they’re used to this straight line. one-two. Hard, fast. Again, again, shift. That’s what you’re looking for is that that moment where there’s supposed to be a punch to defend and it’s just not quite there. All right. Two very, very simple ways to shift. There’s a million of them, but there’s just two simple ways.

Jamarr Coleman:
Okay, thanks coach. Appreciate it. And there you have it. Tip of the week.

How to Land Body Shots by Stepping to the Side

A common problem people encounter in Boxing or Kickboxing is not being able to land a solid body shot. Striking Coach Vince Salvador breaks down why this can happen and shows how stepping to the side can greatly increase your chances of landing the punch.


Jamarr Coleman:
Hey, what’s up everybody? This is Jamarr, the sales director here at The Arena. I’m here with Coach Vince, striking coach here, and I’ve got a question for you. I’ve been getting back in the ring, been sparring, and it seems like I can never connect with a body shot. Do you got any tips or any details that can help me connect with my body shot?


Coach Vince Salvador:
Yeah. Show me how you’re doing it.


Jamarr Coleman:
Okay, so I’m right here and I’m bending down, and I’m just throwing the body shot. But it seems like they’re catching with the elbow all the time.


Coach Vince Salvador:
Okay. One of the things that happens when you’re 50/50 in a 50 stance and we have an equal angle, when I go to the body, you could do the exact same thing for me. You can hit me right in the body, or you could throw that upper cut just like that. And it all works because I’m right in front of you. One of the things I like to do when I set up the body shot, is I’ll throw something up top to bring the elbow up. So maybe a jab or a hook?


It depends on the situation, but if I’m this close, I would throw the hook up top. When his elbow comes up, I’ll use that to push off to the corner here and it gets me in a better angle to hit the liver. And when I get into that angle, I’m not really susceptible to any shots. So when I get to that angle, I want you to try to hit me with an uppercut. So when I get to here and you throw that uppercut, I’m already offline. I have a good body shot, and I’ve stepped offline with just using a punch.

Another way I can do that is I can use a jab the same way. I can jam up the middle. Usually what they’ll do is they’ll pair you up, step up top, get off to the line here, and I’ll throw a body shot. What I don’t want to do is just try to go to the body without setting it up because then he’ll see it coming. If I just go to the body from here, you can lean down, block that, kick me with the uppercut, finish the fight, knock me out. I’d rather go to the body, not get hit. So when I hit him up top, I go to the quarter, hit him in that liver. It’s over, making him pee some blood.


Jamarr Coleman:
And there you have it. Tip of the week.


Coach Vince Salvador:
Just the tip.

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