Hip Rotation Mobility Drill to Improve Your Kicking

MMA Coach Charles Martinez has good drill you can do at home simply by propping your leg up on a piece of furniture. This will help train your hip rotation and mobility so you can throw better kicks in MMA, Kickboxing and Muay Thai.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hey guys, this is Coach Chuck from The Arena. During this difficult time, we’re forced to be closed. We want to provide you with some content, simple drills you can do at home to still work on your technique. So here’s a simple drill to work on. Basically, hip mobility and rotation for basic kicking is as simple as it gets here, right? You can use anything in your house, couch, chair, anything that’s, doesn’t have to be that high, most of us can’t kick that high anyway.

So, simple. Raise your leg up. Now my shin now is pointing straight up in the sky. My hip is flexed. There’s no rotation in my hip. If I don’t move my support leg, I can’t rotate my hip. All the translation of rotation goes to my knee. So my foot needs to move. In order to rotate my hip, I have to move my foot.

It turns my hip, it turns my shoulder. So a simple way to work on this is to be straight, hands up. And then as I rotate my hip, my hands go out and my hip rotates. My shoulder rotates, my hand comes out, sits back down, point of rotation, point of center of gravity, the ball of the foot through the top of the head. All right. I rotate my foot. I’m good. I’m balanced. Any way that I lean my head here, it’s going to be the failure of balance here. All right, so my head is over my center of gravity. My hand’s up, my hand’s out, my foot is rotated. My hip is rotated, my shoulder’s rotated. I’m looking down at the target. Just an easy way to work this hip flexibility and mobility and balance to work on your kick mechanics. Simple drill you can do at home.

Stay tuned. We’ll be providing content daily between all the different martial arts. We’ll try and give you different things to work on at home. Thank you for your continued support and hope to see you soon.

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 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.

How to Close Distance in Kickboxing and MMA

There are many ways to close distance in Kickboxing and MMA, and in this Tip of the Week, Coach Vince Salvador shows how you can do it by shifting your stance before attacking.


Coach Vince Salvador:
Hey, how’s it going? I’m Coach Vince, this is your kickboxing tip of the week. A lot of times when you’re in a fight or sparring, range is the biggest issue here. If he moves back too far and I start throwing punches here, I’ll be out of range and I’ll open myself up for shots. If I start reaching my body, he’ll end up hitting me.

A good way to cover the distance, especially when they move back really far like in MMA is to shift my whole body onto the outside of his foot so that I can get to this side of his whole body here. A lot of times in kickboxing, I can use that to set up the kick. From inside, he steps back, I shift to the inside, I can use this to set up my kicks. If it’s MMA, I can use this to set up a take down. He steps back, I shift, looking for the shot. If I just want to punch and it’s in a rule set where I can only punch, he steps back, I can shift into my other combinations. Then I can set up body shots, different things.

Shifting to cover distance. That’s your tip of the week.

Changing Stances and Mixing Combinations in Kickboxing

In this Tip of the Week, Kickboxing and Muay Thai Coach Vince Salvador shows how you can mix combinations, and throw the same punches in different ways.


Coach Vince Salvador:
I’m Coach Vince. I’m a kickboxing coach here at The Arena. Today’s tip of the week is mixing up combinations using the same three punches two different ways, right? If I throw a jab cross hook from this stance, I’m in an Orthodox stance that I can start peeling away his defense by coming down the middle, and coming around the corner here. But I can also do the same thing on the other side if I just do one little movement with my right foot, by stepping forward. If I step forward, I’m going to be on the other side of him here. I adjust my body again. I could throw the same three punches on the other side, right?

So if I’m here and he’s working on his defense, trying to parry and block all the punches that I have, when I throw my hook, I step back off my hook, and throw my hook again, or I could throw my three point down in the middle again. One, two, three is the same as one, two, three. Making sure that I put my foot on the outside of his foot, so I have the advantage of the angle. And I’m not doing it from here where I can get hit by his right hand. So a lot of times, I’ll do it the opposite. Start from here, from southpaw, let’s say I have a southpaw, switch my feet, and I can go through the opposite side as Orthodox. But that’s one way you can do that. That’s your tip of the week.


Basic Fundamentals of the Muay Thai Clinch

The Muay Thai clinch differs from other fight style clinches because of your ability to throw elbow and knee strikes. In this Tip of the Week, Coach Charles Martinez breaks down the fundamentals of the Thai clinch and how to properly strike from it.


Coach Charles Martinez:
Hello, this is Coach Charles Martinez from The Arena, and today we’ll be discussing Thai clinch, proper application, and defense. So first and foremost in the Thai clinch, right? I’m crowning the head. Application, I want to crown the head, get my elbows tight, break their posture. First line of defense is both of us having good posture, making our neck short, and our hips close. He swims his hand in, I swim my hand in and we’re maintaining this 50/50 position. Hips are closed, we’re not sagging, we’re not looking down, right?


As he starts to establish inside position, my first line of defense is keeping my neck short, pummeling my hands to the inside. He does the same, hands get to the inside. We’re back to this neutral 50/50 position. Second line of defense, he gets his hands to the inside. All right, the points of his elbows being down is what gives me the escape. I rotate my body. By rotating my body, I create space on the far side. I pummel on my hand to the inside. He does the same thing. He rotates. He creates space. He pummels his hands to the inside.


Another variation: I reach. This is for a stronger grip, slightly more broken down. I reach, I grab around the head. I step outside of his foot, I go hip to hip, creates more space. I swim to the inside. Zach does the same thing. Step, create space, swim to the inside, slightly more broken down. I take my fist, I punch across the face, swim to the inside. Zach does the same thing. Punches across the face. Create space, swims to the inside.


So that’s just simple Thai clinch escapes, first being proper application, posture, and then the escape actually happens in stages depending on how far broken down into the Thai clinch you are. So there’s a very simple introduction. That’s your tip of the week. Fucking one take bro.


One and done.


Coach harles Martinez:
One and done, bro. I’m a goddamn professional. I do this for a living.

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