When you face an opponent with a strong defense, landing clean strikes can be difficult. Good fighters utilize head movement and block most incoming strikes they see coming. To effectively land your strikes, you need to utilize feints (fakes) to open holes in your opponent’s defense.
If you can make your opponent expect you to throw a strike, it will allow you to land another strike. When your opponent reacts to a specific feint, that opens their defense for a moment, allowing you to land something else.
The key to throwing any fake is to try and make your feints realistic. If you don’t throw a good feint, your opponent will not bite on the fake. This is a skill that requires practice to get the right timing down. Skilled fighters are used to seeing feints on a regular basis, which means that you need to be good at selling your feints.
When you spar with normal people at your gym, you should be able to get them to react to your feints on a regular basis. The key to being successful at feints is to see how your opponent reacts to the feint, then throw your strike after. If you don’t get a reaction from your opponent, don’t try a follow up strike right away.
In the following video, Pornsanae demonstrates an effective feint that is commonly used in Muay Thai. The fake teep, is one of the best setups you can use. When your opponent reacts to your teep, it will open their defense to follow up strikes.
Selling Your Feints
The best way to sell a fake teep is to throw a few teeps before so you get your opponent thinking about your teep. This will allow you to take advantage of your opponent anticipating another teep from you, which can open their defense for other strikes.
The beautiful thing about fake teeps, is they allow you to throw several combinations following the teep. You can throw a jab to land a quick strike, a cross for a knockout punch, or even a knee. Start off with a basic jab after your fake because that is the easiest to land. Once you start mastering this basic technique, you can put together other strikes following your teep.
Practicing these fakes in sparring is the only way you will be able to put it together. Sparring is where you develop your timing and consistency in your strikes. While you can drill these techniques, it is important to have someone who is not expecting the fakes, so you can learn how to use them correctly.
Special thanks to Pornsanae from Evolve MMA for demonstrating this technique. If you are interested in training with Pornsanae you can visit him over at Evolve Vacation to learn more.