How to Control the Ring

Ring Generalship

In this week’s CROM’s Corner we will be going through part 2 of our Footwork series.

Although there are a few different aspects that go into Ring Generalship, I believe the integral components stem from footwork. Some people understand the term, some people have never heard of it, and some don’t care for it. If you are any of these three, know that if you don’t KO/stop your opposition that this is one of the deciding factors that a judge will be looking at to score for or against you.

While it’s true that everyone loves a knockdown, drag ‘em out brawl, I was a commentator on a beautifully technical bout this past weekend which was a great display of exactly what ring generalship represents. It was a 5 round work of art by two female Nak Muays in a rematch at the 105 lb/ 48 kg mini flyweight division. The blue corner was the taller and more aggressive style fighter, as the red corner was content to be the counter fighter.

From the opening bell the blue corner was attempting to set the pace by using her lead leg to establish range. The red corner was wise enough to stay just out of range and counter with hopping lead leg push kicks of her own. As the fight/round went on the red corner started to evade and counter the blue corners attack using precise timing and low kicks to blue corner’s lead leg. Though the blue corner was using smart aggressiveness the red corner was utilizing sharp footwork to stay out of corners, off the ropes, and to create angles for her low kick attacks. The red corner was able to use position and ring awareness alongside accurate counter attacks throughout the fight to retain her title in championship form.

How do you define “Ring Generalship”?

I believe every coach will have their own interpretation as to what ring generalship is and they will have valid points. In my opinion, ring generalship is the ability to move and use the entire ring in such a way to corral and land significant strikes to mentally and physically dominate your opposition.

The finer points of Ring Generalship:
-Precise and purposeful footwork
-Awareness of where you are in the ring in relation to your opposition
-Being able to use the ropes to your advantage
-Using feints to keep your opponent guessing, confused and off rhythm
-Using stalling or retreating to bait the opposition in to attacking first, leaving them open for counter attacks
-Mimicking a shark with circling and forward movement as you are hunting and stalking for your own offensive maneuvers

As with any technique in Muay Thai do your best to incorporate this in to your shadowboxing, bag work, pad work and sparring and it will become a part of your fighting strategy. Becoming a ring general will make it crystal clear for the judges and the crowd to see who’s in charge.

Check out this video for some additional tips on ring generalship.

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