Muay Thai Tactics – Exploiting Predictability and Patterns

The following guest post is written by Coach Adam Jones, head instructor of Rumble Martial Arts.

buakaw high kick muay thai tacticsI have a little saying that I’ve been using for years; “Everybody Gets One”.

This comes from Family Guy (click to watch video) and is when Spiderman saves Peter from falling off a roof. Spiderman comes back to a later episode and does/says the same to Cleveland (Peter’s friend).

I usually say this when describing predictability to my students. As a couple of examples fighters could be – checking kicks too high, reaching down to grab a kick or even using a high shield to block hooks too often (predictability) I say; “everybody gets one“.

A good fighter is going to notice any patterns that you do and any predictable things that can be used to attack you in the ring. Against average people, or someone that doesn’t have extensive reps with particular counters, you could get more than “one” but everyone should train to beat above average people and avoid making too many technical mistakes.

This is why most good Coaches will add little adjustments to your technique; because they’re used to seeing these openings and, to them, you’re WIDE OPEN!

Against good fighters it can be challenging to open them up but predictable patters will help you open them up. Many fighters will react predictably to your offense or do predictable actions while throwing their offense (like dropping their right hand when they throw a left hook).

4 Prime Examples On How To Exploit Predictability:

  • Lifting their leg too high to check a kick – “Thai Sweep” by lifting your knee like a kick then taking a skip step in to kick out their rear leg sending them to the ground.
  • Reaching down to grab a kick – “Superman Punch” by bringing your knee up (to look like a kick) then shoot forward with a Cross.
  • Using a “Shield” (base of thumb on ear to create a frame that can take a hard hook) too often – “Liver Shot” by looking at your opponent in the eyes, winding up and ripping their body (left hook) when their shield goes up.
  • Dropping their right hand while throwing a lead hook – “Hook a Hooker” by covering their hook and throwing one right back immediately. (ie. Carlos Condit vs. Dan Hardy or Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva 3)

unnamedA good fighter looks for these openings and a good trainer will also do this to help their fighters get an edge or give them something to work with.

I’m sure many readers have thrown a kick to a sparring partner and they pretty much lift their knee up to their chest…. And, from behind your poker-face, you smile. 🙂

Don’t make life easy for your opponent by creating these openings for them and keep calm in the ring so you can start looking for and exploiting these patterns on your opponents.

As a wise man, with great power and responsibility, once said, “Everybody gets one“.

Coach Adam Jones returning from winning a Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Spain.

Coach Adam Jones returning from winning a Bronze Medal at the World Championships in Spain.


This guest post was written by Coach Adams Jones, the head instructor of Rumble Martial Arts in Keswick, Ontario.

To find out more about Coach Jones, check out his gym’s website at (905-476-6621) or you can find him on Facebook at

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Sean Fagan
Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.

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