From Counter to Conquer: Southpaws in Muaythai

From Counter to Conquer: Southpaws in Muaythai

A Community And A Skill

Established in 2011, 8 Blade Warriors came from humble origins. Two Rebellion Muaythai Hall of Famers, Dominic Leone, and Kongsak “Superboy” Muensang began in a small gymThrough time and effort they created a community and more importantly a style.

Specifically they’ve grown the way of fighting both as a Southpaw and fighting against Southpaws. Superboy highlights five ways the Southpaw game in Muaythai is changing from old to new.

Superboy In 1996 At Lumpinee
Superboy at Lumpinee in 1996

1. The Old Plan Against Southpaws

Superboy started Muaythai at 7 years old. Coming from Phattalung in the south of Thailand, for Superboy fighting is in his blood.
“All my life is Muaythai,” he said.
In his early days, he fought a lot of Southpaws in Muaythai and in western boxing.
“I was a clincher,” he said. “I walked into them to break their game plan. I let them kick me once and I take it. Then I go into the clinch.”
Walking down Southpaws was an early strategy for Superboy and it’s one that he continues to use for his fighters today. Taking the shot and rushing in, breaks the primary tool of the classic Southpaw fighter, their timing.

Times change though, and Superboy knows it.
“Now when I look at Southpaws, I look at what weapons they have. They mostly kick but new southpaws have punches too,” he said.
Understanding the type of fighter is key. Superboy’s athletes vary in style which changes the game plan.
“If my fighter is more Muay Femur (technical) have them check and lean back. If they are more Muay Khao (clinch and knee) I have them do what I used to do to break the timing. Block, lean back, and come into clinch. Or take the shot and move into the clinch.”
But there is still danger from the Southpaws.

Superboy's Student Brittany Thomas vs Olivia Kerr

2. The Danger Of Angles

The primary danger for orthodox fighters against Southpaws is the angle. In orthodox versus orthodox boxers stand at a 50–50 angle to each other. They are squared up, meaning neither fighter has an angled advantage.

With Southpaws, the angle is closer to 60-40 or 55-45. The slight angle gives the southpaw an advantage. The rear kick and rear hand are easier to land for the southpaw and there is an “open side” to attack.

Because of this position advantage, the boxers move to the outside. The lead hand and lead foot are battlegrounds for control. The fighters try to get the lead foot and lead hand on the outside.

Traditionally once the southpaw is in position they wait and counter.

Superboy Student Tome Kokarevski vs Juan Guidici

3. The Southpaw Draw

The Southpaw draw is a game plan that traditionalists use. It is a wait and counter game where Southpaws use their timing to attack. Once the orthodox opponent is in range, the Southpaw attacks with either the rear hand or rear kick.

“So normally the southpaws, the old school, they use only one leg,” Superboy said.

The wait and counter game relies on rhythm. Once the lead position is controlled the Southpaw baits their opponent.

This wait and bait game is changing. Muaythai is becoming more aggressive, and fighters move forward more to match the expectations from promotions and fans.

4: The New Aggressive Southpaw

Superboy understands the need for forward movement.

“You can move forward and set things up. You can hit first and lean back, or block and then attack again. Not just wait to counter,” he said.

By going on the attack, the Southpaw can change the dynamic of the fight. They can also make the bout more visually exciting. The exchanges are more constant, and they have more dimension.

 Superboy Muay Thai
Superboy holding pads for Alex Iljoski 

5: The Evolved Fighter - More Than Just One Weapon

Superboy wants well rounded Southpaws.

“I change some of my Southpaws to kick both sides,” he said. “Now there are too many Southpaws in the world, they need to use the other leg too.”

There is more information now. Social Media and the internet created access to fights, tutorials, and more. It’s easy to learn about stances, styles, and positioning. So now Muaythai boxers understand how to fight Southpaws. Boxers also know how to fight as a Southpaws. This requires fighters to change and evolve. Superboy knows it. That’s why he demands his students to use more weapons. 

For example the right leg isn’t used just for positioning and teeping. The lead right leg is used for switch kicks or quick leg kicks. The right lead hand isn’t used as just a foil and for hand fighting. It is used to jab, hook, and to uppercut.

Changing these habits takes repetition.

“They must train on the bag. Then they train with me on the pads,” he said.

The bag work instills muscle memory and power. On the pads, Superboy can perfect the craft. Once there is correct power and memory, athletes work with each other.

“They do a lot of drills with their teammates too. This makes them comfortable and want to use their weapons,” he said.

The game is changing.

And Superboy is leading the charge because Muaythai is in his blood.

Superboy teeping at Lumpinee

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