Last time we discussed how to survive the onslaught of strikes when fighting on the inside, perhaps while being on the ropes. But what if you decide, you have had enough of being pressured on the inside and wanted to return the favour? This is what we are going to discuss here.
When trying to fight on the inside offensively, the footwork is an absolutely crucial element. Since getting inside of an opponent means that you have to somehow bypass their strikes while moving forwards, it needs to be done properly. One such way is to learn how to slip punches. When punch comes in slightly tilt upper body to dodge the strike. The tilt has to be very slight to allow quick recovery to strike back quickly. Also tighten up your guard on the side that is at risk should the slip fail. Once the punch has been slipped successfully move inside and you’re ready to fight on the inside. While moving in, it’s often a good idea to land first punch on the way in. Depending on slip, strike to ribs, or head is usually possible. Another powerful method of getting inside is to utilise good footwork. Move forwards with your jabs to push the opponent onto the ropes and get inside by either just moving in, or parrying opponent’s punch and then moving in. To make this strategy even more effective, try to move in such way to force opponent into corner. This is a bit like pushing a crate. If you stand in front of crate and push, you will push it forwards. However if you stand on right side of it and push, you will push it to the left, from the initial point of view. Also make good use of rule set specific methods, such as Thai clinch or kick catches. Once in clinch, you can push opponent onto the ropes. Or if you catch kick, you can dish out few punches before moving in, or even throwing their leg to side and move in with a big knee.
Once inside, a lot of rules from defensive fighting on the inside still apply, however there are few differences. While in defensive situation, you would stand with legs side by side with one leading only slightly, in offensive situation, you should lead front leg a little bit more to make it harder for opponent to push back. Also, when inside make sure your guard is tight to deal with the pesky bob and weave from the opponent. Another difficulty while fighting on the inside is deciding on the power of the punches and their speed. While it is good idea to punch hard and increase chance of KO/TKO immensely, it makes you slower, therefore opponent has greater chance to escape. When it is beginning of fight with little chance of KO, you might lean towards speed to score more points and tire them out, whereas when it is late rounds, or high KO chance then go all out. For speed stand close to opponent and punch in same way as defender without fully following through and without fully twisting hips. If you are going for power, move back few inches while they are on ropes to give you some working space and start landing those big punches, fully following through and twisting your hips all the way. Also mix your punches to open up holes in their guard, such as right hook to open space for left uppercut when they lift hand to protect against hook. Another great advice is to never underestimate body strikes, as body is often left unprotected in favour of the head. This is a perfect opportunity for liver punches and big knees!
These are my main tips regarding the offence on the inside. I hope this will help you and of course if you have any tips or points you wish to discuss, you are more than welcome to comment! One thing to bear in mind is that this way of fighting inside constitutes for a very aggressive style.
Article written by: Hubert Bieluczyk