WATCH: 5 Rules Of Setting Up A KO (Videos)

In Boxing and in Muay Thai, a surefire way to get the knockout is by having a great set up. Many fighters will set up a knockout punch/kick/elbow with a great combination or feint to distract their opponent from the money shot. In our article about feints, we discussed how using feints is an art that takes time to get used to. After all, it is about tricking one’s opponent and creating openings for your attack.

Setting up an attack requires you to stay a few steps ahead of your opponent. You are essentially baiting your opponent into reacting in a way that is beneficial for you. Ask any Boxing or Muay Thai expert, and they’ll tell you that the punch you don’t see coming is the punch that will knock you out. If you’re looking to KO your next opponent, read on for Evolve Daily’s 5 Rules Of Setting Up a KO:


1) Don’t be repetitive

Your goal is to confuse your opponent and make him guess what your next move is. When you constantly repeat combinations in a fight, your opponent will be able to predict your next move. This is especially dangerous if your opponent is a good counter fighter with an attack up his/her sleeve. Mix it up!


2) Get your opponent to drop his/her guard


To land that KO shot, you must get your opponent to lower his guard. When you aim for the body your opponent will surely try to block it, forcing him/her to drop his guard. As soon as you see this opening, you need to act on it quickly and launch your attack. You can also try to parry your opponent’s hand or pull it down from their face as you go in for the attack. Remember, all openings are momentary so you need to react as quickly as possible, especially if you want to KO your opponent.


3) Use a feint


To effectively use a feint in a fight, you must know which openings will result before you feint. Using a feint is a great way to set up an attack, especially since you can do it before you get an opening. If you’re up against an equally skilled opponent, you’ll need every advantage you have to win the match – and that means using the feint well.


4) Obstruct your opponent’s vision

Obstructing your opponent’s field of vision is important if you want your following strike to knock him/her out. One way is to throw a jab across your body. This would help you load the weight on the other side of your body, creating the torque you need for that follow up KO punch. Another way to do this is to distract your opponent by throwing a flurry of punches and using footwork, while waiting for your opponent to retreat. As soon as he/she steps backward, you’ll have your opening for the KO.


5) Time it perfectly

Perhaps the most important aspect of setting up a KO strike is timing it perfectly. You have to know when to throw a strike: time it as soon as you see your opponent lower his/her guard, when he or she appears to be blindsided or when you’re in the perfect position to throw a powerful strike. Timing is everything and it could also help you hit harder, using less energy.


As with all new techniques, you should drill with a partner using minimal resistance before using these techniques in sparring. By adapting these rules into your training repertoire, you’ll eventually be able to use these against your opponent during sparring and bring the spar into your control. So go forth and train hard!

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