Many readers, particularly those enamored of video games, can tell you what a combination, or “combo” attack is. It’s a series of attacking techniques that is used to quickly wear down an opponent’s guard or stamina, leaving them open to serious damage from any strikes that manage to land on their intended target. Combination attacks are powerful, but rely on precise timing and movements in order to pull them off. This means that those who practice their techniques often, particularly against live opponents, will know best how to distance, move, time, and follow through on their attacks, resulting in longer combination attacks. The longer a combination goes on, the more it wears down an opponent, because they are keeping on the defensive. As long as an opponent stays on the defensive, even if they block or dodge a number of the attacks, they will be worn down and continue to take some damage. While there are kicking/punching combinations, those are more advanced, and often require trained professional live instruction before even being able to see them in action. Instead, we’ll focus on punching combinations using the previously discussed techniques. In addition, we’ll focus on remaining adaptable in case the situation doesn’t happen according to plan.
One of the classic combinations is short and to the point. It’s called the “one-two punch”, and is often seen at the beginning of many combination attacks, particularly in boxing and kick boxing tournaments. Don’t let that deter you from the reality that this combination, while basic, is a powerful technique to use in the real world as well. From your basic stance position, you will throw a jab, resume your stance, and follow up with a cross. If you connect on the jab and they are reeling, the cross will finish the job. If they block the jab, and you’ve timed it correctly, they’ll be open to a cross. If they move out of range after the jab, simply resume your regular stance and fight for another opening. Note, the one-two punch combination doesn’t have to be aimed solely at the weak points of the face. You can jab high, causing them to raise their arms, and cross punch them right in the solar plexus or ribs instead. This is often more effective in connecting, but may not necessarily put them down.
Another classic combination is something I’ve taken from an art called Kajukenbo Tum-Pai, which includes kickboxing as one of its arts. It’s similar to the one-two combo, but instead of leading with a jab, you lead with a backhand, and when the opponent raises to block, you pull a cross punch straight to the side. This was called the “bread and butter” by my teacher, and was very effective, because the opponents lead hand was occupied, and the strong hand was too far away to block the follow through effectively. It’s another great opening technique.
Portland Kickboxing Technique: Kickboxing Combo #9
For a strong finishing combo, you simply add on more light strikes at the beginning of a combo, and more power strikes at the end of one. A personal favorite that I’ve seen win a few sparring matches was a double jab to a cross to a lead hand uppercut. Try experimenting with your own combinations to get a feel for your speed and strength, but remember to obtain professional training and supervision so as not to injure yourself or others.