In Muay Thai a taller fighter has a natural advantage over the shorter fighter.
He can hit the shorter opponent and still maintain a safe distance from him.
So, every short height fighter must know the basic tactics of how to fight a taller opponent.
If you are fighting with a taller opponent, then it is crucial to determine his fighting style.
The moment the match starts, let your opponent strike you for a few times. Just sit back and analyze the throws of your opponent.
By this, you can learn a lot about his fighting style.
If the opponent is an aggressive one, he will rush towards you, but if you see that the opponent sits back and waits for your attack, then you need to be aware as he is a more technical fighter.
As a taller fighter already has a plus point so before fighting a taller opponent, you must have a game plan for the fight and must of aware of your own fighting style.
If you are a fighter with speedy kicks, then you must try to stay in the kicking range and trade attacks with him.
Opposite to that if you possess excellent boxing skills, then you must try to close the gap and get into the punching range.
Reach and height are the two aspects of fighting, the fighting style of your taller opponent also determines your gaming plan.
(Breathing is also one of the fighting technique people miss out too, make sure you read this one too)
Here are some of the useful instructions that will help you to know how to fight someone with a longer reach.
Muay Thai Fighting Strategies
Remember, no matter how much you go through the theory about how to box someone taller than you, it will all go waste if you don’t focus on trying the strategies in sparring.
As you know, practice makes a man perfect. If you want to beat someone in Muay Thai, it needs patience and time.
One of the best things you can do to learn about how to fight a taller opponent Muay Thai is to understand and analyze the basic strategies, tactics, and techniques of Muay Thai.
You can learn these strategies by dissecting and watching fights of different fighters.
Learning from watching past fights provides a ton of useful tips on which you can work on during your next sparring and training session.
Here’s our list on how to fight taller guys when it comes to Muay Thai.
An effective technique to beat a taller fighter is to let them strike you first. (but you have to build muscles as a boxer and a fighter first)
When the opponent strikes then counter off his strike.
Counter striking is a great skill to have in Muay Thai regardless of your height.
It is a great way to get inside the range of your opponent if he has a great height and reach advantage.
It is an effective technique to close some of the distance if you ever face a tall fighter.
You must have noticed that many great fighters who are short in height move faster whenever their opponent throws a strike because it gives the opportunity to close the distance.
Leaning back is an effective strategy for the shorter fighters if they want to win the match with taller ones. It is one of the most effective techniques that can be used against taller fighters. When the opponent is taller, his kicks will definitely go higher up on your body.
So, in a fight when you see a kick coming towards you, all you need is to lean back simply and the kick will fly over your head. By leaning back, you can easily dodge the kick instead of damaging your hand by blocking it.
Leaning back is the best boxing style for short fighters and if you lean back in a well-executed way, you get a great chance to throw a punch back to your opponent when he misses his kick. It is the most utilized technique by Muay Thai fighters.
Use Deceptive Moves
In the fight, if the opponent is avoiding and blocking your attacks all the time, then it is the time to use deceptive moves. By faking and deceiving your opponent, you will make him unsure of what your next move or attack will be. It provides you an advantage to get a shot as he will not be able to predict what will be your next step.
Fakes are quite beneficial and vital for the fighters who are shorter because by this you can get in the range of your opponent without getting any of his throws. When you use a fake attack, the opponent tries to block it, leaving another position unsafe and letting you throw a strike.
Choose the Right Range
If you are wondering how to box someone taller than you, the first thing to consider is range. Fighters who are taller and have reach advantage will strike you from a distance that is out of your range leading you towards defeat. In Muay Thai, fighting with a taller opponent is quite challenging as there are some points when you believe that you are out of the range of your opponent’s attack, but in reality, you are in his range.
To avoid this, you must know the range of your opponent and ensure that you are either outside of your opponent’s range or inside your own range. To move in or move out of your opponent’s striking range, you need to utilize a good strategy. However, if you are an aggressive fighter, you can use your speed to stay in your own striking range throughout the fight.
Go for The Body
If you want to know how to box someone taller than you and win the fight, simply go for the body. Going to the body is one of the most basic strategies to break an opponent down. This technique is quite easy when you are fighting with a taller opponent.
Focusing on the body of your opponent helps you to lands more impactful shots later on. The taller your opponent is, more accessible and closer will be his torso to you. Most of the shorter fighter focus more on taking headshots and waste a lot of energy on it. But attacking the body is a more convenient and easier tactic.
Trying to get head strikes is quite challenging when you are fighting against a taller opponent. When you target the midsection, your opponent will shift his guard to protect his body. When he lowers his guard, it reduces the height advantage. When the hands start dropping altogether to protect the body, it opens a clearer path for the strike to land on the head.
Circle Out Against Knee Fighters
Tall fighters have a significant advantage when it comes to throwing knees. While fighting with a short fighter, tall fighters utilize this technique to win the match. If you don’t know how to tackle with the knee strikes, you will surely be going to lose the fight.
There are some techniques by which you can avoid the knee strikes. In learning how to fight a taller opponent Muay Thai, it is one of the important tips to avoid the knee strikes. In this case, moving around the ring can help you.
If you are moving around the ring constantly, it will become difficult for the opponent to throw a knee strike against you. You need to learn how to circle out as the opponent throws a knee. This technique requires practice and you can become a pro at it if you practice with someone who is good at knees.
Utilize Your Push Kicks
Push Kicks are quite effective no matter what the size of your opponent is.
For the shorter fighters, it is one of the most efficient techniques. A well-executed push kick will put your taller opponent off balance, providing you the opportunity to attack according to your will.
The taller and bigger your opponent is, the harder he will fall when you kick them off balance.
A push kick works as a great defensive tool if you are fighting with a taller opponent who is aggressive with his hands. When your opponent tries to come forward and tries to attack you with punches, it is the time when you use your push kick to hit him. By doing this, you will be able to mess up his timing and strategy and get time to deliver your best strike.
Using push kicks is the best boxing style for short fighters, but the basic principle for using the push kicks is to wait for the right moment and be patient. Sit back and wait so that your opponent makes a move. The moment you see him taking his best shot, it is the time to take him off balance with your push kick. If you are able to deliver some push kicks to your opponent and get him off balance for a few times, it will put fear in your opponent.
Learn to Counter the Long Attacks
When you are dealing with how to fight a taller opponent, there will always be long attacks. A long attack is any attack that is used from a long distance. While talking about long attacks, the first two that come in mind are push kicks and jab. Along these, you must consider the length of your opponent’s round cross and cross kick as well.
Being a shorter fighter if you learn how to defend yourself and counter against these long attacks, you will be going to have more opportunities to deal with some serious damage that you can get from your opponent. When you have learned and start countering these attacks, you can conveniently demoralize your opponent and he will think twice before throwing a hit again.
Catch Your Opponent’s Kicks
One of the most convenient ways to throw your opponent off balance is by catching kicks of your opponent. By doing this, you will put your opponent on defense and get a chance to hit hard. When the opponent is off-balance, it is more convenient to strike him because he is more concerned and worried about falling over. When he is trying not to fall, you can focus on his weak points to strike.
By catching his kicks and making him off balance, you will be the person in control for the next moment and can be an aggressor too. If you know how to fight someone with longer reach, you must be aware of the fact that knee strikes and kicks are the best strategies of a taller fighter. They can throw a kick to you without even leaving their range. So, a shorter fighter must know how to catch the opponent’s kick.
The best part when you catch an opponent’s kick is that there are a number of options to make once you catch the kick. At this moment you can counter-attack them with a number of your weapons. You can even simply attack with punches to close the distance and enter in their striking range.
Every shorter fighter must look for the right moment to catch the kick or off-balance his taller opponent so that he can follow up using a counter-attack. Counter-attacking after catching the kick will throw your opponent off because he will not be ready for a strike at that time.
The inside kick to the lead leg of the opponent is a relatively safe kick to throw against the opponent of any height. Most of the fighters have strong outside leg muscles, but at the same time, they are not able to take the inside kick.
If you are here to know how to fight a taller opponent, you must be aware of the fact that the head of the taller opponent will be away from your reach and it will be difficult to hit the head. It doesn’t mean that you can’t hit the head of the taller opponent. It means you need the right strategy and game plan if you wish to hit him on the head.
To get a headshot, you need to work on the legs and your body. The best way is to change your levels constantly by making all areas of your body to work. When you are changing your position constantly, you will get chances of creating more openings, particularly for the headshots.
First of all, start by working on the lead leg kick and some hard punches. After that, your opponent will focus more on protecting his body and catching your low kicks. Thus, you get the perfect opportunity to attack the head.
Movement and Footwork
The lateral movements and footwork are efficient strategies to use against a taller opponent if you want to win the match. If you have a short height, you already have one negative point against you. To win the match against a taller fighter, you must be able to bounce in and out of your striking range by utilizing the quick footwork so that you can avoid counters and deliver strikes.
Circling out in the ring, switching stances and moving laterally are few of the movements that you can utilize to get more opportunities to find an opening. Along with body movements, head movements are also crucial. Head movement is the best boxing style for short fighters, especially if your opponent is good at the jab. It is also vital to limit the head movement as your opponent might weave with a kick right to your face.
Different angles and movements are also beneficial in delivering powerful strikes without taking much damage in return. There are always chances that you will get the hit at some point or the other, so it is essential to learn how to roll with the punches and counter off the strikes of your opponent.
If you see the Muay Thai fighters of Thailand, you will notice that most of the fighters and trainers are short in height. However, their height or size doesn’t act as a hurdle for them to spare with foreign fighters who are taller in height. Don’t underestimate the height or size of your opponent with whom you fight or spare.
The more you spare with taller guys, the more you will become a pro at it. In every sparring session, try to work on different techniques and strategies so that you get the chance to master each and don’t become a one-dimensional fighter.
When you are learning how to fight a taller opponent Muay Thai, you must know that sparring is the perfect way to improve your timing and technique. However, the purpose of sparring is experience and practice. It is not essential to win every sparring match.