The standard rules Glory Kickboxing are difficult to compare to Muay Thai because both disciplines are fought with a number of very different techniques, styles, and striking methods. Glory Kickboxing is not a Muay Thai promotion, but there are some very effective Muay Thai techniques that could change Glory in a big way should they choose to adopt them. Evaluating the pros and cons of the Thai Clinch and Muay Thai elbow striking techniques, should Glory kickboxing rules allow for more Muay Thai?
Muay Thai Clinch
The Thai Clinch is an extremely effective technique for controlling your opponent’s movement. By clasping your hands around the back of your opponent’s neck, you are able to command your opponent’s movement and set up devastating knee strikes. A certain amount of clinching is allowed in Glory, but it comes with very strict limitations. Glory World Series rules state:
“A fighter may clinch in order to immediately attack with a legal knee strike (or strikes). If the knee attack and/or counter attack by the opponent is continuous and productive the referee may allow it to continue for in his estimation up to five seconds; otherwise the fighters should disengage the clinch and continue to fight.”
“If a fighter clinches and fails to immediately attack with a legal knee strike the referee shall “break” the fighters, and may caution, warn or penalize the offending athlete.”
Fighters are able to clinch if they are immediately able to begin striking with the knees. However, a referee is going to err very strongly on the side of caution if a clinch carries on too long. It’s understandable why such rules are in place because they do not want a fighter to be able to rest their weight on their opponent and stall the action. It makes sense to prohibit excessive stalling of the fight, but adding more leeway for fighters to clinch effectlively could add a very exciting element to Glory kickboxing. Knee strikes are a legal means of scoring in the organization, and they could take on a much larger role in the sport by allowing for more time for a fighter to clinch. Officials should certainly be instructed and informed to know the difference between an effective Thai Clinch and a stall if this technique were to be added to Glory.
Muay Thai Elbows
Elbow strikes are an instrumental technique of Muay Thai. Fighters are able to strike with force when there is not enough distance to throw a punch. “Elbow strikes” and “Striking with any part of the arm or wrist above the padded portion of the glove” are restricted from Glory kickboxing. If the purpose of the rule is to maintain the purity of boxing style, then it stands to reason why this rule is in place. However, allowing for the use of elbow strikes could allow for a huge evolution in the sport. It might take away from the effort to keep the boxing component of kickboxing as true to the art as possible, but from a promotional standpoint, it would allow for more exciting moments in the sport. There are a million ways to be knocked out in kickboxing as it stands, but giving fighters one more tool to score a knockout (not to mention bloody cuts) adds a significant amount of entertainment value. Spinning back fists are a very risk punch to throw in a sport that prohibits any contact with arm other than the padded glove. If there’s no concern about that penalty, we could see a lot more spinning back hands and risky spinning back elbow techniques that would add a lot of striking flair to the sport.
Do you think Glory should allow these techniques? What are some possible negative effects these techniques could have in the sport?