The ability to up your gear and KO your opponent, regardless of how gory it can be is actually a much needed skill that every fighter should possess in their arsenal. KO-ing your opponent not only allows the judges to score you higher on their cards but also potentially end the fight prematurely and give you an earlier than expected rest.
In today blog post, we will be exploring & sharing one particular way of KO-ing our opponent and the sciences behind it that allow us to apply this lethal yet effective finishing touch to our unfortunate opponent.
Execute what is known as a “liver shot”
In Muay Thai, there aren’t many things more effective than a well-placed liver shot. Whether it’s a punch, a kick, or a knee, the result is almost always the same and never fun for the victim. A liver shot rarely looks like anything special, but as anyone who’s been hit with one will attest that it can put you out almost instantly. A liver shot when landed correctly will paralyze your opponent, temporarily causing his legs to go from underneath him as his muscles contract and breathing becomes difficult.
This is because the liver is located at the bottom of your right rib, with the majority of it being protected by the rib cage. The liver is packed with blood vessels and nerves, when the ribs around it are hit hard enough, they will smash against the liver, causing shock waves that activate nerves and cause your blood pressure to decrease.
When that happens, less blood gets to the brain, and it becomes difficult to stay on your feet, the body wants you to lie down so that the blood can more easily return to the head. So the question is, how do you land the liver shot? One way that we recommend that someone can use to land the liver shot safely and accurately is the shovel hook method.
The Shovel Hook
A shovel hook is somewhere between a hook and an uppercut. It comes up at a diagonal angle with your weight planted on your front foot for maximum power. The key to this punch is to keep the punch tight and keep your rear hand up to cover your face from counter hooks, and your elbow against your liver just in case your opponent has the same idea. The upward motion helps to get your fist underneath the ribcage to hit the liver directly. The chances of anyone staying on their feet after one of these liver shot is very minimal, but the problem however with throwing it, is that it tends to leave your entire left side completely exposed, and due to it being a low punch it also requires you to lower the hand all the way to get any meaningful power behind it. Adding on to this, the punch also demands you to be at extremely close range as it’s simply too dangerous to lead with. This is where it is important to ensure that you setup the liver shot properly.
Setting the Liver Shot Up
Use feints to read your opponent, particularly with high jabs to try and raise his guard. Keep pumping them out as a probe to see if he raises his guard to block it, if he doesn’t, jab him in the forehead to let him know you’re not bluffing. Once he takes the bait and raises his hands to block, you can slip in close enough to throw the shovel hook.
A good one for beginners to start with is a basic jab, cross, slip to shovel hook. The cross, in this case, is more of a distraction to force your opponent’s guard up. If after throwing your first jab, you notice him step back, double or triple it up as you chase him down. Remember to keep your rear hand guarding your face as you jab, and to keep it glued to your side when you throw the shovel hook.
Setting up the liver shot is all about alternating the intensity and keeping your opponent unsure of which way you’re gonna strike. Don’t always try to go aggressive and go on the offence, it’s predictable, and you will miss valuable opportunities for body shots. Feint high and throw body jabs and low kicks into the mix regularly. Remember that if his guard is up, his liver is exposed, so take full advantage.
Now that you know the tips and trick to knocking an opponent out, I’m sure the next step is to actually go for a sparring session so that you can practice the liver shot ( a softer and lighter version of it, that is) and know how to edit and improve on it in an actual fight. Speaking about sparring, The Jungle is opening up sparring sessions for those who wish to practice what they have learned in classes in a real fight, it’s every Tuesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm! Don’t miss out on this chance to practice & simulate the techniques taught to you and apply it in a real sparring session! Just be careful not to hit your sparring partner so hard that they are out cold! (no liver shot as well :P)