One of my favorite knees to teach students is the independent knee (IK) and is the foundation for the other knees. An IK is a knee without the use of a clinch or leaping off the ground (AKA Flying Knee). You can grab the shoulder, the top of the head or nothing at all. Like most “advanced” techniques the IK should be set up with some other technique, i.e.; punch, kick, etc. The time that you may not have to set up the IK with another technique is if you’re fighting someone that pushes their way forward with their head down, i.e.; an unskilled boxer turned Muay Thai Kickboxer.
Here’s how to do the basic Independent Knee:
1. Punch or kick your opponent and when you see they have ducked or covered.
2. Reach out with your right hand and grab their right shoulder or top of their head.
3. Tuck your chin and have your left arm come across your face covering your right temple.
4. Push your right knee out (not up – VERY IMPORTANT)
5. Lean your torso back
6. Pull the shoulder/head with you
7. Drive your knee with your hips
8. Raise up on the balls of your feet on your support leg
9. Keep your right knee completely bent, pointing the toes back
You can do this without grabbing anything. Just drive your knee out towards your opponent.
Some of the problems that I’ve seen with this technique are:
1. Not setting up the Independent Knee and just throwing it out there.
2. Not throwing it like you mean it – If you’re going to use the IK, use it forcefully.
3. Not leaning far enough back to get the hips into the motion.
4. Not protecting your melon.
Here are two videos that use the Independent Knee. See if you can determine who uses the technique more effectively. Why is one technique better than the other? What did they do right? What did they do wrong? What could they do to improve their technique?
Buakaw vs. Kalakoda, K-1 Max Elimination, 05Apr06
Zambidis vs. Drago, K-1 World Max, 26Jun07
Here’s some photos of Duke Roufus doing the techniques:
Catching a kick, grabbing the head and delivering the knee.
Throwing the hook, grabbing the hand, then grabbing the head.