If you're a kickboxer who can only throw single punches or kicks, you're going to be in for a long match. A skilled opponent can easily evade most single strikes, while also throwing counterpunches and kicks, which will leave you frustrated and bruised. Well-timed, multistrike combinations are the way to go; effectively landing just one in a match will make you want to develop this skill.
Many kickboxers begin combinations with a jab, but when you throw a double jab, you can often disrupt your opponent's defense or counterattack. Throw a double jab to your opponent's head, followed by a cross and a left hook to the head. The four consecutive head strikes can trick the opponent into thinking that a body shot is coming, which can make her drop her guard slightly. Finish the combination with a high kick, which should pass over her guard.
A key to effective kickboxing strikes is to mix up the the location of your punches and kicks. If all the strikes in a combination are to the head, for example, your opponent will just hide behind her guard or even throw a low kick at you. To keep your opponent guessing, lead with a low kick and then immediately throw a jab and cross. The simplicity of this combination is effective by itself, but you can use it to set up additional strikes depending on how the opponent reacts.
When you have your opponent on the ropes, she'll expect short, compact strikes, rather than sweeping attacks. Throw a series of jabs followed by some crosses; three or four jabs and three or four crosses make for an effective high combination. Instead of continuing to pressure her on the ropes, take a quick step backward and throw a roundhouse kick to the head or body, depending on where you see an opening.
When your opponent is a few feet from the ropes, an effective combination can drive her backward, at which point you can pin her against the ropes and attack. Throw a jab, followed by a left or right kick, depending how she's holding her guard. After the kick, move in quickly with a cross and a left-handed uppercut, which should push her back toward the ropes. Then, quickly throw a front kick to her face with your back foot before she has a chance to escape.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.