How To Fight A Taller Opponent

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How To Fight A Taller Opponent

This page focuses on techniques used to fight a taller opponent with a longer punching & kicking reach advantage. For additional sparring techniques, please visit the main Kumite & Sparring section.

Instructions for Technique

  • Shorter fighters should try to get in close in order to neutralize a taller opponent's reach advantage.
  • However, be aware that taller opponents will try to stay out of range where they can land jabs and roundhouse kicks without being hit by the shorter fighter.
  • You will need to move quickly in order to prevent the taller fighter from evading you. Try to use the environment around you (i.e. trap him against the ring).
  • When moving in, the shorter fighter should duck & weave and keep his chin & head protected. The taller opponent will expect a shorter fighter to try and get close. The taller opponent could try to land strikes like an uppercut punch as the shorter fighter moves into range.
  • When in close, you should use short-range strikes such as hook punches, knee strikes and elbow strikes (depending on what is allowed in your type of martial arts training).
  • If you are a mixed martial artists or a student of one of the grappling martial arts, you can also try various take down techniques (i.e. Single Leg Takedown) in order to bring the fight to the ground and help neutralize the taller opponent's punching & kicking reach advantage.
  • There are a wide variety of techniques that can be used to neutralize an opponent's reach advantage. However, the most effective will be based on the type of sparring match (i.e. there are different rules for a Taekwondo match versus a MMA match) or self-defense scenario that you face.

Instructional Boxing Video - How To Fight Someone With A Longer Reach

Instructional Taekwondo Sparring Video - How To Fight Against A Taller Opponent

Instructional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Video - Beating a Taller Opponent


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