Archive for Chris Clodfelter

Low Kick Defense and Counters [Video]

Posted in Muay Thai, Techniques, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2015 by Combative Corner

Chris Clodfelter profile picI love getting the opportunity to do some videos for.Sean Fagan and Muay Thai Guy. Here is good one on evading leg kicks and firing right back. Dont forget to check out for even more solid muay thai info.

Chris Clodfelter, Eight Points Muay Thai


5 Ways to Choose the Right Gym

Posted in Martial Arts, Miscellaneous, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2015 by Combative Corner

The tree has been taken down, the decorations have been packed away, the presents have been exchanged, and the last Gingerbread man has been eaten. Yes, the hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, and after all the holiday parties and eating at 14 different relatives houses, its time to get back in shape for the new year. New Year’s is by far the busiest season in the Wellness and Martial Arts industries. Everyone is ready to change their ways and get in shape, but before you make those changes you have a choice to make, which gym is the best ?

Eight Points GymFirst of all that question can be answered in a few different ways depended on what your goals are. For instance, if you want to become the next great Muay Thai Champion or fight in the UFC you might not want to sign up at the local YMCA and expect to go places, but no matter what your goals are (get in shape, learn self defense, or become a fighting champion) there should be some basic things that all good gyms who want to see you succeed have in common. Choosing the right gym and trainer is the MOST important step a person can make to actually reaching their goals and making LASTING changes that go from whimsical new years resolution to concrete lifestyle change. Below are 5 simple things to look for when shopping around for a gym. It doesn’t matter what kind of gym (Fitness, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitusu, Gymnastics, ect), these 5 simple things should be present.

1 Good Gyms and Trainers have Nothing to Prove: *I see this one all the time in the “MMA” gyms. Some guy with 2 amateur fights and a closet full of “skull” T shirts opens a “gym” out of a store front or someones basement. He has no real experience to speak of, so when new members come to class he goes hard on them to try and prove (to himself and to the prospective member) that he knows what he’s doing. It can also occur in the fitness industry. The so called “personal trainer” you hired who just got their PT certificate in the mail after taking a 4 hour class, doesn’t really understand how the human body works or how to invoke real change so he just screams “One More” or pushes you way past your limit to prove to you that his work outs are hard and he knows what he’s doing. This is an extremely dangerous situation and a HUGE red flag. If you are at a gym with this problem you are basically risking your health every time you come to class. A good trainer and gym who are well educated in their craft should have NOTHING at all to prove and their focus should be on building members up not on using members as dummies, showing off how much they know.

2 Good Gyms and Trainers have a Clear, Repeatable “Roadmap” to Success: *When going on any trip you need clear and precise directions on actually how to get there. When you get in your car to go somewhere that you aren’t quite sure of, you plug in your GPS and it guides you and gives you the road map for the destination. Gyms are no different. When you walk into the gym and sit down with the trainers they should be able to lay out a road map detailing how they will help you get from the starting point to reaching your goal. They should have a repeatable process that they have done with clients and members in the past to help reach goals. If you go into a gym and some guy is teaching head kicks one day to complete beginners, then showing those same beginners crazy 8 punch combos the next day, that is a red flag and you should probably look else where. You definitely should be able to see a system in place to build people up from complete beginner to advanced practitioner.

3 Good Gyms and Trainers Actually Charge People: * This is a no brainer. A real business that is good at what they do charges for its services.

4 Good Gyms and Trainers have a Credible Resume: * The person or gym training you should know what they are talking about and have a credible resume you can actually fact check. In this high tech age of Smart Phones, Ipads, and Google, its easy to type in the name of a potential gym or trainer into the search bar to see if claims they make on their website actually exist. If a guy says he is a 15-0 Kickboxer who has fought in the UFC 3 times, then when googling his name nothing comes up but old pics of him and his Frat brother “Leon” hanging out on the beach during spring break, chances are he’s lying. Always do the research so you know exactly what you are paying for.

5 Good Gyms and Trainers Believe in You: * Making changes is hard, reaching goals is difficult. There are times when you will want to give up, times when you will wonder if its worth it. In those times, you need a support system, someone who believes in you and believes you can reach the goals set before you, even when you don’t believe it yourself. A good coach and good gym family will have a positive uplifting atmosphere that inspires people to be their best and reach for their goals. If you are always surrounded by negative energy or an overbearing trainer that always points out what you doing wrong but never tells you when your doing something right, its not going to be to long before you give up on your dreams of ever getting in shape or learning something new. When you choose a gym your choosing a partner to come alongside and invest in your life to help you make lifelong positive changes, so make sure you choose a gym that wants to see you succeed and believes in you instead of just looking at you as a paycheck.




Improving Your Muay Thai with Sparring Drills

Posted in Muay Thai, Training with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2014 by Combative Corner
Chris Clodfelter Kick 1One of the best ways to really improve your overall Muay Thai is through proper Sparring and Sparring drills.  Proper Sparring is used to develop timing and distance and should focus not so much on power but on attacking and defending with good Muay Thai technique.  It is NOT a competition were you are trying to ‘beat” your partner to a pulp or show him how good you are.  It should be positive learning experience were both you and your partner are improving together.  Sometimes when your new to sparring you might draw a blank soon as the bell rings and then spend most of the time dancing around occasionally throwing a jab or leg kick.  One way to really help the “newbie” and “experienced professional” alike get the most out of each sparring session is through Sparring Drills, actually putting yourself in different situations where you take the “thinking” out of it and you just “react”.  There are tons of really good drills that a good Instructor can help you with, but today we’re only going to cover a few and hopefully give you some ideas on how to really jump start and improve your sparring sessions.  Enjoy 🙂
Teep vs Boxing:
In this drill each person has a “job”.  One person can only box or use hand techniques and the other can only Teep or Push Kick.  As one guy steps in to Jab or throw a Cross the other guy lands a Push Kick to the leg or body.  This is an EXCELLENT drill to work on timing for the Teep.  It can also be helpful to the other person cause it forces them to learn how to use their boxing effectively with out getting caught with a pushkick on the way in.  Try this drill for a couple 3 min rounds switching “jobs” each round so both guys get to work the Pushkick and the Boxing.Three for One:
This is a really fun drill that helps you really learn how to attack back in combinations opposed to only throwing single techniques the whole time.  One person can ONLY throw ONE technique (a Jab, a Cross, Teep, Round kick, ect), the other person must defend the one technique and fire right back with a 2-3 punch combo followed by a kick.  For instance, one person will throw a jab then immediately the other person defends the jab and fires back with a Jab/Cross/Round Kick.  They continue this for the whole 3 min round then switch every round.  One big rule with this one is that NO MATTER if you get hit or defend the ONE Technique you HAVE to fire right away with your Three Technique Combo so you get used to firing right back in a fight.  This is a great drill that really forces you to attack back with combinations!Round Kick vs Jab/Cross:
In this drill one person throws either a Jab or Cross and the other person counters with a round kick.  If a Left Jab is thrown it is countered immediately with a Right Round Kick to either the leg or the body, if a Right Cross is thrown it is countered with a Left Round Kick to the leg or body.  Kicking can deliver a much more powerful blow in a fight than punching but the key is finding your proper distance and timing and thats exactly what this drill will work.  In the beginning go slow and as you get the timing better you can speed the drill up a bit.

Tit for Tat:
This is by far one of my favorite drills for developing proper Muay Thai technique while also working on getting hit and firing right back.  In this drill one guy throws a 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg kick or body kick defends and fires right away with his own 2 to 3 punch combo followed with a leg or body kick.  This drill should feel the most like actual sparring with both guys moving around and throwing techniques like they would in a “live” sparring session.  This takes all the guessing and wondering out of it and allows you to turn your mind off and just react.  This is also a great drill for developing your combos.  When firing your 2-3 punch combos use a variety of different techniques so you don’t get stuck doing the same combos every time in “live” sparring.

With all these drills it is important that you be safe and HAVE FUN and take care of your partner, because without them YOU wouldn’t be able to train.  Every time you step out there to spar you should be learning something so relax, put the ego aside, and really work on getting better and improving.


Posted in Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Teaching Topic, Training with tags , , , , , , on August 21, 2014 by Combative Corner

chris conditioningThe Empire State Building is one of the tallest and most historic buildings in the United States. For decades it has towered high above the New York skyline and stood as a testament to the innovative spirit of our culture, but this American “giant” could not have stood the test of time if it weren’t for one thing, a secure and solid foundation. Before you can build something that will last you must first lay a strong foundation to build upon.

This rings true to many things in life, especially in the Martial Arts. Most often when people think of “laying the foundation” in any Martial Art, they immediately think of basic stance, footwork, techniques, etc, but there is one huge building block that many forget about. In fact this “building block” should actually be the corner stone that supports the rest of the building. This building block is Conditioning. Conditioning refers to the fitness of the body, but more importantly the bodies ability to adapt and perform particular strenuous activities with relative ease over time with the proper sport specific training. Having and, more importantly, maintaining a proper level of fitness and conditioning is imperative to excelling in any martial art or combat sport. You must have the strength to throw punches, or the gas in the gas tank to throw kicks when you see an opening. It is even important in basic self defense. A person who is in shape and conditioned, will be much less of a target to an attacker. If attacked, they will have the speed to run away to safety, or worse case scenario their body will be stronger so they can survive the attack. Improving your fitness and conditioning is the first step to anyone’s journey in the martial arts.

Chris Clodfelter Knee Muay ThaiThere are many ways to improve your fitness and conditioning but one of the best ways to really improve your actual “fighting” conditioning is through “fighting” drills. The first drill is fast/hard drills. You can do this drill with a partner holding focus mitts/thai pads or by yourself on a punching bag. Start in a fighting stance in front of the bag or your partner holding the mitts, and throw continuous jab/crosses for 30 second intervals. The first 30 seconds throw the jab/crosses fast with little to no power working speed, then the next 30 seconds throw the jab/crosses slower and harder really working on your power. Repeat these 30 second intervals back and forth for an entire 3 minute round. You can also do this same drill with kicks, throwing fast round kicks for 30 seconds working speed followed by slamming 30 seconds of slower, harder kicks for power, then repeat. Another really good “fighting” drill to work your “fighting” conditioning is mixing exercises such as jump squats or push ups in with your bag work or pad work. Stand in a fighting stance in front of the bag or partner holding pads, then throw a hard Jab/Cross/Round Kick then drop down and pump out 10-20 push ups as fast as you can, then immediately jump to the feet and throw another hard combo, and follow it with 10-15 jump squats, then back to throwing a combo on the bag. Repeat this for an entire 3 minute round. The last conditioning drill is a popular drill all Muay Thai fighters use to build the stamina needed for a hard 5 round fight, Skipping Knees (Running man knees) on the bag. Stand in front of the bag, grabbing it with both hands at head level, and drive your knee straight into the bag, then skip and drive your other knee hard into the bag. Continue skipping and alternating your knees into the bag for the entire round. This drill is often called “Running man” knees because it resembles the “Running Man” dance.

Here is a sample workout you can use to really help jump start your conditioning routine. The work out consist of 5 rounds of anywhere from 1-3 minutes, depending on your current fitness level, incorporating some of the drills we’ve talked about. Beginners should do this work out in rounds of 1 minute, those with decent fitness should do the work out in rounds of 2-3 minutes.

Remember to always consult your doctor before starting any kind of conditioning program.

Round 1: Fast/Hard Punches
-30 seconds fast punches/followed by 30 seconds slower harder punches
-repeat for 3 minutes (1min for beginners)

Round 2: Fast/Hard Kicks
-30 seconds fast round kicks/followed by 30 seconds hard power round kicks
-repeat for 3 minutes (1 min for beginners)

Round 3: Jab/Cross/Kick/Jump Squats
-Throw Jab/Cross/Kick on the bag, perform 15 jump squats
– Repeat Combo and jump squats for entire 3 minute round (1 min for beginners)

Round 4: 10 Punches/10 Pushups
-Throw 10 hard fast alternating left/right punches on the bag, followed by 10 push ups
-repeat for entire 3 min round (1 min for beginners)

Round 5: Running Man Knees
-Throw alternating left/right continuous knees into the bag for the entire 3 min round (1 min for beginners)




10 Questions With Chris Clodfelter

Posted in 10 Questions, Fighters, Muay Thai with tags , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Combative Corner

(1) How did you know that you wanted to fight competitively?

From the time I watched my first martial arts movie I knew thats what I wanted to do, be a professional Martial Artist.  I was a huge Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Ninja Turtles fan.  I would watch their movies over and over and try to mimic the moves, but it wasnt until I was around 9 or 10 and I saw the movie Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee that I really thought of growing up to compete in the Martial Arts.

(2) What are some of the fighters/martial artists/coaches that have made an impression on you?

I have had so many teachers and coaches who really inspired me over the years but I would have to say 3 come to mind as having the biggest impact on my life as a Martial Artist.  First was my Jiu Jitsu and striking Coach, Mickey Heath.  I started training with Sensei Heath when i was around 14.  I had already acieved a Black Belt in Amercian Karate, but this was my first taste of Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai.  After he showed me a leg kick, it changed everything about my stance and style of combat.  I also had my first taste of grappling.  Rolling with the more advanced students and getting beat down over and over was both exciting and The biggest reason he had an impact on me, was that he taught me the true values of Martial Arts.  He taught me discipline and respect for both my competitor and my coaches and important life lessons of humility and perseverance.  The next person who had a tremendous impact on me was my main muay thai coach, Arjan Rick Davis.  Arjan Davis taught me the true culture and essences of Muay Thai.  He showed me the all the details that made the art both effective and deadly and really gave me the tools to become a world champion.  Then final person who has had a huge impact on my growth as a martial artist is Muay Thai Legend, Grandmaster Toddy. Getting a chance to work and train with him was a dream come true and i learned so much about how to really interact with my own students and fighters and how to bring out the best in their performance as well as my own.

(3)  Was there a fight that you’ve been in that, in part or in full, did not go so well?  If so, how do you go about improving your results?

Yes, 2 fights in particular come to mind.  In the first fight I was fighting a very tough wrestler and jiu jitsu stylist in Alabama.  At the start of the fight he caught my first kick and slammed me down on the ground and proceeded to pound my face in over and over, after about 2 minutes of this I was able to wait for the perfect opportunity and catch is arm and lock it in a tight armbar from the guard that forced him to tap and give me the victory.  In that fight I learned that no matter what is going on or how bad it looks there is always a way to win if you take a deep breath, relax, and focus. The second fight was one where it didnt go as good as the  I made a split second mistake in a tough bout and it cost me the whole fight. For a split second I turned to my stomach to try to get to my knees and then to my feet, but my opponent read my moves and sunk in his hooks to rain down punches until the ref stepped in, in that fight I learned that it only takes one split second miscalculation and things can go from great to not so great…lol

(4)  I know that your a man of strong faith.  How does your spirituality play a role in what you do?

It plays a HUGE roll in who I am as a person and as a martial artist and professional fighter.  I am very humbled that God allows me to do what I love for a living and he gives me the breath and the strength to get through each fight and workout, with out him NOTHING is possible.

(5)  What are the biggest problems that you confront when you are preparing for a fight?

Well the biggest problems is juggling my time.  Being a father, teaching my classes, training my fighters, spending time with my girl, and then finding time for training my self can be a full time job in itself.  So scheduling and trying to juggle everything would definately be the toughest part of the preparation.

(6)  What goes through your mind before the ref drops his hand to begin a match?

I relax and let the training take over.  I have a certain game plan that I have worked and prepared for so I try to focus on that but I still leave room for the fight to flow.  You can have a game plan but the fights dont always go as planned, so you definitely have to be flexible.

(7)  As a Traditional Martial Artist, what is your opinion of people entering the sport as a “Mixed Martial Artist?”

I truly would have to say I have mixed emotions.  On one hand the idea of mixed martial arts is amazing, two warriors competing to see who is the better athlete.  That is how I see my fights, when I step into the cage I want to test myself and my style but on the other hand a majority of guys in MMA (especially) the new crop of fighters seem to have no respect and very little ethics.  Just go watch 90% of your local mma shows or old TUF episodes with guys peeing on each other’s pillows and getting in drunk bond fire brawls.

(8)  You begin each match with a ritualistic, Muay Thai movement.  Can you fill our readers in on what that’s about?

That is called the Ram Muay and Wai Kru.  It is the ritualistic dance to honor your instructor, teachers, coaches, and family.  It also serves as a great way to warm up before a match and get your head right.

(9)  Is there a stigma or reputation that people have for you (or your profession) -good or bad- that you’d like to address here (or wish could be changed)?

I would like everyone to know that not all MMA athletes are like the “Junie Browings” of the world.  MMA is a true proving ground for Martial Arts and athletes of all styles, many of the competitors are down to earth and overall nice guys who are very focused and determined to reach a goal.

(10)  Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Definitely see the gym growing even more and producing even more champions.  In my personal career I see myself competing for about another 7 years and winning even more world titles and fighting in even more shows.  Competing in the UFC is another goal, I was an alternate on Season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, so i would like to take the next step and compete for the organization.  I also want to fight more in Thailand, I have my first fight scheduled for Dec. in Bangkok so I am pumped.  Thank you again for taking the time to interview me and for spreading the word about the values of the martial arts.


AGE:  30

STYLE(S): Muay Thai

PROFESSIONAL RECORD: MMA 9 wins 6 losses/ MUAY THAI 7 wins 1 loss

TITLES/TITLES HELD: Current United States Muay Thai Associations Pro MMA Lightweight World Champion and Current Circle of Fury Pro MMA welterweight world champ



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