Charlie Peters is widely recognised as one of the best fighters in England, certainly the best not to come out of Bad Company Gym in Leeds, who’s star fighter Liam Harrison he will face later this year. Today we will look at what makes Charlie Peters such a successful Muay Thai fighter.
When analysing the habits of Muay Thai fighters, you need to have a watchful eye – after all, fundamentally nearly all Muay Thai fighters do the same basic techniques well, unlike MMA where a good switch kick will be a point of interest, you can virtually guarantee that any fighter you face in the ring will at the very least be confident to throw that technique. Instead we must look at when a fighter throws a certain strike and why they do it – as that’s what makes the difference between two fighters with seemingly similar skillsets.
Leading with hooks – used against Azize Hlali, Alex Bublea
This may be a controversial move to highlight, because there is a right way and a wrong way to lead with hooks and Peters often does both. As an orthodox fighter leading with a left hook is typically quite a good idea, especially if the start of your left hook resembles a jab. A brief twitch of the shoulder can leave an opponent trying to parry a jab only to be caught hard. Against Azize Hlali, Peters pulls this off several times.
The riskier move is the wide right hook that Peters also led with in that fight. This punch was far more telegraphed and as a result, rarely landed clean. However, while it didn’t make for a meaningful strike, it certainly did help Peters establish the clinch when he needed to.
Frequent Switches: Switch kick, switch hook – used against Azize Hlali, Alex Bublea
Any gun owners or enthusiasts will know all about chambering a round into a gun before firing. In martial arts we have something similar, in the case of Charlie Peters he has one very effective chamber, in his switching techniques. Frequently Peters will throw a switch kick, which he usually targets to the body. Once his opponent acclimatises and begins to defend kicks to the body, Peters will switch and kick high.
This double attack becomes very hard to predict, and frees Peters up for more creative attacks, such as switching and throwing a southpaw right hook. The combination of these three techniques allowed Charlie to successfully feint two moves at once, while still being able to attack the head from either side. It’s very effective and certainly something I’d love to see more from him.
Jumping down elbow in clinch – used against Azize Hlali, Saemapetch Fairtex
When caught in the clinch one particular technique we see again and again from Peters is a downward elbow. First he lifts his weight up by either jumping or tip toeing just to bring it down with the hard strike. It usually connects on either the head or collarbone. Despite critics claiming that it’s just for show, the move is effective enough that we see Peters go to it time and time again.
Shepherding low kicks
As a forward moving fighter, Peters is often looking to not only close space, but keep his opponent in front of him. The most simple way to do this is to advance and throw low kicks. Against Linas, Peters found himself against an opponent looking to escape to both the left and right, while lateral movement is the best way to avoid an opponent without losing too much distance, Linas’ was too predictable and as a result when he moved to the left he simply got caught with a right low kick, and vice versa.
The low kicks immediately started doing damage and set up Linas for a very speed high kick which ended the fight. Speaking of which…
Surprise High Kicks – used against Azize Hlali, Alex Bublea, Linas
Peters has exceptionally fast high kicks which he can spring up on a moments notice. At the start of rounds, late in fights, at the end of combinations, Peters will find a moment to throw them. Against Alex Bublea he even threw them twice in a row at the end of the first round. What makes Peters effective is that he doesn’t always throw these kicks with the intention of landing, if they do land then that’s great, but what’s more important is that he draws a reaction from them.
Too much is made of ‘psychological warfare’ in fights, but it is a fact that when a fighter is against an opponent who is willing to just throw up a high kick with complete confidence, that fighter will always have that high kick in the back of their mind. This brings their guard up, which allows Peters to throw kicks to the body and legs with more success.
The same also works in reverse, as we saw against Linas, where brutal low kicks served to set up the high kick.
What we have in Charlie Peter’s is a solid fighter, he isn’t perfect and his punching technique can often leave him open for counters, but his technique all works together. He is a fighter who builds off his own techniques, using all of his kicks to set another up, allowing him to strike from unexpected angles. If he’s not fooling you with switches, he’s looking to set up his next power technique. He is a truly effective aggressive fighter, and young fighters coming up can learn a lot from him. He is more than a scrappy brawler, he is an intelligent aggressive striker.