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I'm a beginner and have a question that may be basic. I figured out when you hit left I can feel my body loading up on the right side so my combos tend to be left right left right left right so they 'flow'

I've also realized if I strike and I'm not very quick (which I'm not), I'll likely be hit so I want to anticipate this and side step away before a low kick. For example, left hook, side step to left and then low kick with back leg (right side).

Am I correct in thinking this is a general pattern, where I want to step away on the same side as I hit when I want to evade the counter and set up the next blow?

It definitely feels awkward to me to say do a cross (as an orthodox fighter) and then step to the left which would I assume leave me open to a counter cross. But it also 'feels' like it flows better to step to same side. Is this correct?

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    Something basic I learned: In general, if you're fighting against a stronger opponent, stay away from his power hand's side. So if he's right handed, step to his left (your right)... Another thing I'll suggest: Don't flow. Don't create a rhythm at all. Then your opponent can see the pattern and predict what's coming. Timing is everything. Think about off-beat timing (half-beat timing, stop-hits, etc.). When you see your opponent begin to move, strike him back. He'll have to stop mid-way and think, which slows his response time and gives you an advantage. Basic stuff you might already know. – Steve Weigand Jun 28 at 15:23
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    @SteveWeigand Let me encourage you to write up an answer so I can give you some fake internet points… – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Jul 3 at 12:53
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It may be sometimes dangerous to do it - I think it should not be a usual pattern. In general, it's preferable to outflank opponent from its front-hand side.

While doing a jab, you are commonly doing it in the same moment as stepping with front leg - and weighting it for a moment. You may change this move - and not only do a step, but turn your body - and do a side-step - as you described it - with circulating on the moment-weighted front-leg.

In both moves, you are weighting your front leg for a moment - and it is too easy (but without side-step - far less easy - your jab is faster) to counter you with a right(assuming, that your front hand is left) lowkick. Jabs are usually light, so your opponent surely prefer to block or absorb it, and make a lowkick to your weighted leg. And when doing a side-step such lowkick may check your balance - because it will interrupt your move.

Side-steps are good when you catched your opponent's middle or high-kick move, and you are side-stepping to the opposite side - you evading kick and flanking your opponent.

As variant, you may try to do a right(asuming your opponent front hand is left) side-step and do a right hook to counter his jab. But I think, that lowkick is preferable - you are spending less energy and, I think, you have better chances to land a hit - it is more fast to do. And after a successfull right lowkick, you may continue with left middlekick, shortening the distance.

About crosses. When you are crossing - if I'm understanding terms correctly - you are doing high amplitude punch - and you are weighting opposite leg, sometimes after a step with it. If you are feeling to step to another side - than you are doing a side-step, not a cross.

But maybe I misunderstood your second question. Please, note me, if it is so.

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