Jul 8, 2008

Common Mistakes with the Muay Thai Low Roundhouse Kick

In what I would guess is something I would do more often from now on after a big fight, and to prove that my blog isn't just about grappling techniques, I will cover the simple move that basically won the Griffin vs. Jackson fight in UFC 86- my (and many other people's) favorite striking technique, the Muay Thai Leg Kick.

One of my favorite MA instructors of all time, Rodney King (remember the Crazy Monkey system?) shows us common mistakes that people make and easy fixes when throwing the Low Thai Kick to the thighs, and I will make a feeble attempt to explain in basic physics terms below.


His tips in a nutshell:

Most importantly:
Move the lead leg before kicking!

If you don't, not only are you asking for some serious knee problems in your near future, you don't get nearly as much power out of your hits as you can by simply moving your front leg first.
What are you trying to do with this? When you open up your hips, you can now use them to put some serious *Umph* behind that kick, and since you're stepping forward (at a 45 degree angle, preferably), you are now adding forward momentum as well as more torque from the wider arc that the leg will be traveling on en route to its fleshy destination.

...and not as importantly, but just as good in terms of advice:

Always kick with the bottom part of the shin

Or you're asking for a broken foot. Simple as that.
Sure, you could condition your foot to take that kind of abuse, but why would you when you can train your shin to be even tougher in a fraction of the time? Not to mention that it's a more solid and more likely to be painful of a striking point than the foot. (Foot- wider striking point, more likely to flex on impact, resulting in less damage on opponent.)

When training with someone, and you're the one getting kicked, bend your knees

There could be more embarrassing things than getting injured from a practice kick that you see coming, but most of those things don't involve torn ligaments and possibly a fracture. Either bend at the knees and turn with the kick... or don't and risk injury and ridicule from everyone else who knows what they're doing.
Your choice.


Erik M said...

i've always wondered why fighters don't throw higher kicks in fights. Is it likely that they'll get their leg caught and then knocked out or what? All I see are legs kicks. what's the deal?

Anonymous said...

I'll take a shot at answering that in yoon's (PKC) stead-

In a fight where it's not just about kicking (ie, TKD) there's far too much risk in throwing high kick after high kick.

It's all about probability-

Essentially, no matter what the skill level of the kicker:
Chance of connecting solidly <<
Chance of missing altogether <<
Chance of getting leg caught and getting taken down <<
Chance of glancing off

Or, simply, the kicker will get swept/taken down more often than having a kick that connects.

So, when the potential payoff is not very high compared to the potential risk, it's kind of wise not to throw them that often, unless the situation calls for it, and in most of those situations, a hard cross/hook/throwing leather wildly will do the same job with less risk regardless.

That being said, leg kicks also pay off dividends in fights-

Untrained fighter + leg kicks = Early end to a fight due to dead leg

Trained fighter + leg kicks = Serious loss in power and confidence.

Hope that answers the question, and maybe our favorite blogger here will come later and drop in a few comments himself. :)

Punch Kick Choke said...

couldn't have said it better myself, person who seems to know my name. :)

Anonymous said...

Good tips, after saw that famous video called "Broken Shin" I lost some confidence in this technique but everything has a solution I guess.


tt said...

lol- throw non-fully-commited kicks with the lowest part of your shin until you know that your shin is conditioned enough for you to start throwing some wild shots.

Aurea said...

You gotta have good posture and body mechanics to properly pull off every attack and defensive maneuvers with success to prevent injuring yourself in the process. Watching a lot of amateur MMA fights led me to see a lot of botched moves by other combatants, and one instance of those caused my friend's teeth to fly off on his final fight (Though, he won by submission with a quick gogoplata a few second after that). A few weeks after his successful retirement, I accompanied him to the dentist (Ft. Lauderdale clinic) for a check-up and to look for a possible solution on his missing teeth, and the dentist in Fort Lauderdale, FL recommended him for a dental implant in which he accepted. Currently being a family man, he never forgets his passion for MMA and how it led him to live a better life.