Slagging MMA Kicks

Taekwondo gets slagged all the time.

And while I constantly make the distinction that not all Taekwondo is the Taekwondo I do, sometimes I look at who's doing the heckling and I wonder why some people aren't getting some of their own medicine back.

Today, let's slag MMA kicks. :-) Specifically the roundhouse kick taken from Muay Thai. Muay Thai exponents do them and they are purportedly the most powerful kicks out there. So everyone does them. But not everyone is a Muay Thai practitioner. And therefore not everyone is really doing the kick quite as nicely as a Muay Thai guy would do.

You know what I mean. Go to most any MMA competition and see how the roundhouse kick is done. Then compare it to the real deal in a Muay Thai competition. The MMA roundhouse kick is most likely the practitioner swinging the leg towards the opponent. It's a flail with little control. I'm not saying there's no power, but when you see a floppy foot, or an uncontrolled drop at the end of the kick - that's a far cry from the devastating roundhouse that you see from a Muay Thai practitioner.

Check out this following video to see how a Muay Thai kick is really delivered!

Why stop at slagging poorly done MMA roundhouse kicks. Let's look at the karate roundhouse kick - the mawashigeri. In fact, I really like the short range mawashigeri - it's one of my favourite kicks as it creates loads of power with a good amount of subterfuge. The short range mawashigeri folds the leg in a tight space, uses body compression to generate power and unleashes a very devastating kick in a small space.

The following video however is karate training methodology taken a little too far - let's fold and chamber the knee all the way around so everyone can see it coming. Chambering the knee at a height where you're going to deliver it but off at a 90 degree bearing to the target means you are not using the beautiful rotational/circumferential momentum that a roundhouse kick relies on. What am I talking about? Just draw a straight line from your foot to the target - the more deviation away from that line, the more inefficient is the kick. Of course there is that one tactical problem of letting the opponent see the kick coming from a mile away too.

I believe the issue here is that this is karate pedagogy. We introduce the large motions of the kick to the beginner and this is the way we start to learn how to kick. Delivering the kick however, requires the fighting to understand that the shortest distance between two objects is a line.

Happy to get come backs from any MMA/Karate guys out there.


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