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Low Kicks for MMA and Self-Defense


Muay Thai Kick

When training martial arts you may come across two schools of thought when it comes to kicking for self-defense and/or mixed martial arts.

The first thought process would come from a traditional martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, etc. Many of these styles advocate using kicks as valid self-defense techniques. In Tae Kwon Do spends over 70% of it’s class time is spent teaching kicking techniques. The problem with this is that in order to be able to use these kicking techniques effectively, you need to have years and years of training. Even then some of the kicks can be risky (high kicks, spinning kicks, etc). Risky because if you fall, and all you have focused on is kicks, you’re in trouble. The techniques are not "Simple, Effective and Readily Available: H2H Motto

The second thought process would be that kicks and knees can be very effective if they are kept below the belt. This is the particular school of thought I prescribe too. I believe effective kicking can cause a lot of damage to an attacker, as well as setup other disabling techniques.

One of my favorite kicking techniques that we teach in the H2H Self-Defense system is the stomp kick. Either directed at the knee, foot, shin, etc. Are these disabling techniques? Definitely not. – BUT, when an opening is needed to either escape of flow into a disabling technique, they can be very effective for causing your opponent quick and temporary pain, that can provide you that split second to continue your defense.

I recently just saw this video by Mark Hatmaker on his DVD series called: Below the Belt: Complete Arsenal of Low Kicks for MMA and Street. The video is very informative and Mark has a great deal of experience and respect in the self-defense and MMA community. It is definitely worth a look

I also remember a drill I used to do back when I trained Goshin-Jitsu. We would include low kicks and kicking techniques while grappling and clinching. It added a whole other dimension to your grappling and self-defense awareness.

Oh – you’re probably wondering (or at least I always wonder what the counter/defense is) "What is the defense / counter to the low-kicks or kicks in general?" I’ll hook you guys up with an H2H Self-Defense system technique in a couple of days.

Matt Bryers

About me:

  • Certified H2H Combat instructor in the H2H System
  • 2nd Degree Black Belt in Kobukai Ju-Jitsu
  • Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
  • Competitor in Jiu-Jitsu, Grappling and MMA
  • Operated Self-defense and Ju-Jitsu School in Cromwell, CT

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