All you need to know to perfect your kicking technique in MMA


Mirko Filipovic is regarded as one of the best kickers in mixed martial arts (MMA). In this history of modern MMA, very few fighters boast the lethality, speed, and power of Mirko’s kicks. 

So effective were his kicks that some of the best bookmakers on regularly favored him to knock out his opponents with one of such devastating “leg-punches”.

Yes, as a professional MMA fighter, you have to get your kicks right. Yes, hand punches are vital, but you need kicks to attack your opponent from a distance without expecting yourself too much to a powerful strike.

But how can you perfect your kicks?

Starting with the basics of leg strikes

In MMA, leg strikes are important to disorient your opponent’s stance. This gives the competitor the advantage of dealing more blows and being victorious.

However, there are some basics for these kicks to be accurate and to deal some real damage.

1. Maintain a firm stance: You don’t want to kick and then wobble or fall, as this could be a gift to a more technical opponent. Therefore, you must set your feet firmly on the canvas.

Before you strike, make sure you’re standing slightly sideways, with your strike foot facing outwards and ready to be lifted off the canvas.

2. Be precise: A good kick does not happen by chance. Instead, it’s deliberate and precise.

Therefore, instead of throwing random strikes, target a specific section or parts of the opponent’s body.

This weakens those parts of the opponent’s body, causing them to focus more on defending them. As a result, this exposes various portions of the opponent’s body, allowing you to inflict more damage.

3. Strike with Power: Besides precision and intent, power is also fundamental. The more powerful the kicks, the weaker the opponent becomes.

With power in your kicks, you can even knock out your opponent and secure that crucial victory.

4. Attempt Combos: Do not intend to just dish out one hit per kick. Instead, spice it up with some combos to increase its severity.

How about a kick to the calf followed by a quick one to the chin or a thigh strike followed up by a connecting head kick?

These and more are enough to get your opponent wobbling and even knocked out.

MMA kick styles you should incorporate

There are many kicking styles in MMA. Some of them include:

1. Push Kick: The goal of this kick is to create some space between you and your opponent. However, it can deal some damage if it has enough power.

It’s executed by using the hip thrust to generate power, then lifting the striking foot forward, extending it forcefully, and landing with the heel on the target area.

The target location is usually the opponent’s chest or lower jaw, and doing so with enough force pushes the opponent away from you, allowing you to regain your composure.

Note that speed is essential in performing this kick so that your opponent won’t be able to catch your feet and counter your strike.

2. Spinning Kick: This is a vicious kick to deal substantial damage to your rival –or even knock him out.

The target is the head, and it is best performed when the opponent least expects it or as a finisher.

To execute, keep your fighting stance and maintain a suitable distance between you and your opponent. 

Then, in the blink of an eye, twirl clockwise, pivoting on your weaker foot and stretching your striking foot as you go. 

Make contact with your opponent’s head with this foot, allowing the impact to stop your spin. 

You can use any part of your foot to make the impact, but ensure that there is enough power in your execution.

3. Side Kick: The sidekick is commonly used to create distractions as you prepare for a more lethal blow. This is done with the topside of the foot and is targeted at various parts of the body. 

To perform, simply maintain your striking stance and extend the topside of your striking foot, making contact with any part of your opponent’s body. 

You can repeat the process on a specific part of your opponent’s body, especially the lower body parts, to weaken it and make them let down their guard. 

4. Flying kick: This acrobatic kick entails lifting off the canvas and impacting any part of your opponent’s body.

To be more effective, give enough space between you and your opponent, then launch yourself at them with an outstretched foot.

How can you defend yourself against kicks?

Even though kicks can be lethal, you can still defend against them and even use them as leverage for a counterstrike. Do the following to defend against kicks.

1. Be observant and expectant

2. Always maintain your fighting posture as it gives you a firmer footing on the canvas.

3. Always try to close the gaps, because distance is a good ingredient for lethal kicks.

4. Look out for mis-kicks and quickly counter them.

5. Use your arms as your shield.

6. Attack whenever there is an opportunity.

So there you go! Here are the fundamentals you need to know to upgrade the lethality of your kicks when next you step into the ring.

Severe MMA Staff

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