Is there any truth to the notion kicking is really a secondary technique in MMA?
Truthfully, kicking does have a place in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). There many who are not huge proponents of the use of the legs in MMA, but such an assessment is entirely accurate. similarly, a certain conventional wisdom has emerged over the past few years that kicks are not very good for self-defence either. This belief comes from the notion that because kicks are not used to a huge degree in MMA, kicks are not useful techniques for the street.
The main issue with kicks in MMA is such techniques can create an opening for a takedown. You also are vulnerable to a rear cross when employing rear leg kicks. As such, kicks have to be used a little bit more carefully when training for the cage. (Those training for kickboxing or point karate will be able to use a lot more variety in their leg techniques) The “judicious process” starts with using the highest percentage kicks which would be the lead and rear roundhouse kick. The Muay Thai roundhouse kick will be the preferred one to use for many.
Where the kick is directed also will play a role in its effectiveness. The inner and the outer thigh are the most common targets. For those that are not great kickers, these might be the best targets to stick with. Those that have exceptional kicking skill, higher targets such as the head might be workable.
Also, those that are good at kicking that might find the sidekick and the front push kick workable in MMA. Other kicks can be added based on the skill of the person.
For self-defence, the round kick, the front kick, the sidekick, and the stomping kick all have their role. The targets they generally attack are the illegal ones in sport competition. This would include the groin, the shins, the knees, the insteps, and so on. While effective, kicks can be limited in terms of their window of opportunity in a self-defence scenario.
Kicks are also very attributes based. That means you have to develop the flexibility and muscular endurance to use them effectively. Once you do that, there is no reason why your kicks cannot be devastatingly effective.
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