Taekwondo for MMA

If you are anything like Kiser and I, you’ve had at least a little bit of exposure to Taekwondo. So many people get their start in the kicking based art. It would only make sense to make use of the many skills and techniques that the art has to offer.

After all, Kiser was a Junior Olympics Taekwondo Gold Medalist. I wasn’t near as talented but I did manage to earn a Brown Belt in the I.T.F. style. Many have dismissed the art as a viable contributer to the world of Mixed Martial Arts, but Kiser and I have always found that the only thing a closed mind, and a closed heart have never brought us were limited options and isolation. Being open minded has always opened more doors and brought us more happiness in our training and travels.

Above are a few simple modifications to techniques commonly found in Taekwondo. Be sure to share your favorites in the comments below.

Here’s to “No limitations as the only limitation.”

7 responses to “Taekwondo for MMA”

  1. why are you wearing gloves ?

  2. why are you wearing gloves ?

  3. Greg says:

    Very cool guys, love how you are incorporating multiple arts.

  4. I remember drilling that same counter a lot back in the day for TKD. Funny, I never thought about using it in MMA or kickboxing. I’ve been having success lately with a few of my favorite TKD combinations with one slight modification- add a jab to the face to set them up.

    This is one I’ve been catching everyone with lately: From same stance: jab, lead leg side kick to the midsection, step sideways toward your opponent’s back side as set the kicking foot down, spinning hook kick to the head with the back leg from inside your opponent’s blind spot.

    You can also change your level as you throw the hook kick (more like a meia lua from capoeira) and grab a low single on the way down. Most folks don’t think about defending a takedown when they’ve just been clubbed in the temple with a heel at 60mph.

    Alternatively, follow up a spinning hook kick (or almost any spinning attack in general) with a straight punch. If you don’t get the KO, or if you miss entirely, your opponent will almost always be in range to hit with a straight punch.

    I also like using the side kick and back kick in combination. Jabs to the face to wonders to set that up.

    Another favorite: side kick to the midsection, step + side kick to the thigh, leg scissors takedown, then go for a knee bar.

    There’s a lot of cool stuff from TKD you can use in MMA, the trick is learning how to box, wrestle, and everything else first. When I started fighting, my thought process was to win at one sport (MMA) with strategies from another sport (TKD) and that doesn’t work very well. It’s like trying to win at hockey by being good at soccer. There’s a lot that can carry over from one sport to the next, but you’ve got to develop entirely new skill sets to a high level of proficiency before you’ll be able to make that happen.

  5. I remember drilling that same counter a lot back in the day for TKD. Funny, I never thought about using it in MMA or kickboxing. I’ve been having success lately with a few of my favorite TKD combinations with one slight modification- add a jab to the face to set them up.

    This is one I’ve been catching everyone with lately: From same stance: jab, lead leg side kick to the midsection, step sideways toward your opponent’s back side and set the kicking foot down, spinning hook kick to the head with the back leg from inside your opponent’s blind spot.

    You can also change your level as you throw the hook kick (more like a meia lua from capoeira) and grab a low single on the way down. Most folks don’t think about defending a takedown when they’ve just been clubbed in the temple with a heel at 60mph.

    Alternatively, follow up a spinning hook kick (or almost any spinning attack in general) with a straight punch. If you don’t get the KO, or if you miss entirely, your opponent will almost always be in range to hit with a straight punch.

    I also like using the side kick and back kick in combination. Jabs to the face to wonders to set that up.

    Another favorite: side kick to the midsection, step + side kick to the thigh, leg scissors takedown, then go for a knee bar.

    There’s a lot of cool stuff from TKD you can use in MMA, the trick is learning how to box, wrestle, and everything else first. When I started fighting, my thought process was to win at one sport (MMA) with strategies from another sport (TKD) and that doesn’t work very well. It’s like trying to win at hockey by being good at soccer. There’s a lot that can carry over from one sport to the next, but you’ve got to develop entirely new skill sets to a high level of proficiency before you’ll be able to make that happen.

  6. Naturalbornfighter1 says:

    I Trained in TKD for around 10 years or so when I was younger. I automatically do that step when people go for inner thigh kicks. I think when you’ve drilled things over and over they just stick. I never realised that’s why I do it until I watched the clip! 😀 thanks guys!!!

  7. JMall says:

    This is Jason from No-Gi-Grappling.com. I just saw the video you guys put and I thought it was great. I won a silver medal at the Olympic Sports Festival in TKD back in 1990 before it became watered down. The footwork, distance control, evasion and counter kicking as well as combination kicking of TKD is the next level for MMA in my opinion. Checking and blocking kicks should only be done if you can’t first evade or counter your opponent’s attack unless you are using the block to get to a clinch or takedown.

    Best,

    Jason

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