Friday, January 11, 2008

Dick's Throwing Low's. Kicks that is.

The low kick. A vicious yet underused tool in today's Mixed Martial Arts scene. Not as glamorous as a knock out or slick as a submission, the low kick seems relegated to being viewed as a jab with the leg. But in the arsenal of knowledgeable fighters like Keith Jardine, Georges St. Pierre, Andy Hug and Mr. Low Kick himself, Rob Kaman, the low kick can turn an opponent into a grimacing, bruised and staggering victim of defeat.
High kicks aimed for the head can produce shocking knock outs, but more often than not, high kicks sail over an opponents head, can throw a fighter off balance and opens them up for a takedown. The low kick isn't meant to be a one hit fight stopper. Instead, low kicks disrupt footwork, inhibit mobility and pay dividends over time. Like a jab, the low kick can be used to set up further offensive attacks or to gain distance out of the pocket.
Using the shin as a weapon, thus providing greater surface area to strike, the low kick can be aimed to the outer and inner leg around the knee and thigh.
Rather than kicking with a straight leg, the low kick is thrown with a bent knee to allow full hip movement and energy transference. Opposite of snapping the kick, the low kick is focused on sweeping the leg and kicking through the target. Avoiding and checking the kicks, by bending and lifting the attacked leg are the best defense. A fighter may absorb low kicks without consequence early on, but sooner or later, bruised flesh, instability and limping are sure to follow.

Check out legendary kickboxer and Van Damme pal Rob Kaman demonstrating the low kick below. Imagine you're the training partner but not holding a pad.