Why does MMA name their kicks this way?

Discussion in 'MMA' started by skribs, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    Most martial arts I've looked at, including my primary art (Taekwondo), take each kicking technique as its own name. For example, a roundhouse kick is a kick across your body, a front kick is straight in front, a side kick straight out, a back kick straight back. Now you might do a low roundhouse or high roundhouse for different targets, but they all have a name based on the type of motion you're doing.

    But in MMA, it seems all the kicks are named after where you're hitting. A "leg kick" is any kick aimed at the quads, a "calf kick" is aimed at the calf (compared with a "calf kick" in a TMA which is a hook kick where you strike with the calf). An Oblique Kick is any kick aimed at the oblique ligament (as opposed to Hapkido, where it's a straight kick across your body). There's "body kick" and "head kick" which seems to be just about any kick going for the body or head.

    Why is it that MMA classifies kicks in this way? Is it just for simplicity of announcing to the layman?
     
  2. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    I think it's for the benefit of their low iq audience, who have drifted over from wwe, a fore arm smash is a smash with the fore arm, ergo a kick in the head is a head kick , a pubc h in the throat is a throat punch and a kick on the thigh is a thigh kick, that way it doesn't stretch either their knowledge of anatomy or their vocabulary to much.
     
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  3. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Very interesting observation. I have a couple of quick reactions.

    First, i would caution against conflating the vocabulary used in color commentary of a sport and the vocabulary used in training. Not exactly the same.

    Second, my initial reaction is that it highlights a difference in priorities. In one style, the focus is on technique. In the other, it is on results. Ergo one names the motion and the other the target .
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Master of Arts

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    1. This may be true, but I find it on technique websites, too. I mean, I realize a Wiki maybe isn't the best source of information, but it does come into play.
    2. I can see "go for a body kick" as going for results, but you still have to know how to kick to the body. And a front kick, roundhouse kick, and back kick can all be to the body (same result) but have completely different ways of doing things. So it makes sense as a coach to say "go for a head kick", but in training it makes more sense to train the type of kick you're going to do to the head.
     
  5. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    MMA names are named that way because the everyday person isn't going to know the formal names of the strike. Oblique kick (I don't like the name maybe easier to remember than scoop kick or Shadowless kick.
     
  6. wab25

    wab25 Blue Belt

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    You see the same thing for the Judo throws. If two feet are on the ground, its a "Judo Hip Throw." If any foot is off the ground in any way, or it doesn't look like the normal "Judo Hip Throw," its called "Hane Goshi." I have yet to see the real Hani Goshi actually used in MMA. I have seen Uchi Mata, Uchi Momo Harai, Harai goshi, Soto Momo Harai, Hiza Guruma... But I have not seen a Hane Goshi. I have heard Hane Goshi announced though for all these other throws, and more.

    (If anyone has seen Hane Goshi thrown in MMA, post a link, I would love to see it. Also would be interesting to hear what they called it.)
     
  7. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple Senior Master

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    You're also viewing MMA as it's own style...in a sense it is, but it's also not at the same time. By practicing multiple arts, I practice MMA technically. But not UFC, or anything similar.
     
  8. Martial D

    Martial D Senior Master

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    I think you are confusing the layman color commentary with the actual names. If I called out a 'leg kick' in the gym people might assume I meant a roundhouse, but we call it a roundhouse. I might also mean an oblique kick(which is a type of kick that can go to the thigh or the body, usually the thigh), a front snap kick to the knee, or a sidekick to the leg.
     
  9. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I also like to use the term, groin kick, knee kick, belly kick, inside upper leg kick, ... IMO, a front kick or roundhouse kick is too general.

    You can't use toe push kick, or heel kick to kick the groin area. You have to use instep spring kick instead. So groin kick has much more detail than front kick.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  10. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Sure and in mma they do learn how. But the how is not as rigid. As I said, the emphasis is on results. The technique isn't the end . It's the means to the end .
     
  11. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    So would a knee kick be a kick to the knee, or a kick with the knee?

    I don’t watch MMA, as it just doesn’t do anything for me. Perhaps the commentators are naming the kicks after where they land for consistency purposes because a lot of the styles call them different things? But more likely because of the MA IQ of the audience.
     
  12. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I think it's easier for the commentators to keep it generic. With so many styles, many times a technique will have multiple names depending on the style. Also, it's easier to keep up with the flow of the action to describe it when talking than name it.

    It does remind me of the old Pride days when it seemed like every punch to the body was called a "liver punch" by Bas Rutten. lol
     
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  13. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes Grandmaster

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    Another consideration: the majority of kicks thrown in MMA (80-90%) are roundhouse kicks, usually Muay Thai style. If you consider those kicks to be the default, then the target (inside leg, outside leg, liver, head) is the more useful piece of information. If you pay attention, you'll notice that other kinds of kicks typically are described by name: teep (or front kick), side kick, spin kick, oblique kick. (To the best of my knowledge, the oblique kick is named for the angle it's thrown at, not because it targets one particular ligament. It's certainly not used for round kicks or side kicks to that same target.)
     
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  14. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Yep...
    Joe Rogan didn't know what to call it and said it's some kind of elliptical kick then due to the angle of the kick started calling it the oblique kick.
     
  15. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    That just made the name even worse for me lol I didn't like it before but this statement makes me really not like it.

    That's says a lot on just how much he doesn't know. To not recognize it's actually in multiple, TMA and in Muay thai. He could have picked one. I wonder if he just wanted to coin a name or if he really didn't know.

    They even show the kick in movies.





    He didn't know what to call it? seems like a stretch to me, not like it was some kind of secret new kick that Jon Jones created.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. hoshin1600

    hoshin1600 Senior Master

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    I like Joe, I know some don't but you can't say he didn't know the name of a kick. He was a TKD guy they do more kicks than anybody. I think the biggest issue that hasn't been mentioned is that different styles tend to use the language of origin for their style.. Tony mentioned a teep. Is it teep, is it shomen geri, or sokusen? Every style uses its own lingo, most often from another language. Even using English can be problematic what I call a round kick others call a side kick or a crescent kick. There is no standard across styles so the body part is more direct and will circumvent the confusion.
     
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  17. FriedRice

    FriedRice Master Black Belt

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    Most of the kicks seen in MMA are kicks often used in Muay Thai fights, as that's what most MMA fighters train. Most "leg kicks" are going to be RH to the leg in MMA/MT, so they don't really need to say "RH leg kick". Just like most head kicks are going to be RH to the head. If it's a Front Kick to the face, then it's just easier to say Teep to the Face b/c "Teep" is shorter to say and again, it's a Muay Thai thing.

    When there's a sidekick, they will announce "SK". So it's not a layman simplification but more about being Muay Thai centric.
     
  18. axelb

    axelb Yellow Belt

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    Interesting observation.
    The mma gyms I've trained at, I never have heard them referred in that way either.

    I expect that as a commentator, they require shortened descriptions to keep up with the pace of the fight.
     
  19. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

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    yes I have noticed this - I can't remember off hand, but there's a guy in work who watches MMA fights constantly and when he describes a kick someone did, I almost never understand his terminology untill I see a video of the kick in question. One that particualry surprised me was how pretty much any form of 'jump with one knee in chamber position then kick with the other leg' was called a 'Crane kick' by him. (as opposed to say calling it just some form of jumping front-snap kick).
     

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