Should UFC Adopt Shin Guards?

Argus

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I don't think it's good for the sport to have elite level athletes sidelined due to serious (gruesome) injuries occurring through proper execution of technique.

It's not proper execution of technique if you break your hand or shin... You're obviously doing something in practice with certain protective equpiment which is not safe to do without that protective equipment (in the environment you're practicing for, or indeed, in the real world). It's a problem with training.
 
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punisher73

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When it happened to Anderson Silva, it seemed like a fluke. But it seems to be a thing now. I don't think it's good for the sport to have elite level athletes sidelined due to serious (gruesome) injuries occurring through proper execution of technique. If shin guards will prevent this grizzly injury from occurring, then I'm all for it.

Still don't think you can fix the rest of what's wrong with McGregor, though.

I still think, at this point, it is a rare injury. The UFC has had 573 events (including the regular UFC, Fight Nights etc.). That's probably easily over 3,000 fights (assuming 5-6 fights only per card). I am aware of only two injuries like this. McGregor and Silva. Which would put the injury at a very conservative .07% risk

In Silva's case, he has tested positive for steroids in the past and it has been shown that steroid usage weakens your bones. So, that's a factor that might have been a cause in his break. McGregor admitted that he had multiple stress fractures in his shin prior to the fight, so that's a factor.

I think it is more a case of those guys not doing what they were supposed to do.
 

Steve

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I still think, at this point, it is a rare injury. The UFC has had 573 events (including the regular UFC, Fight Nights etc.). That's probably easily over 3,000 fights (assuming 5-6 fights only per card). I am aware of only two injuries like this. McGregor and Silva. Which would put the injury at a very conservative .07% risk

In Silva's case, he has tested positive for steroids in the past and it has been shown that steroid usage weakens your bones. So, that's a factor that might have been a cause in his break. McGregor admitted that he had multiple stress fractures in his shin prior to the fight, so that's a factor.

I think it is more a case of those guys not doing what they were supposed to do.
And Chris Weidman in April, and Corey hill in 2008. Ended Hill's career.

So, at least four elite level athletes (i.e. UFC pros) sidelined, two within just the last few months. I think we can agree that it's rare. But I'd say once or even twice is an anomaly, and Silva broke his leg in like 2013. So, it was grizzly, but unique... a fluke. Now, though, we have two more in just a few months. Seems like a trend to me, and that it occurs through the proper execution of technique is a problem.

I see your point, and so maybe shin guards aren't the answer. But if fighters are hiding injuries or doing other things that put them at undue risk, something needs to change. We shouldn't need for people to risk their lives or livelihoods for our entertainment. That's not for me, and is largely why I stopped watching NFL football and boxing. The more I learned about TBI, the less interested I became. Not a principled stand or anything like that, and It's not that I don't enjoy the sport and the competition. I just don't need to watch folks seriously hurting themselves. Just not fun for me.
 

Steve

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It's not proper execution of technique if you break your hand or shin... You're obviously doing something in practice with certain protective equpiment which is not safe to do without that protective equipment (in the environment you're practicing for, or indeed, in the real world). It's a problem with training.
I disagree. Unless you can show me video of those kicks and tell me how they executed the leg kick wrong.
 

Argus

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I disagree. Unless you can show me video of those kicks and tell me how they executed the leg kick wrong.
Not that the kick itself is wrong, but the application. I admit to not training Muay Thai, and hence never using a shin kick, but my impression is that you should be rather careful with how you employ it because, yes, if you meet an opposing shin square on while going all out, you're likely to break something. So, I might suggest being more reserved and careful in how you employ it, in much the same way that people who train to strike without gloves are much more reserved and careful about smashing their knuckles into potentially hard, boney targets.

Open hand strikes exist for a great reason, just like other forms of kicks exist for a great reason. My suggestion is to train with an awareness of what happens when you take off the protective gear, and how you need to change your behavior when you do, so that you think twice about throwing, say, a shin kick with all your might at an angle that your opponent can check it square on.

Even Mike Tyson broke his hand when he got into a fight outside of the ring, and wasn't wearing gloves. That didn't have to happen. It's just that he never trained for a situation where he might not be wearing wraps and gloves.

Training to turn your limbs into specialized, armored bludgeoning devices comes with some drawbacks, and artificially warps the nature of what you do in competition versus reality. The more you add artificial elements, the more you start to play a game that has less and less similarity to what it's supposed to. Fewer rules, and less protective equipment, is exactly why MMA / UFC became popular in the first place.

See my sword/stick fighting analogy at the end of page 1.
 
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punisher73

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And Chris Weidman in April, and Corey hill in 2008. Ended Hill's career.

So, at least four elite level athletes (i.e. UFC pros) sidelined, two within just the last few months. I think we can agree that it's rare. But I'd say once or even twice is an anomaly, and Silva broke his leg in like 2013. So, it was grizzly, but unique... a fluke. Now, though, we have two more in just a few months. Seems like a trend to me, and that it occurs through the proper execution of technique is a problem.

I see your point, and so maybe shin guards aren't the answer. But if fighters are hiding injuries or doing other things that put them at undue risk, something needs to change. We shouldn't need for people to risk their lives or livelihoods for our entertainment. That's not for me, and is largely why I stopped watching NFL football and boxing. The more I learned about TBI, the less interested I became. Not a principled stand or anything like that, and It's not that I don't enjoy the sport and the competition. I just don't need to watch folks seriously hurting themselves. Just not fun for me.
In complete agreement about athletes hiding injuries to get a payday. Its a catch 22 for most of them. What they do causes repeat injuries and they are always injured, so the only way to heal is to not fight. If they don't fight, they don't get paid.

The thing about striking in general is that you HAVE TO condition your body weapons for this if you aren't going to put on protective gear. In 3 out of the 4 instances, the person with the injury was not primarily a striker. It would be interesting to see what, if any, conditioning they had done and how long they have been doing it. In Silva's case I still think it could be linked to his steroid use.

That was why just about every single striking art, before commercialism, had body weapon conditioning in it so you wouldn't injure yourself when striking another person.
 

Buka

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We used to have some really long sparring nights. Shin pads sure did alleviate a lot of bruised shins. I always wore them in the dojo for sparring, didn't care for them for competitions.
 
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paitingman

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What do you do to minimize the risk of this happening to you?
Is it just a freak accident every time? Is it a poorly executed technique sometimes?

For myself, I pretty much never throw full out lowkicks. Softer thrown kicks people have a hard time seeing coming have always worked fine for me.
I also don't tend to land with my lower shin much; maybe 10 to 15% of the time.

How do you avoid this injury?
 
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paitingman

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Not that the kick itself is wrong, but the application. I admit to not training Muay Thai, and hence never using a shin kick, but my impression is that you should be rather careful with how you employ it because, yes, if you meet an opposing shin square on while going all out, you're likely to break something. So, I might suggest being more reserved and careful in how you employ it, in much the same way that people who train to strike without gloves are much more reserved and careful about smashing their knuckles into potentially hard, boney targets.

Open hand strikes exist for a great reason, just like other forms of kicks exist for a great reason. My suggestion is to train with an awareness of what happens when you take off the protective gear, and how you need to change your behavior when you do, so that you think twice about throwing, say, a shin kick with all your might at an angle that your opponent can check it square on.

Even Mike Tyson broke his hand when he got into a fight outside of the ring, and wasn't wearing gloves. That didn't have to happen. It's just that he never trained for a situation where he might not be wearing wraps and gloves.

Training to turn your limbs into specialized, armored bludgeoning devices comes with some drawbacks, and artificially warps the nature of what you do in competition versus reality. The more you add artificial elements, the more you start to play a game that has less and less similarity to what it's supposed to. Fewer rules, and less protective equipment, is exactly why MMA / UFC became popular in the first place.

See my sword/stick fighting analogy at the end of page 1.
I agree.
This kicking technique when applied in a certain manner I think inherently may just bear some risk of you snapping your leg without some sort of armor/protection.
There are many ways to use the technique that bear less or no risk of snapping your leg.
 

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I don't do Muay Thai, but does MT suffer from hundreds of broken shins every year given the number of fights that go on in Thailand? If not, why not?
 

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Just a note on headgear - it might not be as effective as people thought it to be, which is why amateur boxers don't use it anymore. It has a larger surface area which results in more hits, and the shock to the brain is almost the same. I don't think that the format of MMA should change, and any injury is a professional hazard. If they don't allow to wear spats anymore, why would they allow rash guards?

Fighting is fighting, why do you reckon they need to change it?
 

jmf552

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Shins get broken by doing the kick wrong. Bas Rutten has a good video specifically on this. The low kick is different than a Karate' roundhouse. The hip and torso have to to turn almost 90 degrees with the kick. This not only puts more power into the kick, but it causes the impact to be with the side of the shin bone, no the flat of the bone. It is like the difference between hitting a table with a wooden ruler on the edge, which will probably damage the table, versus the flat, which may break the ruler.

By turning the hip and torso during the kick, it actually makes the kick circle down slightly, creating the right impact. Shin guards encourage bad technique. Also, hard shin guards may cause opponents injuries elsewhere.
 

jayoliver00

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How many legends must break their leg before a safety measure is considered?

After Conor Mcgregor's leg broke at UFC 264 last night, I saw a few tweets about shin guards almost immediately.
I know some promotions have used shin guards. And all the pros are surely used to training & grappling with protective gear.
I spar and roll with shin guards on and I don't find them to be overly frustrating.

How much do you think they help in protecting you from snapping your leg?


I'd rather fight with light shinguards on, b/c it's just like wearing gloves to protect my hands.

Main problem is not turning the hips over and landing with the flat of the shin, rather than the bladed side (which is much tougher). When someone checks the kick, they're using the bladed part = bad if it's blade checking flat. And the checker is bracing for it too while the kicker is more relaxed.

Then there's the problem of the open guard between Orthodox vs. Southpaw causing the kick to go more upwards with a difficult angle to turn the hips over = landing more at the flat.

Also kicking at the calf lands faster = more chances of the flat making contact as the hips aren't turning over quickly enough as the check usually intercepts it. The Thais rarely target the calf, prob. b/c of this risk.
 
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drop bear

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Not that the kick itself is wrong, but the application. I admit to not training Muay Thai, and hence never using a shin kick, but my impression is that you should be rather careful with how you employ it because, yes, if you meet an opposing shin square on while going all out, you're likely to break something. So, I might suggest being more reserved and careful in how you employ it, in much the same way that people who train to strike without gloves are much more reserved and careful about smashing their knuckles into potentially hard, boney targets.

Open hand strikes exist for a great reason, just like other forms of kicks exist for a great reason. My suggestion is to train with an awareness of what happens when you take off the protective gear, and how you need to change your behavior when you do, so that you think twice about throwing, say, a shin kick with all your might at an angle that your opponent can check it square on.

Even Mike Tyson broke his hand when he got into a fight outside of the ring, and wasn't wearing gloves. That didn't have to happen. It's just that he never trained for a situation where he might not be wearing wraps and gloves.

Training to turn your limbs into specialized, armored bludgeoning devices comes with some drawbacks, and artificially warps the nature of what you do in competition versus reality. The more you add artificial elements, the more you start to play a game that has less and less similarity to what it's supposed to. Fewer rules, and less protective equipment, is exactly why MMA / UFC became popular in the first place.

See my sword/stick fighting analogy at the end of page 1.

How many fights. And in those fights how many kicks were thrown by these guy that didn't result in a broken leg?
So Anderson Silva for example is

34 11 0

His kickboxing record is 42 17
 
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drop bear

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I'd rather fight with light shinguards on, b/c it's just like wearing gloves to protect my hands.

Main problem is not turning the hips over and landing with the flat of the shin, rather than the bladed side (which is much tougher). When someone checks the kick, they're using the bladed part = bad if it's blade checking flat. And the checker is bracing for it too while the kicker is more relaxed.

Then there's the problem of the open guard between Orthodox vs. Southpaw causing the kick to go more upwards with a difficult angle to turn the hips over = landing more at the flat.

Also kicking at the calf lands faster = more chances of the flat making contact as the hips aren't turning over quickly enough as the check usually intercepts it. The Thais rarely target the calf, prob. b/c of this risk.

I have played with this and you can't really hit the calf if they are light on their front leg.

So it wouldn't work as well in Muay Thai.

So MMA stance. Specifically Connors who was defeated with calf kicks.


And just because Nick is a mate of mine here is a classic muay thai stance.
 
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jayoliver00

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I have played with this and you can't really hit the calf if they are light on their front leg.

So it wouldn't work as well in Muay Thai.

So MMA stance. Specifically Connors who was defeated with calf kicks.


And just because Nick is a mate of mine here is a classic muay thai stance.

You can against the MT stance, but it's too easy to check it = risk to the kicker breaking his leg.
 
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paitingman

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I have played with this and you can't really hit the calf if they are light on their front leg.

So it wouldn't work as well in Muay Thai.

So MMA stance. Specifically Connors who was defeated with calf kicks.


And just because Nick is a mate of mine here is a classic muay thai stance.
My experience has different, but my kicks are probably different than yours. I kick the heck out of everyone's front calf, I don't care how light they are on their foot.
 
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