Taekwondo's Growing Effectiveness in MMA

Drew Ahn-Kim

Yellow Belt
Jan 2, 2016
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I'm not sure how much crossover there is on this forum between MMA fans and TKD practitioners but just wanted to share some info/start a discussion.

In the earlier days it was assumed that the TMA's like TKD and Karate were not effective in the MMA arena, due to being grappled and held down by Wrestlers and BJJ players. However we are beginning to see the emergence of TKD techniques being implemented into a number of elite fighters arsenals (Rory McDonald, Jon Jones), as well as a number of fighters who came up with a base in TKD (Anthony Pettis, Benson Henderson.)

Joe Rogan (himself a TKD blackbelt who competed at a high level) has often said that Taekwondo as a base have hip and leg dexterity, and the ability to throw kicks without a "switch" which gives them a speed advantage over Muay Thai and Boxing based strikers.

Some gyms such as current Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor's SBGi have an inhouse TKD instructor, and Conor also trains at pure TKD academies as well. Sage Northcutt, one of the UFC's rising stars is a 3rd Degree Black Belt.

Apologies if this is off-topic for this forum, but its certainly an interesting development in the UFC/MMA in regards to lifelong TKD practitioners.


Yellow Belt
Oct 26, 2016
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I think it shows that TKD, like any art, can be just as serious and pragmatic as you make it, I go to a school where they don't practice jireugi, KKeokgi, neomgigi, Ppaegi, just sparring, kicks, and forms.

I don't plan to teach this way, but like I said, I think this mix shines some much needed light on TKD.