Taekwondo's Growing Effectiveness in MMA

Drew Ahn-Kim

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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.
 

drop bear

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Yeah. It is interesting to see how tkd will fare.
 

IcemanSK

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James Moontasri (4th Dan Kukkiwon & former US National Team member) is a current UFC fighter, as well. He has some tremendous kicks, but is still on the undercard as he has struggled to get the W consistently. I'm always rooting for him, tho.

It seems the difference for folks with a TKD background to use it effectively is the willingness to take a chance to risk trying the big, well-placed kick. Pettis is certainly known for it with devastating results, as is Stephen Thompson (although, not a TKD guy, a former kickboxing world champ). Many kickers have put their kicking on the back burner & become know for other skills. Guys like Machida & Anderson Silva became known for being dangerous in other disciplines that each were able to get fantastic KO's with simple, well-timed, front kicks to the jaw.
 

drop bear

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James Moontasri (4th Dan Kukkiwon & former US National Team member) is a current UFC fighter, as well. He has some tremendous kicks, but is still on the undercard as he has struggled to get the W consistently. I'm always rooting for him, tho.

It seems the difference for folks with a TKD background to use it effectively is the willingness to take a chance to risk trying the big, well-placed kick. Pettis is certainly known for it with devastating results, as is Stephen Thompson (although, not a TKD guy, a former kickboxing world champ). Many kickers have put their kicking on the back burner & become know for other skills. Guys like Machida & Anderson Silva became known for being dangerous in other disciplines that each were able to get fantastic KO's with simple, well-timed, front kicks to the jaw.

He legitimately beat my coach. He hits those kicks they drop people.
 

Drose427

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As striking bases (I say that because you will learn a lot more than just 1 striking style +one grappling style) the TMA's will be just as effective as BOxing, kickboxing, etc. assuming the practitioner is training with contact and resistance.

This is because there isnt a steep transition at that point, youre just adapting to another persons fight style

If the TMA practitioner isnt using any contact, they have a lot more to adjust to making the transition incredibly more difficult

I also wouldnt call it a development, there have been scores of TMA practitioners in the UFC and Kickboxing. THeir TMA training has just been scoffed at or ignored
 

MAfreak

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i think too, its because also the tkd or karate guys learn grappling and takedown defenses today when competing in mma, unlike back in the beginnings so they can go more for risk.
also there are sometimes mma fighters with bad guards and swinging arms, like they never had boxing training, what makes placing kicks easier, since in tkd and karate most people also have a bad guard. this might sometimes feel like home.
 

Spookey

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I have to agree that there have always been some ridiculously powerful strikers in Taekwondo!

The biggest transition, in this man's personal opinion is the growth and expansion of "open thinking" where artists have come outside their art or organizations "rules box" and learned how to apply their techniques in a more broad spectrum manner.

Mixed Martial Arts have created great growth among all practitioners who actually pursue knowledge in martial combat. As for those that only seek to be king of their own mountain (franchise) ... Little will ever change with that crowd.
 

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