In this post, we’re going to talk about the anatomy of the leg kick and explaining how this simple technique is one of the most devastating, both for Muay Thai, Kickboxing and MMA.
If you’ve got a jab in boxing, an armbar or triangle in jiu-jitsu, in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, you’ve got the leg kick. It’s one of the first things you’ll learn in your classes and still has proven to be one of the simplest yet most effective attacks that you can use.
Who could ever forget Forrest Griffin vs. Rampage, or Urijah Faber against Jose Aldo? What about Brandon Vera and Mike Patt? What do they all have in common? The tool that they utilized to win their fights is the leg kick.
In this video, Kru Brian “Dr. Sick” Yamasaki, Dr. Mark Cacciamani, and Coach Brandon Kiser explain the anatomy of the leg kick. They talk about which spots to aim for in the leg kick, actually mark these spots and do a live demonstration. (in Coach Kiser’s expense)
If somehow you can’t watch the video or choose not to, I’ll try to break in down in text. According to Dr. Cacciamani, there are 2 “sweet spots” that you can go for in the leg anatomy.
First of all, you can attack the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the human body. It begins in your lower back and runs through your buttocks all the way to your lower limb. Attack your opponent’s sciatic nerve and he will temporary lose sensory and control of the damaged leg.)
Second, you can choose to attack the muscle tissue. There isn’t much more explaining to do here, but that causes pain (obviously), swelling, cramping and contractions. What do you think happened to Urijah Faber’s leg when Aldo kicked it over and over? The guy could barely walk. And yup, that’s the photo of his leg a couple days later. (Props to him though, the guy has a sh*t ton of heart.)
If you take a look at Faber’s leg, and cross reference it to the marked areas on the Dr. Sick video above, you’ll see that superior technique has taught Jose Aldo to strike in all the right places.
Having the knowledge, understanding and conciousness about the anatomy of the leg kick will give you a significant advantage when you step onto the ring or the cage.
For Muay Thai/Kickboxing:
While it is given that you cannot always accurately hit the points of the leg, you now at least know where the best points to strike are. Use that to your advantage and set up combinations with the concious thinking of which points to attack.
While on the ground, given that the rules of the fight permit, you now have an additional point of attack. Attacking your opponent’s legs can make his guard weaker, take away his base while standing up, and you should take this into consideration when your opponent is against the fence.
If you are sparring in your MMA/Muay Thai, you will almost always be required to use shin pads. We recommend the Hayabusa Striking Shin Pads and the Hayabusa MMA Shin Pads accordingly.
For Muay Thai/Kickboxing: Hayabusa Striking Shin Pads
For MMA: Hayabusa MMA Shin Pads