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thromback 01-26-2007 10:51 PM

taekwondo and muay thai
Hi. I've been practicing Taekwondo for three years and obtained a red belt. I recently just joined a full contact mma school that teaches many different styles. The biggest style there is Thai Boxing. I've been doing it for about a week and love it. My problem is that the intructor tells me to NEVER block a kick with the arm. Such as a down block because the shin will break the bones in the arm. Also, other than the front kick to almost never try to kick with the foot or it will break. That pretty much meant that all my Taekwondo training was useless. I feel like he is incorrect because blocks do work very well. I am listening to his advice and learning new boxing techniques and to condition my shins. I like both arts. I was wondering if he is correct in that I shouldn't strike with my feet ever, instead use the shin. I see why, but I have pretty powerful kicks and I am flexible.

Also, the two styles have different stances. I think the Muay Thai stance is better. However, I still want to utilize my taekwondo kicks and use thai kicks when I fight. They both work very well. My problem is that when I'm at my taekwondo school they want me in the taekwondo fighting stance because I'm vulerable to kicks. In my taekwondo school there is no contact to the head which is why I feel like the Thai stance is way better. If one is unable to block with the arms such as a down block in inside arm block, then how does one block a kick to the chest? Also please give me the input in whether or not to utilize my taekwondo kicks. I proved to my Taekwondo insturctor that I can do fine in my Thai stance. He encourages me to keep doing so because he thinks MMA is the best to practice in because its more realistic than Taekwondo.

kgilstrap 01-27-2007 01:26 AM

Taekwondo kicks can be effective, but always take into consideration some kicks more than others will make you vulnerable to a take down. Your instructor is right though, mma is more realistic than taekwondo, and not too many parts of taekwondo are applicable in mma.

Onganju 01-27-2007 01:31 PM

I understand your dilemna as your TKD training has engrained certain traits into your style. Because of that, your current MT training is going to feel awkward and (even worst) your current trainer is going to tell you that the things you've been told that you are doing correctly is now all wrong in this setting. Same thing when you start going back to your TKD training, the MT techniques are considered "wrong." The reality is that competitors in one or the other will not act the same as they are two completely different games.

But to answer a few questions directly:
In MT you want to avoid kicking with your foot because the style of blocking is different. If you take the point of an elbow or point of the knee to your foot (particularly your instep) while kicking, it will hurt or break. You can usually get away with using the instep in 2 instances: When you kick quickly (without committing to power) to the face/head and the inside of the leg. Kicks to the outside of the leg and to the body are usually defended by raising the leg and blocking with the shin, so kicking with the foot is a bad idea to those targets.

Now as far as your instructor telling you that you will "never" block a kick with your arm, well that isn't entirely true. To get an idea how you can defend against mid or high-line kicks you can take look at this thread here. I get into the deeper "how to" later in the thread from post #10 onward. You can also pick up 2 easy to find books on the subject for easy reference: Savage Strikes by, Mark Hatmaker and Muay Thai Basics by, Christop Delp. This should help you on the way to better adjusting your game. You'll find that your TKD game may not be completely useless if you adapt it correctly.

Personally, find that a my current striking style is an amalgam of TKD, MT, Boxing and Kempo. When it comes to kicks, I usually find myself firing off rear-leg kicks MT style. Now my front-leg kicks are almost always thrown TKD style. Why? Simply put, that's what I find works for me. That's what I'm comfortable with. In your case, you just barely started MT so it is going to take a while to figure out which aspects work for you, let alone just getting used to things. I wouldn't throw everything you've been trained in out the window just yet.

Good luck.

swpthleg 01-27-2007 09:05 PM

kicks are usually stronger w/the rear leg, anyway, unless someone is a "front-leg fighter."

i have had good results conditioning my shins on a canvas heavy bag while wearing my shin/instep guards. Ideally I would have someone holding a pad for me but i can't spend 6 hours a day in the dojo, much as I would like to.

theres no contact to the head at your school? seriously?

just keep yr hands up and throw them elbows.

SuzukS 02-03-2007 08:07 AM


Originally Posted by thromback
I feel like he is incorrect because blocks do work very well

Sorry but if you're getting into MMA then Taekwondo is something you would want to forget. It's just my opinion that 'martial arts' such as Taekwondo and Karate are terribly useless in MMA or 'real fight' situations. I used to do Karate for a few years until stopping and the way they teach to defend blocks are stupid. If you have a leg flying at you why the hell would you want to block with your arm? If it is a HALF DECENT kick, your forearm woud break in a second.

Also, DO NOT and I reapeat DO NOT use your Taekwondo kicks, kicking with your foot is bad because a) It's less effective than your shin (as K-Boxing and MT teach) and b) it hurts to actually kick someone with your foot too. If you're going to do MMA I suggest you also learn a good ground game (either BJJ or Wrestling)

B-Real 02-03-2007 09:12 PM


Originally Posted by SuzukS
It's just my opinion that 'martial arts' such as Taekwondo and Karate are terribly useless in MMA or 'real fight' situations.

Are you kidding? Do you have any idea how many MMA fighters have Karate backgrounds? Chuck Liddell is one.

Have you seen much K-1? Semmy Schilt is #1 in the world. He is a karate world champion. Andy Hug is probably the best kick boxer of all time. What did he do? Karate. Do some reading. :thumbsup:

thromback 02-04-2007 03:24 PM

Yea, I've been practicing judo, muay thai, bjj, and wrestling too just recently. I'm going to try to use all of them, I just need to try them out. I agree with shin being more powerful. However, I can kick to the face and it's easier to kick with the foot than the shin.

B-Real 02-04-2007 05:02 PM

I think feet are tough. But, you know, if you're going to go kicking poles with your feet, you would most likely break them. So.. And, I'm not going to argue with your muay thai coach. I think the world of Muay Thai. Great to hear that you're doing judo. :thumbsup:

Trainee 02-04-2007 06:28 PM


It's just my opinion that 'martial arts' such as Taekwondo and Karate are terribly useless in MMA or 'real fight' situations.
Well, I totally disagree with you. It's not the styles themselves - it's the way they're taught. My Karate instructor teaches specifically street defense. Grappling (of course, not to the extreme, like BJJ. You don't need to know much grappling for a real fight - basic BJJ should do it, unless you're up against a BJJ blackbelt, in which case, you're screwed, lol), what to do in case of obstacles, how to takedown properly, how to avoid takedowns, we learn some stand-up joint locks and throws, and he occasionally pokes fun at "tournamental fighting".

Karate is taught with point sparring and no contact in most schools, so people get the wrong idea.
Anyway, thromback, a lot of UFC/Pride fighters have backgrounds in TKD. It helps...try switching up between the styles - in certain situations, use Muay Thai moves, in others, use TKD. It only makes you a more complete fighter.

thromback 02-04-2007 10:38 PM

yeah, I hear you all. I know what you mean by how its taught. It seems to be more watered down in the US.

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