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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sorry if I sound stupid, but I've never understood this. Why does everyone who kicks in MMA use their shin as the point of contact? I was always taught and I thought it was common knowledge that the most damage comes from the ball of your foot or the heel of your foot. Are they not allowed to use either of these or something? I did kickboxing and TKD for 9 years and not once did they ever tell me to use your shin. In fact they made an effort to tell me not to use it and I was taught from the beginning the correct way to kick, so now every time I kick I naturally turn my foot at a 15-20 degree angle downwards, with my toes all the way back, and depending on what kind of kick it is, I hit with the ball or heel of my foot. So does anyone know why people use their shin? It also seems like it would hurt you as well using your shin and bruise it up or if you didn't drink your milk, you could break it. I've seen people's shins break just from stepping back onto the ground after a kick. Wanna see a video? I doubt it, it's pretty disgusting. So why the shin? Is it a rule or something? It also looks really sloppy (in comparison to TKD fighters).
 

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i have a black belt in tkd, so i know what you mean. and its been hard to transition to the shin now that im in muay thai. i've had to adjust my range. you have to be much closer. the biggest difference is if i throw a kick to your thigh and land it with my foot, it will sting. if i throw what we call an aligator kick, where im raising my leg like im throwing a knee, and then pivoting and kicking down on the top of your thigh, the shin will feel very different..trust me. when you throw the kick low and hard the shin is like a baseball bat. think about what would hurt more. a body kick with a foot hitting your ribs, or a body kick with a shin hitting your ribs. i spend alot of time kicking the bottom of the heavy bag to toughin up my shins. in thai land they kick banana trees. when you get little fractures in your shin bones, they actually heal, and are much stronger, they also kick the trees to kill the nerve endings in their shins. it takes time dedication and alot of pain. we also use our shins to block kicks.

p.s. if you look close at my sig you'll notice shogun kicks with the shin on both kicks. also mirko's ko kick over wand was with the shin. a. silva busted open alex steiblings eye with a great high kick. brandon vera's ko over eilers was with the shin as well.
 

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Well When I trained at team thompkins Muay thai in london for 3 months they thought me that kicking with you shins provides more contact power and as more damage to your opponent,its a better striking technique
 

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pt447 said:
i wold have thought the shin did the most damage, but that also, you feel it as well!
thast why you have to practice all the time, to strengthin yourself, and to kill those nerve endings. you will see alot of muay thai fighters trade kicks. for example a giy throws a round kick to my body , i sheild with my shin, and then the instant my foot of my leg i sheilded with touchs the ground i imediatly fire back. the object is to block and counter before they are able to sheild. also its kinda like "ok you wanna kick me, and it hurt a little to sheild that kick so i gotta make you pay"
 

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It's a Muai Thai thing. At our academy we kick with our shins instead of the feet because the shin (once it's thoughened up) will not get broken if you conect with a hard surface ie; head, another shin...
I've been kick by feet and by shins and I'll tell ya from experience "Getting shin kicked anywhere hurts worse"
 

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j.farrell said:
thast why you have to practice all the time, to strengthin yourself, and to kill those nerve endings. you will see alot of muay thai fighters trade kicks. for example a giy throws a round kick to my body , i sheild with my shin, and then the instant my foot of my leg i sheilded with touchs the ground i imediatly fire back. the object is to block and counter before they are able to sheild. also its kinda like "ok you wanna kick me, and it hurt a little to sheild that kick so i gotta make you pay"
Thats right!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
j.farrell said:
i have a black belt in tkd, so i know what you mean. and its been hard to transition to the shin now that im in muay thai. i've had to adjust my range. you have to be much closer. the biggest difference is if i throw a kick to your thigh and land it with my foot, it will sting. if i throw what we call an aligator kick, where im raising my leg like im throwing a knee, and then pivoting and kicking down on the top of your thigh, the shin will feel very different..trust me. when you throw the kick low and hard the shin is like a baseball bat. think about what would hurt more. a body kick with a foot hitting your ribs, or a body kick with a shin hitting your ribs. i spend alot of time kicking the bottom of the heavy bag to toughin up my shins. in thai land they kick banana trees. when you get little fractures in your shin bones, they actually heal, and are much stronger, they also kick the trees to kill the nerve endings in their shins. it takes time dedication and alot of pain. we also use our shins to block kicks.

p.s. if you look close at my sig you'll notice shogun kicks with the shin on both kicks. also mirko's ko kick over wand was with the shin. a. silva busted open alex steiblings eye with a great high kick. brandon vera's ko over eilers was with the shin as well.
OK I see now it is a Muay Thai thing. I've never done Muay Thai so I had no idea they tell you to use the shin. I agree with the leg kicks being worse with the shin, but I can't beleive that a head kick with a shin is worse than a head kick with the ball of your foot. There is a law in physics that says (I don't remember exactly anymore) something like the smaller the point of contact, the more pain/damage. If you threw 2 kicks with the exact same amount of power, one hitting with the shin and another with the ball of your foot, the one you hit with the ball of your foot is going to do more damage. You could be right though cuz Muay Thai and TKD are very different, so I wouldn't have learned the shin because that's muay thai technique. But the physics law still stands. A good example if you don't understand is if you have a needle and a toothbrush and apply the same amount of pressure on your arm with them...which one is going to do more damage? The needle would obviously and the needle=ball/heel of foot and the end of the toothbrush=shin.

P.S. In regards to your P.S. I think it is funny because I saw your sig and that's exactly why I decided to make this thread. I wanted to tell you that as impressive as that kick may look to most MMA fans, and as much as I like Shogun...that is a aweful looking sloppy ass kick that does not look to be doing any damage at all. If it were a TKD stylist in there doing that same kind of kick, Rampage would have gotten rocked bad. But you're a black belt in TKD too so I'm sure you understand a little bit what I'm saying. ANd I know about all those shin kick KOs...which is why I am confused. Why was I taught to use the ball of my foot or heel? And why does nobody at all use there ball or heel? I've never once seen a kick land with the ball of your foot or heel....is that because everyone who competes in MMA practices Muay Thai?? Anderson Silva grew up doing TKD just like me and he uses his shin (of course I know he is all about Muay Thai now). Also a lot of CroCops KOs aren't with the shin, some are with the top of his foot...which is also something I was told NEVER to do.
 

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WouldLuv2FightU said:
OK I see now it is a Muay Thai thing. I've never done Muay Thai so I had no idea they tell you to use the shin. I agree with the leg kicks being worse with the shin, but I can't beleive that a head kick with a shin is worse than a head kick with the ball of your foot. There is a law in physics that says (I don't remember exactly anymore) something like the smaller the point of contact, the more pain/damage. If you threw 2 kicks with the exact same amount of power, one hitting with the shin and another with the ball of your foot, the one you hit with the ball of your foot is going to do more damage. You could be right though cuz Muay Thai and TKD are very different, so I wouldn't have learned the shin because that's muay thai technique. But the physics law still stands. A good example if you don't understand is if you have a needle and a toothbrush and apply the same amount of pressure on your arm with them...which one is going to do more damage? The needle would obviously and the needle=ball/heel of foot and the end of the toothbrush=shin.
In theory that seems to be the truth, but what you are actually mis-enterpreting is that force transfered through a smaller surface area is more potent. It's the difference between a bullet and a bean bag. Both are going to hurt when they hit, but one is going to transfer the force in a lethal fashion since the surface area that is hitting is smaller. Sure the shin is bigger than the foot, but the surface area that will hit is smaller than your instep. If you feel the surface of your shin bone about 4 inches above your ankle and 8 inches away from your knee, that is the surface you would be striking with. You will also notice that the surface of the shin bone is not flat, but wedge shaped. The actual striking surface of the shin is a lot smaller than your instep.

The other thing to keep in mind is that the shin/tibia is one solid bone. The foot however, is made up of around 3 dozen or more smaller bones held together by numerous amounts of connective tissue. Given the amount of force that can be transfered in a powerful kick, kicking with the instep, blade, or ball of your foot at full power can often result in injury from dislodging of the tarsel or meta-tarsels or damage to the myriad tendons, ligaments or cartilage surrounding those bones. This is another reason why Muay Thai practitioners teach to strike round kicks ("te" in MT) with the shin if the kick is done with power. With all push kicks ("teep"), the striking area is with the ball of the foot when striking in a quick fashion, and the striking area is the whole bottom side of the foot if the kick is thrown with power.

I have other postulations as to why the MT method is used so often in MMA training. I'll get into that later if anyone else is curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
^ good post I was thinking in the back of my mind the shin actually might be smaller at the point of contact but I wasn't sure. But one thing, I have kicked with the ball of my foot or heel for the last 12 years whether it be on humans, walls, bags, whatever, and I have never done any kind of damage to myself from it. I think it all depends on your technique. Also I have been to hundreds of TKD tournaments and never once have I seen anyone injure themselves by kicking with the ball instep or heel. I've broken probably close to 100 boards in my life (not at the same time of course haha) with the ball and heel and it never caused me pain or injury. I think it is just because I was taught at a young age and know how to do it properly whereas most MMA fighters haven't been training just in TKD as much as I did, so they have other influences (Like Muay Thai) when they do their technique. Plus I could just be totally wrong about the ball/heel being more effective,,,what do I know I don't train in MMA I just trained in TKD, kickboxing, judo and aikido for fun not for a living. And Muay Thai and TKD are gonna teach what they think is the correct way and apparently they are completely different.
 

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j.farrell said:
thast why you have to practice all the time, to strengthin yourself, and to kill those nerve endings. you will see alot of muay thai fighters trade kicks. for example a giy throws a round kick to my body , i sheild with my shin, and then the instant my foot of my leg i sheilded with touchs the ground i imediatly fire back. the object is to block and counter before they are able to sheild. also its kinda like "ok you wanna kick me, and it hurt a little to sheild that kick so i gotta make you pay"
i always enjoyed seeing that in Muay THai fights!!!
 

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WouldLuv2FightU said:
^ good post I was thinking in the back of my mind the shin actually might be smaller at the point of contact but I wasn't sure. But one thing, I have kicked with the ball of my foot or heel for the last 12 years whether it be on humans, walls, bags, whatever, and I have never done any kind of damage to myself from it. I think it all depends on your technique. Also I have been to hundreds of TKD tournaments and never once have I seen anyone injure themselves by kicking with the ball instep or heel. I've broken probably close to 100 boards in my life (not at the same time of course haha) with the ball and heel and it never caused me pain or injury. I think it is just because I was taught at a young age and know how to do it properly whereas most MMA fighters haven't been training just in TKD as much as I did, so they have other influences (Like Muay Thai) when they do their technique. Plus I could just be totally wrong about the ball/heel being more effective,,,what do I know I don't train in MMA I just trained in TKD, kickboxing, judo and aikido for fun not for a living. And Muay Thai and TKD are gonna teach what they think is the correct way and apparently they are completely different.
I've also taken TKD for around 2 years, so I completely see where you're coming from. I think what needs to be clarified is that the use of the shin as the kicking surface will only be used for "round/circle" style kicks. It wouldn't be used for "pushing" type kicks (front kick, side kick, turning back kick, etc). In that instance, you would use the ball of your foot, heel or the whole surface area of your foot. I think there are 2 large influences as to why Muay Thai is so prevalent in MMA:

1) A lot of the finer points of kicking technique in TKD and many other more Traditional striking styles, tend to deteriorate in stressful situations. I mean, pivoting on the supporting leg, flexing the foot to expose the blade of the foot, pulling back the toes and punching through on the ball of the foot, etc are all the types of things that tend to go first when things get stressful. In competition against another trained, live, resisting opponent, forgetting to do something like that can be a prescription for injury. In contrast, the MT practitioner would only be concerned with finding range and firing the kick. When training someone who doesn't have the 10+ years of experience in a striking style that involves kicks, it makes training them a lot easier. There are a lot less points of instruction that need to be taken in, digested and retained.

2) In the majority of TKD competitions, they are held on a "point-based" contention. I don't know of any serious TKD competitions that are true full-contact. When considering the competition that they train for, snapping kicks that make contact with the instep, ball of the foot, or heel at full range of the leg to score points serve the practitioners best, and can be thrown at will. As long as contact is made, points can be scored, and the match can be won. In contrast to MMA, where it is best to make sure that the shots that connect are of actual consequence, such kicking styles just don't lend themselves a solid "footing."

These are just 2 things to keep in mind. I list others in this thread here: Kickboxing in MMA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Onganju said:
I've also taken TKD for around 2 years, so I completely see where you're coming from. I think what needs to be clarified is that the use of the shin as the kicking surface will only be used for "round/circle" style kicks. It wouldn't be used for "pushing" type kicks (front kick, side kick, turning back kick, etc). In that instance, you would use the ball of your foot, heel or the whole surface area of your foot. I think there are 2 large influences as to why Muay Thai is so prevalent in MMA:

1) A lot of the finer points of kicking technique in TKD and many other more Traditional striking styles, tend to deteriorate in stressful situations. I mean, pivoting on the supporting leg, flexing the foot to expose the blade of the foot, pulling back the toes and punching through on the ball of the foot, etc are all the types of things that tend to go first when things get stressful. In competition against another trained, live, resisting opponent, forgetting to do something like that can be a prescription for injury. In contrast, the MT practitioner would only be concerned with finding range and firing the kick. When training someone who doesn't have the 10+ years of experience in a striking style that involves kicks, it makes training them a lot easier. There are a lot less points of instruction that need to be taken in, digested and retained.

2) In the majority of TKD competitions, they are held on a "point-based" contention. I don't know of any serious TKD competitions that are true full-contact. When considering the competition that they train for, snapping kicks that make contact with the instep, ball of the foot, or heel at full range of the leg to score points serve the practitioners best, and can be thrown at will. As long as contact is made, points can be scored, and the match can be won. In contrast to MMA, where it is best to make sure that the shots that connect are of actual consequence, such kicking styles just don't lend themselves a solid "footing."

These are just 2 things to keep in mind. I list others in this thread here: Kickboxing in MMA.
Great points especially #2. This first one is a good point as well but that would just happen to people who haven't trained in TKD for as long as me I guess. 3 hours a day, 4 days a week for 9 straight years, kicking like that is just completely natural to me now. I have to make an effort not to kick like that now. I was in a ton of TKD competetions and you're right, they are all point based and most are not full contact. But it still hurts haha!! Yea, if you swing your foot up like a roundhouse kick, I guess it would make sense that the shin would do a lot of damage, and I know it does, I've seen plenty of KOs haha, I was just curious as to why that is. Thanks to you and J. Farrel for educating me! :D

Maybe I should go into the UFC with my TKD style and show everyone how it's done :D . I know a lot of fighters use TKD but I don't think they use it as well as I would. It's just like judo, not many people use it well in MMA, but Karo Parisyan, Nakamura and that gold medalist (brain fart-can't remember his name), all use it pretty well. I got some Judo techniques too that I've used on people and it is fun! It's all defensive though I don't know any offensive judo. Yea I'd prolly go in the ring throwing kicks and trying to hit with the ball of my foot and my luck the guy would step forward and I'd shatter my frail non MuayThai trained shin on his skull. :laugh:
 

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On the CroCop comment, CroCop hits with his foot only when it lands there. Watch Aerts. All Shin and he has the best head kick in the business. I do Muay Thai at a Thai school (Sityodtong) and it is a Muay Thai thing. Also, one of the basic theories of Muay Thai is to mimic weapons with your body parts/blows. While the foot and fists act as the points of a spear or pike, elbows and knees are to act as axe strikes. The arms and legs are to be like swords, dueling and parrying.
 

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I'd have to agree that a shin kick delivered by someone with conditioned shins who knows how to harness full power is about the most devastating kick you can deliver.

Muay Thai is is probably the the most efficient pure striking discipline there is and I think through the trials of the early MMA days where it was more purist v purist MT stood up as the best from a pure striking perspective.

This would be why MT knowledge is practically mandatory for the modern MMA fighter. I used to train in Muay Thai when I was younger and we worked very hard on conditioning and hardening our shin bones. Then I would get home and grind them down with a metal dumbell. I haven't trained in MT for years but they're still hard as hell...Using that as a striking weapon is very useful to have.
 

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I completely agree with all the above mentioned points. Especially the following:

1) Muay Thai is easier to learn and easier to remember in a tough situation (unless you have trained for many MANY years)

2) The shin is a more effective tool for round kicks, while the heel or ball of the foot is for straight kicks. Not even mentioning the power, it is easier to land a round kick with your shin than any other part of the foot.

I also think both have benefits. The snappy TKD kicks tend to be faster (for the most part) and maybe a little more accurate. MT has power and is assuredly the easier technique to execute in a real fight. This is not to say either way is neccesarily better, they're very different. I've personaly seen a MT guy get his ass kicked by a TKD guy (though I admit it is rare). In the end it comes down to the individual fighter and his execution of the technique.
 
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