How To Keep Your Shin Safe In MMA With Bas Rutten
If you’ve ever practiced MMA, Kickboxing or Muay Thai, and since you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you’ve trained in at least one, you’ve probably been told about landing with your shin, as opposed to landing with the foot. This is different to what most people are taught in traditional martial arts, which emphasizes landing with the foot because of the way they kick and so that it can have longer range.
The shin has a few advantages of it’s own over the foot. While the range is shorter, the shin is more dense, meaning that when the shin lands, it lands thunder because it is a harder bone than anything in the foot. The shin is also just one large shin bone, as opposed to the foot which consists of over 100 small bones. This leads to the shin being less likely to hurt the person throwing the kick, where the foot can break even if you land on the target.
The shin isn’t immune to damage though. There have been shin injuries and even full on breaks to happen to fighters, even those with a ton of experience kicking. The most legendary case of this is when Anderson Silva fought Chris Weidman for the second time and then broke shin completely in half after throwing a low kick.
That’s why you need to know how to throw kicks and not break your shin bone. For this you are going to need someone with a lot of experience with striking, but especially with kicking and we have just the legend for the job.
In this video, MMA legend Bas Rutten breaks down how you can prevent shin breaks in your martial arts journey. If you don’t know who Bas Rutten is and you’re a combat sports athlete, then you need to brush up on your combat sports history. Bas Rutten is one of the pioneers of modern Mixed Martial Arts. Bas is a former UFC heavyweight champion and a three-time King of Pancrase champion. He retired in 1999 with an unbeaten record of 21 wins and only one draw and was later inducted into the UFC’s Hall of Fame. Rutten was known for his aggressive heavy hitting and somewhat dirty style, some of which he shows in this video.
How To Not Break Your Shin While Kicking
The video starts off with Bas talking about your shin bone and why some people break it when they kick. He uses a visual aid to help with this, using a thin piece of wood to represent the shin bone.
Bas shows how if you have the wider side of the wood facing down and you applied pressure on it that way, it is easier to break. It becomes much harder to break that same piece of wood if you were holding the wide side facing you and you applied pressure the same way. This shows how the angle of the shin bone when you throw a kick really matters, not only when it comes to protecting your shin from brakes but also in terms of power.
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Bas then goes into an example from the Full Contact Karate promotion Karate Combat, which he is a commentator for. It was a main event fight with one fighter in orthodox and the other in a southpaw stance. One fighter threw a rear leg low calf at his opponent’s lead leg. Due to the fact that they were in opposite stances this means that the calf kick would land on the side of his opponent's calf that the shin was on.
This led to the fighter throwing the low kicks breaking his shin on his opponent’s shin. The main way to avoid this is to stop throwing calf kicks at your opponent’s lead leg from the opposite stance. If for some reason you need to throw them, Bas talks about a few things to do first to make sure you don’t break your shin.
The thing you need to do is step out with your lead foot and pivot on it. Doing this will open up your hips and make sure that you throw your kick at the correct angle to land strong and protected.
Something else you can do is throw on a downward angle. This is something that Thai boxers do a lot, they throw the kick in a triangle like trajectory so that they land with even more of the bladed part of the shin bone and not the flat part. This makes the strike even more damaging and safer to throw.
Learn More From Bas Rutten!
If you like this tutorial from the Legendary Bas Rutten, then you might want to check out his full video series “Destroying Opponents With Strikes From Every Range By Bas Rutten” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!