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Karate Movement For MMA With Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson

Karate Movement For MMA With Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson

Karate and pretty much all traditional martial arts get a bad wrap in most MMA circles. For the longest time they have been seen as useless, with traditional martial artists, like Karate practitioners, regularly getting beat by other styles in competition. This led to a lot of people thinking that the traditional martial arts had nothing to offer and any techniques that they had should be disregarded. This was especially prevalent when it came to the stance, the movement and the spinning techniques. 


In recent years we have seen that stigma be slowly eroded away, as we have seen more and more fighters implement Karate style techniques into their game and fighters come into the highest levels of competition mainly fighting in a traditional martial arts style. 


There is no better example of this in modern MMA than top UFC welterweight and former title challenger Stephen “wonderboy” Thompson. While some fighters implement some techniques into an overall more standard MMA game, Stephen Thompson’s entire MMA game is Karate style. From the stance to the movement to the techniques, at least in his stand up, he is 100 percent pure old school Karate. 

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While many in the MMA world wrote him off as an anomaly that wouldn’t last, especially when he got into the UFC, he quickly wrote them off using techniques that people thought were way too risky to ever be used. 


In this video, Thompson goes over the basis of all of his movement, which has kept him so elusive that he has been able to land his own strikes and be out of the way of anything his opponent could throw before they even figure out what just happened. 


 


The movement itself is very simple, especially to those who have trained in traditional martial arts before, or even just in standard western boxing. The movement is what Thompson calls a Karate shuffle where he gets on the ball of his rear foot and pushes off, lifting his lead foot off the ground just enough to get a piece of paper under it, to launch himself forward very quickly. 


While it seems simple, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind. First getting off the heel of your rear foot is necessary to get the power into the push for the quickness. The second point is something that Thompson himself points out. You want to eliminate as much telegraph as possible which in the case of this technique means not lifting your foot too high. Remember that you need to just barely lift up the foot to get the motion and the more you lift up you relg the more obvious this technique becomes. 


The last thing that Thompson points out is that you should land in the same stance that you were in when you started this technique. It is common when first learning this movement that you end up with your legs closer together than they were originally but if you want to be able to land your strikes and get out as effectively as possible. You will need to be in your proper stance with the same distance between your feet as there was before. 


To do this movement going backwards, all you need to do is the same movement but in reverse, lifting up your lead heel, pushing off your lead leg and very slightly lifting up your rear leg.

Movement as a Weapon by Stephen Thompson

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