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Kick Moving Backwards With Stephen Whittier

Kick Moving Backwards With Stephen Whittier


Kicking is done while either moving forward or staying place 99 percent of the time. This is because it takes a lot of technique, balance, hip dexterity and control to kick while moving in any other direction. 

This is also because most of the time in MMA, Muay Thai and other striking arts that involve kicking, the kick is usually done at the end of an offensive combination, usually being set up by punches while moving forward or staying in a position. 

This means that if we are trying to move back, it is already hard to strike with punches as we are not used to it, but with kicks this is magnified. It takes a lot of getting used to if you want to start to kick while moving backwards, but it is well worth the time and effort that you put into it. 

If you are able to kick while moving backwards, not only is this a weapon in your arsenal that the vast majority of your competitors don’t have, it is also something that you haven’t seen before and are likely not prepared to defend against. Most people will struggle to defend and attack while moving forward, so this makes kicks while moving backward a great way to cut off an advancing opponent/ This will also make opponents hesitate to move in on you in the first place. 


To start this drill Coach Whittier has us throw a standard lead hook to rear leg kick combination that he calls a one. The catch with this drill is that the kick is thrown while moving backwards. You first throw your lead hook and while your opponent or pad holder is coming in you tilt backwards so that you can throw the kick, while your lead leg steps back, creating more space for you as you land that low kick. This keeps you at a safe distance, so if your opponent continues to charge in at you after taking the kick you have time to move. 

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Do that first combination a few times and after you have gone through it. After doing hook to fade back lowkick, Stephen Whittier demonstrates how to do this drill with a lead leg low kick. The combination starts off with a rear straight, as opposed to a lead hook. Instead of shifting backwards while kicking, from the lead side you are going to land the kick and then shift back in the position where you will throw your cross. 

This not only creates distance between you and your opponent, same as the last combination, but also leads them into a rear hand, if they continue to charge forward. This means that if the leg kick you threw didn’t stop them, this cross will surely do the trick!

The inside low kick is more likely to knock the opponent's foot out and off balance them, setting them up for the rear hand. If that happens you can forego the back step so that you can come in with a rear hand straight, which if your opponent is off balance while they take it will hurt them a lot more than usual.

Fundamentals of Functional Striking by Stephen Whittier

Fundamentals of Functional Striking by Stephen Whittier is a 4-part masterclass in striking! Check it out today.