Landing The Low Kick To The Rear Leg With Duane Ludwig
There is a saying thrown around the martial arts world that goes like this - “If you chop the base of a tree, the tree will fall,” and this is the case when we talk about low kicks.
Low kicks target the longest and the widest nerve in our body – the Sciatic nerve. By targeting this nerve repeatedly, we can kill the opponent's leg, slow him down and break his spirit; this is great when it comes to finishing with a technical knockout.
We have seen many cases of successfully used leg kicks; just lately, Dustin Poirier finished one of the biggest stars in MMA, Conor Mcgregor, using low kicks, killing his leg, and TKO him.
The low kick itself is a great tool to stop aggressive opponents from coming forward or simply for hurting stationary opponents and making them suffer as long as they're in the distance, giving us the space we need to work and stopping them from rushing in.
Those leg kicks come in many forms, including calf kicks, stomp kicks, sidekicks, outside or inside low kicks, and kicks to the rear leg. Most people utilize only the outside and inside low kicks, making it easy to predict.
The primary problem appears when fighters repeatedly hammer the same kick, making it easy for their opponent to react and counter with his kicks and punches.
To become a successful leg kicker, we must become versatile; this way, we can reliably land our kicks and accumulate the damage inflicted on his leg. If we can do this, he will slowly fall.
Who Is Duane Ludwig
Duane Ludwig is known for being one of the best striking coaches in MMA, and for a good reason, he has taken under him great fighters like TJ Dillashaw, who has come from wrestling and made him a deadly striker. Before Duane began coaching, he was a successful MMA fighter who held the unofficial record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. Nowadays, Duane is doing his best teaching martial arts in his gym Ludwig Martial Arts.
Throwing The Rear Outside Low Kick Behind The Jab
The video starts off with Duane explaining how important it is to make the opponent respect your jab, establishing your jab as a fighter should be your main concern and the first battle to be won in a fight, everything else is built upon it.
Once our opponent reacts to the jab, this is our ticket to go for the real leg low kick, as the opponent becomes obvious with his reactions going in, and committing with our combinations is less risky.
Notice that to reach his rear leg; we need to use a pendulum step that gets us in range. The pendulum step is a shuffle forward that pushes off the back foot. Performing the movement requires us to jab and pendulum simultaneously.
We can use this technique with the hook too, but when I use the jab, I land a little further, and I can add power to the strike so we can have a powerful punch and a powerful kick instead of only a powerful kick.
Whether or not we use a powerful jab or just a poke to make them blink and raise the guard, it is crucial that we pendulum our legs and carry the power to our kick, so the whole movement compliments the finishing blow.
To successfully use the pendulum step, we need to lean our body forward, so the rear leg is weightless and ready to move forward, making sure I’m leaning forward by pushing from the back foot, and then shuffling forward with a jab and an outside low kick to the rear leg.
To finish, let’s simplify the steps we have:
- Lean forward to move weight away from the back foot
- Throw a jab and use a pendulum step
- Land the low kick to the outside of the opponent’s rear leg
Learn More From Duane Ludwig
Duane Ludwig is one of the elite striking coaches there is today, if you liked this breakdown you would love to see how much more he has to offer in his full DVD- “Leg Kicks For Muay Thai - Volume 2 - Attacking The Rear Leg” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.