Smash The Leg Using Relentless Low Kicks with Bas Rutten
The low kick has become increasingly popular among high level fighters. There are so many combinations that can be used to set it up and it has the potential to cause a ton of damage. Because of the amount of combinations that can be used to land it, this is something you can land time after time in a fight and work to break down the leg of your opponent.
A recent example of high level fighters utilizing this was in UFC 257: McGregor vs Poirier. Poirier landed a series of powerful and well placed calf kicks on McGregor, causing tremendous swelling to McGregor's leg. Poirier won the fight by knockout, but you can be sure McGregor's leg affected his ability to move around the cage properly. When the leg starts to swell like that, there is no place for the blood and swelling to go, rendering the leg essentially useless or “dead”.
Some of the combinations used to set up the low right leg kick are used more as a distraction to land the kick, but many of them definitely include the use of punching power and placement. Mixing those combinations together, landing some of the punches and just sort of throwing others out there as a distraction is a great option to keep your opponent guessing.
The objective of the use of these combinations is to smash your opponent's leg. Using these back to back in a fight is almost guaranteed to tear up your opponents leg if done correctly. Using these simultaneously with good striking combinations is a great strategy to use to make it harder for your opponent to predict what is coming.
These series of combinations are in order for a very strategic reason. They include different numbers of punches, different levels, and having your kick both loaded and not loaded. Your kicks are going to do less damage if your opponent sees them coming and is able to check them. Adding them into different combinations will make it increasingly more difficult for your opponent to be in a position to check all of them.
You don’t have to throw these combinations in this exact order, but this provides a good idea of generally how they should look. The first combination is just a left hook and a right leg kick. As you can see, the momentum from your left hook loads up your right leg for the kick. After landing this combination, next you can go for a 3/2/3 combination which is a left hook, right cross, left hook, and then you are again loaded for your right leg kick.
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Now you can break the pattern using these types of combinations, such as right cross to the body, left hook to the head, and then a right low kick. Your partner now has to guess both how many punches are coming before the kick, as well as the levels that the strikes are coming from.
Notice that up to this point you have almost always thrown your right low kick after either a left hook or a jab which would be thrown with your left hand. Now it’s time to break the pattern again. Perhaps your partner has checked your last kick or so, so you now throw a 1-2 which is a jab and a right cross, and then throw your right low kick. This is the first time you’ve thrown your kick after ending your punching combination with your right arm. Your partner is likely not expecting this.
A few things to note with the 1-2 right low kick combination. First, you may notice that your kick is not loaded up. This is fine because you can change how you throw your right cross to make your kick more powerful. If you were to throw a powerful right cross, your body's momentum would effectively be loading you up for a left kick. After you throw your jab, your aim should not be to throw a powerful right cross. It’s almost as if you are just throwing it out there not really caring if it lands or not, but using it as a distraction. When you don’t throw this with full power it makes it much easier to throw a powerful low kick from your right side.
Another reason why the 1-2 right low kick combination is effective is because of the distance it creates. If you throw a 1-2, chances are your opponent is going to be backing up. When he is moving backwards, the muscles in his lead leg are going to be relaxed, so when kicked it will cause much more damage.
These series of combinations are great to drill at the gym to start to find your rhythm. Take you time and really think about using different numbers of strikes as well as different levels. Focus on how your partner reacts and how the order of these combinations changes their effectiveness. Drilling these kinds of combinations both helps you to land them more effectively, but also helps you become more aware in a fight.
About Bas Rutten
If you pay any attention to professional mixed martial arts, you have likely heard of or been influenced by retired mixed martial artist, kickboxer, and professional wrestler Bas Rutten. Bas was a UFC Heavyweight Champion, three time King of Pancrase world champion, and finished his professional career on a 22 fight win streak. Born in the Netherlands, he started his mixed martial arts training at a young age, despite having several medical conditions that made training more difficult.
Despite adversity, Bas Rutten went on to have an extremely long and successful career. Bas Rutten’s last fight was against Kimo Leopoldo, who he defeated coincidentally by technical knockout in the first round by low kicks which made Kimo unable to stand. In 2015, Bas’s success was recognized with his induction into the UFC Hall of Fame.
About Bas’s Instructional
In this instructional, Bas focuses on destroying your opponent with strikes from all ranges. Included you will find techniques such as movement after striking, how to generate the most force with roundhouse kicks, replacing reloads with kicks, and so much more.
Bas Rutten has been a huge influence in the world of professional mixed martial arts for decades. His technique is top notch, and the philosophy behind his technique is one of his most desirable teachings. Don’t wait and take the time to improve the effectiveness of your strikes from every range, check out his instructional here!