Use Punches And Footwork To Land Devastating Low Kicks With Pedro Rizzo
Low kicks are fundamental when it comes to striking. If you don't have a low kick you will get beat by someone who does. Take Israel Adesanya's fights he primarily wins them by low kicks beating Paulo Costa, Yoel Romero, and recently as of this writing he beat Marvin Vettori by his low kick game. If you ask the best strikers of all time like Peter Aerts, Ernesto Hoost, and Rob Kaman they will tell you their favorite strike is a low kick.
A low kick is good for stopping advancing opponents, is good as a counter, good as a finisher of combos, and if you have a good low kick you only need a few of them to change the course of the fight in your favor. Of course it is more nuanced than just throwing the low kick and you will win. There has to be feints, set ups, and forcing the opponent to make a mistake to kick safely
Enter Pedro Rizzo
Pedro Rizzo is a former UFC world heavyweight Champion. Known for his devastating low kicks. He also trained Jose Aldo for a little while who is also known for his low kicks. Pedro Rizzo is a huge name and pioneer when it comes to Brazilian MMA. He was a kickboxer and would travel to the Netherlands to train at the gyms there like Mejiro Gym and with fighters like Peter Aerts. He would also send his students and Brazilian MMA fighters to Holland like Jose Aldo and Demian Maia and many others. Joe Rogan says Pedro Rizzo has the best and heaviest kick he has ever seen someone throw a low kick on a bag . And it all comes down to his technique.
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Punches, Blinders, And Stepping
The video starts out with Pedro saying he needs to force the opponent to make a mistake in order the lowkick. If you just kick naked the chances are the person in front of you will check it. So the way he wants to implement his kick is to put punches on the opponent first. He also says even if you punch and then kick in front of the opponent they can still counter. You have to STEP before every Low kick. Rotating in place is not enough, it's important to both STEP and rotate. Even if throwing just only a jab before the low kick you still need to step before the kick. As you are kicking put your right hands on the opponent's body, whether it's shoulder or head or best of all infront of their face and blinding them. It will give you extra insurance, more time, and and safer to throw that low kick. Pedro also urges that if the opponent checks the low kick 3-4 times it will hurt you and you will be discouraged from throwing that kick. Low kicks are devastating and pay off well. However you need to have the timing of it and aim not just to throw.
In this video it's very clear the dutch influence that Rizzo had. Bas Rutten is famous for saying "Never throw naked kicks" Meaning you always have to dress it up with punches before in order to distract and find the opening. If you don't throw punches beforehand you will get countered and cracked with a punch down the centerline. Punches and stepping before every kick is crucial to land effective low kicks.
Low Kick Combinations
The end of the video Pedro says if he is using long punches like jabs or crosses he can kick with the lowest part of the shin but not foot still shin. And he still frames and uses a blinder in front of his opponent to give himself time to step and throw the kick properly
Even though this is more of a concept drill to force the opponent to make a mistake. When you have the opponent distracted, that's when you kick. It could be one punch or multiple punches; the idea is noticing when they are relaxed in the front leg and looking at you. The steps are always throwing punches and then stepping and putting your hands on the opponent as you are stepping. Examples of "combos" would be:
- Jab-Blinder-Step-Right Low-Kick
- Jab-Cross-Hook-Blinder-Step-Right low kick
- Jab-Cross-Blinder-Step-Right Low Kick
Safe & Savage Leg Kicks is a 3-part MASTERCLASS from UFC Legend Pedro Rizzo! Take your leg kicks to an all-new level of effectiveness!