Mixed Martial Arts in Peterborough
Many mixed martial artists started their training studying jujitsu, karate, judo, wrestling, boxing, and other martial arts, but another art that is gaining more attention because of its exponents’ success in MMA is taekwondo (TKD). This Korean martial art is one of the most popular disciplines in the world, so it is not surprising that it has been the basis for a number of successful careers in combat sports.
TKD’s origins go back to the 1940s, when it was formed from a combination of the Korean military martial art Taek-kyeon, Okinawan karate, and other martial art disciplines. There is controversy over who developed the new, com-bined art, but significant credit is often given to Choi Hong Hi. Choi is also consistently given credit for naming the new art taekwondo, which means ‘the way of the foot and hand’.
Taekwondo’s emphasis on powerful spinning and high kicking techniques and fast hand strikes makes it an ideal striking base for Mixed Martial arts fighters. The discipline is based on the theory that the length and strength of the human leg makes it the ideal weapon to use against an opponent. It is easy, given the natural progression of the Martial Art, that taekwondo training would also facilitate success in other martial arts systems.
This Brazilian lightweight fighter developed his ferocious kicking abilility from a taekwondo base. He has a Black-belt in TKD to go along with a Black-belt in Muay Thai, making him a well-rounded, extremely dangerous striker. Barboza was the first man to have scored two TKOs in the UFC due to leg strikes in his victories over Mike Lullo and Rafaello Olivera.
But his most famous use of his TaeKwondo skills came in a Fight of the Night performance against England’s Terry Etim. The two traded blows for the first two rounds and the third round was no exception. However, Barboza caught Etim with a perfectly timed revers spinning kick that knocked Etim senseless before he ever hit the mat watch this short clip This fight highlight was a candidate for ESPN’s Player of The Year at that year’s ESPY Awards.
One of the most famous exponents of TaeKwonDo in mixed martial arts is the UFC’s lightweight champion, Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis. Known as one of MMA’s most exciting fighters, Pettis is a 3rd Degree Black-belt in TKD who has also fought professionally as a kickboxer and trains with former professional kickboxer Duke Roufus’ Roufusport camp in Milwaukee. Pettis is renowned for having one of the most exciting and lethal kicking games in MMA.
Pettis began his major promotion MMA career in the WEC in a fight against Danny ‘Last Call’ Castillo. The two exchanged words in the press before the fight, and a low blow by Castillo during the fight only served to heighten the tension between the two fighters. Immediately after the low blow, Pettis caught Castillo with a left high-kick that flattened Castillo and knocked him out.
Pettis’ second UFC fight was against tough Boston-based BJJ ace Joe Lauzon. In the first round, Lauzon saw that Pettis was attempting a kick that Lauzon thought was going low — a kick he prepared to block, only to find out that the kick was high. Pettis caught Lauzon violently to the side of the neck with a shin strike. The additional punches thrown while Lauzon was still on the ground proved unnecessary -— the fight was over.
After the Lauzon fight, Pettis next faced Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, the feared Muay Thai/BJJ fighter from Greg Jackson’s world-famous camp. As Pettis kept Cerrone off-balance with left hands, he hurt Cerrone with a body-kick, but Cerrone kept fighting. Shortly afterwards, Pettis landed a shin-kick to Cerrone’s liver, doubling up Cerrone, who crumpled to the mat. The referee stepped in to stop the fight.
But without question, Pettis’s most famous TKD technique was against Benson ‘Smooth’ Henderson for the WEC’s Lightweight Championship during the promotion’s final card before it’s integration into the UFC. In the fifth and final round, Pettis launched himself off the cage and caught Henderson flush with a flying kick that knocked him down. Pettis won the decision victory, and the highlight-reel kick, which became known as ‘The Showtime Kick’, was shown on ESPN’s Sportscenter and made Pettis world famous.
Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is the man many believe is the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. He is also one of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA history, possessing Black-belts in taekwondo, Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and judo, as well as a Yellow-rope in Capoeira. Like Anthony Pettis, his combination of TKD, Muay Thai striking, and Western boxing has made him one of the sport’s all-time great finishers. In the UFC, Silva holds records for most Knockout of the Night Awards (7), Most UFC Finishes (14), Highest Significant Strike Accuracy (67.8%), and Most Knockdowns (17), among others. He uses punches, knees, and kicks of every variety to not only defeat his opponents, but often humiliate them in the process. His most famous knockout that showcased his combined TKD/Muay Thai skills came against a former friend and training partner who is also one of the sport’s most feared strikers, Vitor Belfort.
Silva and Belfort had an acrimonious falling out that could only be settled in the ring. In the first round of their 2011 fight, the two warily squared off, obviously respecting each other’s power. They finally engaged and during a standoff, Silva launched a front-kick that struck Belfort squarely in the face, knocking him down and allowing Silva to rain down punches until the fight was stopped. It was Belfort’s first KO/TKO loss in 28 MMA fights.
The art of taekwondo continues to prove that it is an excellent striking base for future MMA fighters and any martial artist who devotes the time and training to master its techniques.
The former UFC lightweight champion is also a taekwondo Black-belt having first studied the art when he was 16. His Korean mother wanted Henderson and his brother to train in TKD to gain exposure to Korean tradition and culture. TKD components like front-kicks, roundhouse kicks, and spinning kicks are all part of Henderson’s MMA arsenal, and this variety of kicking techniques — used outright and to set up his wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu game — has been a huge contributing factor to Benson’s success in the cage.
The ‘Detroit Superstar’ is one of the UFC’s rising stars in the lightweight division. Having been raised in a martial arts family, this creative striker is a 2nd Degree Black-belt in TKD. Cruickshank’s mum was a kickboxer and his father, with whom he still trains, is a multi-discipline Black-belt. Cruickshank uses wheel-kicks, side-kicks, head-kicks, and a particularly wicked front-kick thrown with the ball of his foot. He has used these devastating techniques to finish Henry Martinez, Mike Rio, and Erik Koch inside the Octagon.
The Canadian fighter known as ‘The Bull’ has impressed fans with his creative striking. He began studying taekwondo at the age of six, and continued to study until he was in high school, when he obtained his Black-belt. Makdessi was 7–0 when he entered the UFC to fight the much larger Pat Audinwood. Audinwood chose to stay on the outside, but Makdessi closed the distance with front leg sidekicks, hopping sidekicks, and axe-kicks, all staples of taekwondo. In the second round, Makdessi used hook-kicks to further confuse Audinwood, and dominated with his crisp technique to win a unanimous decision. With two UFC wins by knockout, one against Kyle Watson and the other against Renee Forte, Makdessi will always be a dangerous opponent thanks to his superior taekwondo technique.
Mixed Martial Arts in Peterborough
If you you feel sport TaeKwonDo could add value to your mixed martial arts training we teach Sport TKD at Peterborough Martial Arts academy on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 8pm. these sessions are followed by MMA conditioning circuits. Everyone is welcome..