The Infamous Calf Kick (diary entry)



My second lesson on Monday was a face-to-face lesson in line with Step 2 Covid-19 protocols. We trained combination 11, which sets things up with a calf-kick.

The calf-kick is a technique that has won a lot of favour in the MMA world in recent years. However, the recent incident at UFC 261 that saw Chris Weidman break his leg to a shin-check from Uriah Hall at the 17 second mark of their first round demonstrates how things can go spectacularly wrong. Weidman’s injury was spookily reminscent of one suffered by Anderson Silva seven years ago when Weidman checked one of his round kicks.  The calf-kick is a very low round kick delivered, as is the norm with all low round kicks, with the shin. If executed correctly it can cause a significant impact to an opponen’s common peroneal nerve and fights have been ended quite quickly when this is struck. See Jussier Formiga’s defeat via Alex Perez at UFC 250 as one such example. It can also work as dramatic front sweep, taking an opponent’s leg straight from under him.

In the case of this combination the fighter executes a cross and then makes a double step for his low kick. The powerful lead punch gives you an idea of the audacity of this combination, which requires quite a lot of confidence to pull off successfully. However, the cross is also idea for shifting the fighter off his central line and scythe his kick in low. The double step might also work as a type of feint that gets the opponent to attempt an early check with his lead leg, which the fighter can then pass under to attack the rear supporting leg. From this point the fighter transitions into a basic jab/cross/switch kick before changing levels for a body cross and then back to the head for a traditional lead hook/rear body kick.


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