push kicks in mma


White Belt
May 21, 2010
Reaction score
Hey guys, just wondering. When I spar in kyokushin I do alot of push kicks, front, side etc and they land quite alot. Was wondering why they are not used alot in MMA. Is it because all they do is push? I am acutally talking about the push back kicks, not ones for damage. And also PLEASE dont say it makes it easy for a takedown, all kicking and most punching can leave you open for a take down if you don't do it right. Any other reasons folks?
Front and side kicks aren't used because they require a good amount of distance to execute and recover. In that time the opposite fighter can close the distance and implement their strategy be it striking in close range (boxing, Muay Thia) or grappling (judo, Jiu Jitsu, wrestling). Cung Li uses misdirection to keep fighters from closing the distance and in this way he is very effective. But most experts in the foot striking arts use quick kicks to end combos while exiting an exchange.

Specifically, push kicks are used effectively by Stephan Bonner and a few others but they use them to maintain distance and not do damage. Since MMA is a high impact sport which can end suddenly, damage always trumps tactical striking.

I was just going to say, AS uses push kicks fairly often, to maintain distance. The other big issue with them is that you risk getting your leg caught much more so than with a low roundhouse. That said, I find them pretty useful when sparring, especially to cut off bull rushes.
Gina used the push kick alot but she was fighting over-matched women with no takedown ability.
I said for a long time that Chuck should add push-kicks to his arsenal. He's not afraid of being taken down, and it would allow him to make and maintain the space that he needs for his monster punches to land.

Don't laugh - it made sense two or three years ago when I suggested it.
The reason why I dont use them is cause im an inside fighter. The last thing i wanna do it maintain distance. And i think they take a pretty long amount of time compared to some other techniques. But for someone who likes to fight on the outside i think it'd be a pretty good strategy.
MMA is close distance fighting, compared to kickbox. And.. there is risk of catching one's leg.
Almost the entire reason against it is the huge risk of getting your foot caught