Everyone wants to love Chuck Norris, and everyone wants to believe that he could kick Frank Shamrock’s tail (well, maybe not me because Frank taught me grappling).
The truth is that Chuck could have done some serious damage in his prime with more takedown defense and a grappling game in MMA fights. Especially right now, but why is a spin kick effective? This is because the spin kick is a weapon that most mixed martial arts practitioners have not trained to defend against.
Jeet Kune Do, especially the Paul Vunak variety stresses line familiarization. It’s a concept from Filipino martial arts called angles of attack. It doesn’t matter if it’s an overhand or a looping crane’s beak. It’s still coming from the same angle, so theoretically the block or interception for that line is all the same. However, this is not how most mixed martial artists are taught to fight.
How most MMA fighters are trained to do is to use certain techniques for certain strikes. They aren’t taught lines of attack or defense against lines of attack. (In fact, thinking about this fact makes me realize that I need to cover this fact tonight in class against the rising angles the uppercut line and the knee line). This is why they currently don’t have a defense for the spin kick or are used to seeing a spin kick coming in to their body or face. It’s hard to defend when you don’t take in account what angle it is or if you don’t have specific techniques generated that allow you to defend that angle. This is why a spin kick is working in MMA, there are very few coaches teaching it (let alone teaching how to do it effectively), and there are few teachers explaining how to defend or intercept it.
So what’s the answer here? You train for this strike or angle. You realize what angle it is coming from and you learn to find the cues that allow it to happen. This happened all the time when “traditional martial arts” were the rage. In fact, I’d venture to say that traditional martial arts may have techniques that are cutting edge at the moment, because the training methods have been lost for self defense. They have been abandoned and therefore you have techniques that are now effective and will damage experienced fighters when used in the right moment.
Techniques are like keys. Carrying around a bunch of keys can be stupid and heavy; however, if you aren’t carrying that key at the right moment, then you won’t be able to unlock that door when you get to it. The spin kick is a tool that should be trained and taught for self defense and sport. It is an art in of itself and should be in everyone’s arsenal, because there are still a lot of Karate and Tae Kwon Do practitioners out there. I’d venture to say that a lot of the “modern” styles could stand to go back and get some techniques out of them. Anyone who doesn’t think that some of those techniques don’t work just need to ask Randy Couture or Vitor Belfort about Crane Kicks, this is because Randy lost a tooth to one.
In closing, the spin kick can be a deadly tool in the right fighter’s hands. All it takes is the know how to throw it at the right time. What is even better is setting up the shot throughout the fight. This is the best case scenario that can work every time. Go out and train your spin kicks and learn your defenses against them.
To learn how to throw a spin kick effectively, sign up the “How to Land a Spin Kick” seminar right here.