1. #1

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    The state of Mae Geri in MMA

    I've found myself as of late thinking about Mae Geri- the Karate front kick- particularly to the body, as a means of defence and offence (obviously in training it'd be a strange thing to think about 24/7). They advocate it's use at SBG and Conor McGregor alomgside fighters outside of SBG, like Donald Cerone and Stephen Thompson have made good use of the technique so I'm wondering what opinions you guys have on it in light of recent developments. I know that the kick, in its more traditional form (not the push kick version which is a teep) is controversial because of its association with light contact but I've found that, with a bit of modification to engage the hips and other power generating factors, it can be a pretty nasty kick- especially to the floating rib or if it connects to the solar plexus of someone moving forward. It's also harder to catch than a teep.

    Partly due to its aforementioned slippery nature It also seems to have become a part of a "anti-grappling" strategy for strikers in MMA, where, at range, theh will throw it to discourage shooting- so it seems to become even more valuable when Wrestling is brought to the table. It also seems to be the kind of kick that is dismissed by some not just because of an association with knotty, but because it's awkward to throw with power on a bag and is more of a stabbing technique than a push. Has anyone else had any experience with modifying the technique for full contact both within rule sets with takedowns and rule sets without or have a differing opinion according to personal experience with the kick? I've found it to be a useful companion to the teep. It seems that a few often belittled kicks, such as the hook kick and side kick to the body, have also been proven useful when thrown with more aggressive intentions instead of within the tippy tappy points paradigm of sport karate. I've noticed that the latter is a staple in both Savate and Sanda so it certainly doesn't seem to be a completely unorthodox technique exclusive to a small sample of outliers.
    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 11/11/2016 3:28pm at .

  2. #2
    Nutcracker, sweet's Avatar
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    Mae geri and thip (that's how it's spelled, in English) are very different kicks. I think both probably work equally as anti-grappling measures. The main difference is that mae geri is an offensive kick. There's the initial blow which comes from the knee, not the hips. And, there's the transfer of weight, to put you inside. Thip, on the other hand, is more of defensive kick, or also more like a boxing jab - find and maintain distance, seems to be its main applicability.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by submessenger View Post
    Mae geri and thip (that's how it's spelled, in English) are very different kicks. I think both probably work equally as anti-grappling measures. The main difference is that mae geri is an offensive kick. There's the initial blow which comes from the knee, not the hips. And, there's the transfer of weight, to put you inside. Thip, on the other hand, is more of defensive kick, or also more like a boxing jab - find and maintain distance, seems to be its main applicability.
    Thanks, I've met some real nuts in Muay Thai so I'll make sure that I spell thip correctly or I might get jumped and shanked by the purists haha. I've just noticed that the traditional Mae Geri performed in Kata is so focused on the aesthetic aspect of "snapping" that it lacks both power and "push". I've also noticed that with a bit of subtle hip engagement (not the same thrust as with the Thip) or with more of a whipping stab, for lack of a better description, that the kick becomes more viable without becoming a push kick. Curiously despite it being in the curriculum, Kyokushinkai practioners seem to, from the clips I've seen, rarely use Mae Geri Keage and seem to rely more on the Thip/Mae Geri Kekomi.

    I'm guessing it's either to do with the scoring or the close range of Kyokushin plus the lack of head punches to mask it? I know that in Thailand part of the reason (outside of the fundamental stylistic differences and relative lack of power in comparison to MT kicks) for an absence of snappier kicks is because strikes have to have a certain degree of visible impact with an off balancing effect for maximum points, so unless it gets a finish, a snap kick is less likely to score.
    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 11/11/2016 5:59pm at .

  4. #4
    Nutcracker, sweet's Avatar
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    Keage you want to hit with your heel, or maybe the knife edge of your instep, not the ball of your foot like thip/kekomi. There's plenty of force, if done correctly. That's why it's a snap, and not a push. Like I said, it's a question of what you're trying to accomplish - they are different weapons.

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    Fair enough. I tend to throw more side kicks than front kicks in sparring so have limited experience of using the former under pressure besides the odd thip.

    The curiosity actually came about partly because of my use of side kicks- unusual for a MT practitioner, especially one that comes from a gym that prides itself on being relatively "Thai". During one round I hit someone in the ribs with a ball of the foot sidekick that I sometimes throw, which from the reaction seemed to hurt quite a bit and have the potential at full power for a finish. I've seen Stephen Thompson use a similar method and noticed that he has landed with with the ball of the foot with a Mae Geri as well. You often see people equate the kickboxing aspects of MMA to Muay Thai, but in actuality MMA kickboxing has a very different flavour to the traditional Muay Thai approach despite taking its techniques. Obviously that's partly the Western Boxing influence but it's also to do with the realities of MMA- the MT stance, as a friend of mine found out, will get you taken down at will in MMA. You're more experienced than me so you probably know all this but I think it's interesting how Karate kicks have crept back into the game.

    You seem to know your stuff, but out of curiosity since you only list Bjj in your style field, do you have a JMA/KMA striking background of any sort?
    Last edited by Aka-Tora; 11/11/2016 6:25pm at .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aka-Tora View Post
    Fair enough. I tend to throw more side kicks than front kicks in sparring so have limited experience of using the former under pressure besides the odd thip.

    The curiosity actually came about partly because of my use of side kicks- unusual for a MT practitioner, especially one that comes from a gym that prides itself on being relatively "Thai". During one round I hit someone in the ribs with a ball of the foot sidekick that I sometimes throw, which from the reaction seemed to hurt quite a bit and have the potential at full power for a finish. I've seen Stephen Thompson use a similar method and noticed that he has landed with with the ball of the foot with a Mae Geri as well. You often see people equate the kickboxing aspects of MMA to Muay Thai, but in actuality MMA kickboxing has a very different flavour to the traditional Muay Thai approach despite taking its techniques. Obviously that's partly the Western Boxing influence but it's also to do with the realities of MMA- the MT stance, as a friend of mine found out, will get you taken down at will in MMA. You're more experienced than me so you probably know all this but I think it's interesting how Karate kicks have crept back into the game.

    You seem to know your stuff, but out of curiosity since you only list Bjj in your style field, do you have a JMA/KMA striking background of any sort?
    Yeah, I have experience with TKD, MT, AKB, and EPAK. The saying is "just enough to be dangerous," but in martial arts I guess it should be "just enough to be not dangerous." BJJ is just what I do now.

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