Effective Low Kick Defenses

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In a sport or a self defense fight, a person who focuses on kicking the legs can be a very dangerous adversary. Perfectly executed or repeated low kicks can greatly weaken your balance, prevent you from evading the fight, hold you back from delivering effective blows or even injure you.

To avoid any of the mentioned scenarios, you should know the basic low kick defenses. Here is a quick discussion on the five basic defenses against a low kick that you can use in sport or actual close-quarter combat:

1. Check the Kick

low kick defenses - weidman checks the low kick of silva

Weidman breaks the leg of Silva by checking his kick.

A check involves blocking the shin of a person attempting a kick using your shin or the knee. Checking a kick will not only protect your legs, you can also hurt the kicker in the process. A well-connected check is a very effective way to momentarily disable someone from continuously kicking. It can also injure the kicker when his shin hits the knee of the blocker as evidenced in the recent fight between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva wherein the latter broke his shin.

2. Move Forward

Closing in to your opponent while he attempts a low kick will deter the effective delivery of the move. However, be careful as you move closer to your opponent because you might run into a punch or a grapple.

3. Kick to the Knee

front kick to knee

A side or front kick to the knee of the opponent’s attacking leg can help prevent a low kick.

As the attacker prepares to deliver a low kick, push back the knee or thigh of his attacking leg using a front or side kick. This will take him off-balance and open him up for a follow up attack.

4. Move Back the Targeted Leg

The most obvious low kick defense is by moving the targeted leg back. The lack of impact that will stop the momentum of the attacker will likely compromise his stance and open him up for a counterattack.

Another good counter when you are being attacked with an inside low kick is by using your targeted foot to turn your body around. Then, use the momentum of your spin to strike the head of the aggressor with your elbow or backfist.

5. Sweep the Balancing Leg

When your attacker raises his leg for a low kick, you can disrupt his balance by delivering a foot sweep to his balancing leg.

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There are many other ways to protect yourself from a low kick aside from the ones mentioned here. You can learn them through martial arts or combat training.

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