Top Methods to Use Head Movement in Kickboxing, Muay Thai & MMA

January 08, 2020

You see a lot of head movement in boxing matches, but a lot less is seen in kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA matches because it CAN be more dangerous. Head movement becomes a less effective line of defence outside of boxing, because when you move your head, your opponent can follow up their punching combination with a kick to the body or legs. Although it CAN be more dangerous to use head movement, it doesn’t mean head movement should not ever be used in the three sports.
Head movement has been utilized effectively and successfully in all three sports by legends, such as, UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, former UFC Middleweight Anderson Silva, former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw, former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz, former UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt, Muay Thai champions Saenchai, Lerdsilla Chumpairtour, and Samart Payakaroon. Notice that every fighter that I just named were at one point the best fighters in the world. Head movement, when used effectively, can turn into huge advantages for a fighter.

There are countless benefits to head movement, but in this article, I will be teaching 3 out of 5 of my personal favourite methods to utilize head movement in Kickboxing, Muay Thai or MMA:

The first method would be offensively kicking and using head movement defensively. The first way is to throw your lead leg kick. It can be to the leg, body or head! After throwing the lead leg, assuming the kick does get dodged or caught, an experienced opponent, especially a dutch kick boxer, will often counter punch. A common punch counter is to dutch block and fire back with a cross. So anticipating that counter, retract your lead leg back into southpaw stance as you slip to the left simultaneously, then back step back into orthodox stance. Many haters will argue that you will eat a head kick, but as long as you are backing away, you will able to dodge a head kick if it came. One of the most common defences to a head kick is to lean back! The exact same offensive lead leg kick and defensive head movement can be used successfully if the counter punch is a jab or hook.

Now let's offensively throw the rear leg kick to the leg or body. Again, assuming the kick does not get dodged or caught, a common defensive reaction is to dutch block and fire back with a big left hook. You can then retract your rear leg back into stance, step and lean back simultaneously to dodge.

Onto defensive head movement while simultaneously countering with kicking. You can dodge punches by slipping and kicking the leg. Slip the cross by slipping to the left and chopping down at the lead leg. You can slip and pivot into your low kick or you can slip, step 45 degrees to the side AND kick. You can do the exact same thing against the jab. You would be slipping to the inside on the jab and chopping the same leg.

I hope you enjoyed these methods and encourage you to check out the full video below with examples:

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