Unorthodox striking in mixed martial arts

What is Normal?

A superman punch can catch your opponent guessing. hopefully guessing wrong.

Unorthodox really just means straying from the norm. So in mixed martial arts striking what is considered to be an unorthodox strike. For my purposes an unorthodox strike is essentially anything that when you see the first thing that comes to mind is along the lines of, “damn didn’t see that coming.”

Striking is obviously a great way to end a fight is you have the power in your strikes to knockout the opponent. However sometimes a straight forward charge is not the best idea because your opponent is blocking/dodging your strikes or he is countering them because you are so predictable. By mixing up the pot a little bit and adding variety to your striking package you can surprise.and hopefully land strikes on your opponent

The Strikes

Sometimes your regular punch and kick combinations just wont scratch the surface of an opponent. Whether he is too quick or too defensive, throwing ineffective strikes is just a waste of energy. However maybe try mixing up your striking game by implementing some that catch your opponent so off guard that they cant dodge or defend against it.

To name a few unorthodox strikes that are seen more commonly seen (oxymoronic i know) there are things like the spinning back fist/back elbow, The superman punch, the flying knee, spinning kicks, and other moves that involve unpredictability and speed. These strikes are seen pretty often watching professional mixed martial arts and when they are landed it is easy to see a quick unexpected strike’s results on the opponent.

Why Are They So Effective

It is basic knowledge that in a fight you generally want to stay balanced and on your feet to have as much control over yourself as possible. That is why it probably isn’t smart for someone to just throw a tornado kick and expect it to be effective. To effectively strike unpredictably it looks like your out of control but in reality you are in complete control, controlled chaos. Striking like this takes practice and training not just blind luck.

There are really two main advantages given by this kind of striking. First is the fact that a lot of them increase the power of your strike. and type of spinning strike adds a bunch of rotational kinetic energy to the strike making it much more effective. This is especially the case for types of spinning kicks because the length of the leg leads to even greater speeds during rotation.

Secondly there is the element of surprise  You become much less predictable if you start spinning around instead of standing still in front of your opponent. There are ways to make your opponent give himself up for a strike as well. For example, if an opponent is being very defensive a superman punch might be the move that drops his guard for just long enough to get the punch to connect.

You tell me if this kid saw the power of this kick coming

I mean i clearly saw this flying knee coming when it happened i don’t know how this guy didn’t…

Are We Sure?

Unorthodox is a relative term. What might be abnormal for one form of competition might not be all that ridiculous to another. In karate and taekwondo many of strikes thrown probably look unorthodox to most people. However the effectiveness of an unexpected strike remains pretty consistent if it lands on the opponent, because usually you cant block what you didn’t see coming. But practicing and knowing when to throw an unorthodox strike can be a useful weapon in your arsenal.


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