8 Basic MMA Techniques You Need To Know

At any given moment in a mixed martial arts (MMA) contest, you could be presented with series of puzzles and riddles you don’t have the answer to.

That’s the nature of the beast, of course. On the flip side, it is also one of the reasons why combat sports like MMA are so engaging.

At any point of your journey in mixed martial arts, failure to prepare is preparing to fail. Ergo, mastering the following, basic MMA techniques could be vital to your success inside the cage.


1) The Jab

The most fundamental of techniques you need to know in MMA is the jab.

Regardless of your competency level, the jab is an essential tool in any mixed martial arts contest. Although it derives from Western Boxing, the jab has become a bread-and-butter weapon in various combat sports including mixed martial arts.

There are multiple purposes for the jab. One on hand, it provides a fighter with a tool for distance management and a foundation for launching combinations and attacks. On the other, it can be used defensively, whether it is pushing the opponent back with force, or flicking the lead hand out as a quick and trusted countermeasure.


2) The Single-Leg Takedown

henry cejudo single leg takedown

An essential MMA technique for any beginner, the single-leg takedown is a requisite tool.

But like anything else, mastering the single-leg will take time and effort. If you don’t come from a solid wrestling background, the chances are that you might be at a disadvantage inside the cage without a solid understanding of this technique.

Without it, you run the risk of being dominated by a wrestler. With it, you will be a force to be reckoned with. As wrestling is arguably the most important discipline of MMA these days, make sure to invest time in drilling and learning as much about this technique as possible.


3) The Low Kick

Much like the jab, the Muay Thai low kick comes in many different forms and serves alternative purposes.

But that’s not exactly where the comparisons end. Put simply, the low kick is one of the most important fundamentals in MMA, and one that you should look to master as soon as possible. Whether you are competing on the regional scene or in the elite tiers, if you cannot defend against low kicks, you are in deep trouble.

Take, for example, UFC superstar Conor McGregor. The Irishman was butchered by a blitz of expertly placed low kicks by Dustin Poirier in their rematch at UFC 257, highlighting the effectiveness of this valuable weapon in MMA.


4) The Sprawl

A coach will always be impressed with a student well-versed in the arts of movement, range, and distance management.

But still, if any fighter inside the cage does not have a sprawl in their arsenal, it could prove to be a very long night for that competitor. The sprawl is another essential MMA technique you need to know.

Typically, strikers will want to keep the fight on the feet against a solid wrestler. But in order to stuff takedowns and prevent the wrestler from stamping their dominance on the fight, it is crucial to learn the sprawl. It’s not the most glamorous technique in MMA, but it sure is one of the most important.


5) The Back Mount Escape

One of the most frustrating experiences in mixed martial arts is being caught out in back mount.

In back mount, there are numerous options for a submission for the fighter in the dominant position. Regardless of whether that fighter is a blue belt or a black belt, there is enough potential leverage to attack in several different ways. This makes the back mount escape one of the most underrated MMA techniques to learn as a beginner.


6) The Clinch

One of the most important MMA techniques you need to know is how to operate inside the clinch.

With Muay Thai the most effective striking discipline on the planet, it’s no secret that the “Art of the Eight Limbs” has influenced MMA so emphatically. A major part of this influence can be found in the various types of clinches.

Similar to grappling on the feet, the clinch is effectively the simplest way to close the distance between you and an opponent. But winning the battle of the clinch takes a lot of practice and understanding of the various techniques required.


7) The Overhand

The overhand is a very effective tool in mixed martial arts, and therefore one of the basic techniques you should learn in MMA.

This technique is taken from Western Boxing but has become a bread and butter staple of many mixed martial artists’ shot selections over the years. The reason why is that, well, it’s a devastatingly powerful weapon if you know how to do it right. The key is, like most techniques on this list, to get the basics nailed in the gym before you attempt to use it in combat.

A shot that loops over the guard, once you begin to learn how to throw an overhand right (or left), you could fall in love with the shot very quickly. But leaving the defensive part of things untied could have you wide open to head kicks, knees, elbows, or takedowns.


8) The Roundhouse Kick

If you’re looking for MMA techniques you need to know, the roundhouse kick is undoubtedly one of the most devastating.

Without the ability to throw a solid roundhouse kick, you’re at a disadvantage inside the cage. For one, the chances of you knowing how to defend a roundhouse kick without launching one is pretty low. From a technical standpoint, you will not have the same understanding of the execution of throwing a roundhouse kick, thus giving your opponent free rein to pepper or belt you with punishing hits.


Putting It All Together

The inexorable link between confidence and performance pushes smart competitors to go that extra mile in their preparations for a fight.

There is nothing worse than walking into a cage without feeling you can win. Quite often, a fighter’s lack of confidence is down to poor preparation.

A lot can happen in a fight. But by mastering these eight basic MMA techniques you need to know, you will be better equipped to answer anything put to you.


If you found this article interesting, here are some others that you may enjoy:

Muay Thai And Boxing Adjustments For MMA Striking

The Beginner’s Guide To Leg Kicks In MMA

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