Is Taekwondo Effective in MMA?

Taekwondo is one of the most popular sports and martial arts in the world. But since it has a lot of rules and looks mostly like kicks, is Taekwondo effective in MMA?

Taekwondo can be effective in MMA when combined with boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, some top fighters have it as one of their foundational martial arts. But it would not be very effective as the primary martial art in an MMA fight.

But it’s not a walk in the park to execute kicks flawlessly.

They consume a lot of energy and make the fighter vulnerable. They could miss and slip, making it easy for their opponent to have an edge. And it can be easy to get off balance in the heat of a UFC fight.

But there’s a lot more to know.

In this article, we’ll explore if any MMA fighter uses Taekwondo and whether Anderson Silva knows Taekwondo. But we’ll also consider if a TKD fighter can beat a boxer.

Let the fun begin.

Do any MMA fighters use Taekwondo?

Several MMA fighters use Taekwondo, such as Rose Namajunas, Valentina Shevchenko, Yair Rodriguez, Anthony Pettis, as well as Anderson Silva, and Bas Ruten.

Taekwondo is a great weapon in any MMA fighter’s arsenal.

The kicks can be devastating, but they’re also delicate. So, it requires a masterful grasp to use it in MMA as an adept opponent can seize a leg that’s been thrust at them and use it as a basis for an awesome takedown.

Let’s find out a bit about the top MMA fighters who employ it.

Anthony Pettis

Before he became a top fighter in UFC, he was already a champ at WEC. His background includes a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo which he attained at the age of 18. It’s one of the skills that made him a formidable fighter.

Rose Namajunas

One of the most well-rounded MMA fighters, she also has a background in TKD. She started learning at the age of 5 and had earned a black belt by the age of 9. Of course, she’s learned other martial arts. But she still uses her TKD knowledge. In fact, her KO of Weili Zhang was executed with a lead roundhouse kick.

Yair Rodriguez

Yair, like Rose, has been employing Taekwondo since the age of 5! Spinning back kicks, tornado kicks, and cartwheel kicks come naturally to him, and he uses them to his advantage.

In addition to Taekwondo, a lot of MMA fighters also employ Jiu-Jitsu. Say you’ve got to choose between either of the two, which one is better?

This is the theme of a recent article where I explained whether Jiu-Jitsu is the same as BJJ and which one is better for self-defense.

But I also revealed what’s likely to be the result if a TKD fighter (a black belt) were to step into the arena with a BJJ black belt?

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does Anderson Silva know Taekwondo?

Anderson Silva is a black belt in Taekwondo in addition to black belts in BJJ and Judo. Silva started training in BJJ and then moved to Taekwondo. Later, he would explore other martial arts such as Muay Thai and Capoeira. 

In several of his fights, we can see several occasions where he unleashes some lethal kicks to the disadvantage of his opponents.

Although sadly, at this point, he’s most well-known for that gruesome leg break in 2013 against Chris Weidman, who quite effectively shielded Silva’s kick.

But he’s an all-around MMA fighter who brings his multiple skills to the octagon.

So even though his kicks are impressive, his grappling and ground fighting is a thing of beauty to behold.

Now, martial arts can be hard or soft. Which category does TKD fall into?

Is it full contact? That’s what I shared in a recent article. In it, I explained semi-contact martial arts and whether you’re allowed to punch in Taekwondo. But I also revealed what’s not allowed in Taekwondo.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Taekwondo vs MMA: which is better?

MMA is better than Taekwondo because it’s a combination of several martial arts. MMA offers a fighter more options based not only on the moment but also on the specific skill set of their opponent. They can do more damage than someone who knows only one martial art.

In addition to the skills, MMA requires that fighters are highly conditioned. This requirement can give them an edge.

In a sense, MMA offers fighters the best platform to develop into their best selves. It’s a reflection of Bruce Lee’s philosophy about the ideal fighting system.

It’s one that’s not restricted to one style, with its rigid patterns, but rather a system/style that borrows freely from whatever style works. It’s about the best fighting techniques, not fidelity to any style.

MMA’s superiority is a no-brainer. Why?

A good MMA fighter is almost likely an expert in Taekwondo and several other martial arts. If a person who’s hip to only Taekwondo were to fight someone who knows Taekwondo and other arts, in all likelihood, the latter would win. They can see the TKD coming and know what to do to counter their moves.

And they also have skills such as grappling and ground-fighting that can easily disorient the TKD person.

In fact, these skills can easily give them an edge because the TKD fighter has no way of defending themselves against them.

Crucial differences between MMA and Taekwondo

Taekwondo and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are two of the most popular martial arts in the world.

Both have their own unique styles and techniques, and both have produced some of the best fighters in the world. However, there are some key differences between Taekwondo and MMA that make them distinct from one another.

The first difference is in the techniques used by each martial art.

Taekwondo fighters rely heavily on kicks, such as the front kick and hook kick, while MMA fighters use a variety of different techniques including punches, kicks, takedowns, submissions, and ground fighting.

This means that Taekwondo fighters tend to be more focused on striking while MMA fighters are more well-rounded in their approach to combat.

Another difference between Taekwondo and MMA is in the way they are judged.

In Taekwondo competitions, points are awarded for successful strikes or kicks while in MMA fights judges look at a variety of factors such as aggression, control, damage inflicted, and overall performance when determining a winner.

This means that a successful Taekwondo fighter may not necessarily be successful in an MMA fight due to the different criteria used for judging.

Finally, there is a difference between the level of success achieved by each martial art’s top fighters.

While Bas Rutten is widely considered one of the greatest MMA fighters ever, there is no equivalent figure in Taekwondo who has achieved similar levels of success. This could be due to the fact that there are fewer opportunities for professional Taekwondo fighters compared to those available for successful MMA fighters.

In conclusion, while both Taekwondo and Mixed Martial Arts have their own unique styles and techniques, there are some key differences between them that make them distinct from one another.

These include differences in techniques used by each martial art as well as how they are judged and how successful their top fighters have been.

But let’s explore a few key differences in greater detail:

Crucial Differences between MMA and Taekwondo rules

MMA and Taekwondo are two popular martial arts that have different rules and techniques.

MMA is a full-contact combat sport, while Taekwondo is an Olympic sport that focuses on striking techniques. A martial artist who practices MMA will use a variety of techniques such as striking, grappling, and submissions to defeat their opponent.

On the other hand, a Taekwondo practitioner will use only kicking and punching techniques to score points in competition.

MMA fights are usually won by knockout or submission, while Taekwondo matches are won by points awarded for successful Taekwondo techniques. MMA fighters wear gloves and protective gear during fights, while Taekwondo practitioners wear only light protective gear such as shin guards and headgear.

MMA fighters can use any technique they choose to win a fight, while in Taekwondo there are specific rules that must be followed in order to score points.

The main difference between MMA and Taekwondo is the way the fights are conducted; MMA is more aggressive and unpredictable while Taekwondo is more structured and focused on technique.

Crucial Differences between MMA and Taekwondo gear

MMA and Taekwondo gear have some similarities, but there are also some key differences. MMA gear is designed to protect the fighter in dangerous situations, while Taekwondo gear is designed to help with martial arts training.

Taekwondo kick pads are designed to help the fighter practice their kicking power and accuracy.

MMA gloves are designed to protect the fighter’s hands and face from punches and kicks. MMA history has seen a variety of different gloves used for different fighting styles, while Taekwondo has remained consistent with its use of hand pads.

MMA fighters also wear shin guards, which are designed to protect their legs from kicks and strikes.

Taekwondo fighters do not wear shin guards as they are not necessary for their style of martial arts training. MMA fighters also wear headgear, which is designed to protect them from head injuries during fights. Taekwondo fighters do not wear headgear as it is not necessary for their style of martial arts training.

Overall, MMA and Taekwondo gear have some similarities but there are also some key differences that make each best suited for its respective fighting style.

Also bear in mind that in actual fights, most MMA fighters only wear gloves. So most of their gear is for training, and not the actual competition.

How does MMA compare to Taekwondo for Self-Defense?

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and Taekwondo are both popular martial arts used for self-defense.

MMA is a full-contact combat sport that combines various martial arts techniques such as boxing, kickboxing, judo, and jiu-jitsu. Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that focuses on kicking and punching techniques. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to self-defense.

MMA has become increasingly popular due to fighters like Conor McGregor who have achieved success in the sport, or at least notoriety.

MMA is considered one of the best martial arts for self-defense because it teaches useful techniques from multiple disciplines which can be used in real-life self-defense situations. It also teaches how to defend against strikes from all angles which makes it a great choice for self defense.

Taekwondo is also a great choice for self-defense as it teaches powerful kicking and punching techniques that can be used to defend against an attacker. It also teaches discipline and respect which can help in avoiding dangerous situations in the first place.

However, Taekwondo does not teach grappling or ground fighting which can be important in some self-defense situations.

Overall, both MMA and Taekwondo are great choices for self-defense but depending on your needs one may be better than the other.

MMA is generally considered the best fighting style for self-defense due to its combination of useful techniques from multiple disciplines while Taekwondo is still a great choice due to its powerful striking techniques and discipline training.

What Taekwondo techniques work in MMA?

Taekwondo is a martial art that has been used in MMA for many years.

It is known for its powerful kicks and strikes, which can be used to great effect in the cage. Many successful MMA fighters have incorporated Taekwondo techniques into their fighting style, such as push kicks, leg kicks, and spinning back kicks.

MMA practitioners who are looking to incorporate Taekwondo into their game should focus on mastering the basics first. Push kicks are a great way to keep opponents at bay and can be used to set up other strikes or takedowns. Leg kicks are also an effective tool for controlling distance and can be used to wear down opponents over time.

Spinning back kicks are another powerful Taekwondo technique that can be used in MMA.

This move requires good timing and accuracy, but when executed correctly it can be devastatingly effective. Axe kicks are also a great choice for MMA practitioners looking to add some flair to their game. These flashy moves require good balance and coordination, but they can be very effective if used correctly.

Overall, Taekwondo techniques can be very effective in MMA if used properly.

Fighters should focus on mastering the basics first before attempting more advanced techniques like spinning back kicks or axe kicks. With practice and dedication, any fighter can become a successful MMA practitioner by incorporating Taekwondo into their game plan.


In the article, we explored if any MMA fighter uses Taekwondo.

But we also looked at whether Anderson Silva knows Taekwondo. And we also considered if a TKD fighter can beat a boxer.

Then, we looked at Taekwondo vs. MMA and which one’s better. Lastly, we wrapped things up by looking at whether Taekwondo is effective in a real fight.

Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

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