I love watching Jon Jones fight in the UFC, because I find that he always has a brilliant way of introducing “new” martial arts techniques into his game. To me he is a true mixed martial artist.
Recently while we were sitting around, one of the students was interested in Jones’ knee kick, thinking that it is a new kick that Jones had discovered. While Jones does do a great job of incorporating the knee kick in his game, his knee kick is not a new kick, and quite a few martial arts incorporate this kick.
Jones uses two variations of this kick. Please keep in mind that for amateur competition, we only use this technique to the athlete’s leg; not the knee cap. And in some amateur sanctioning bodies, the first technique shown in the video is considered illegal. However it is definitely a great technique to use against the knee cap, for self defense. Anyway, here is Jon Jones demonstrating these two kicks:
I first came across the first kick, his oblique kick when I was training in Jeet Kune Do. It is also a common kick in the Filipino Martial arts. Here is a video of Guro Dan Inosanto, the premier instructor and source on everything Jeet Kune Do. In this video he has a student demonstrating various forms on the Mook Jog, or wooden dummy. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, skip to 6′ 46″ to see this technique being used.
Another art that demonstrated use of the oblique kick is Savate. Savate is a kickboxing martial art from France. In the first video, a couple of Savate fighters are demonstrating a combination using both variations of Jones’ knee kick.
The second video is from the TV Series, Human Weapon, demonstrating the power behind this technique.
Also Muay Thai has this technique. It is a variation of the Teep (push kick or foot jab). I have commonly seen it thrown with the rear leg, usually to the opponent’s lead leg. More to keep the opponent at bay.
One of my Muay Thai instructors, Kru Eddie de Nobrega, also uses this kick to the lead hip socket of his opponent. He uses this if he is too close to use a traditional Teep, and as a stop kick to intercept his opponent’s attack or momentum.
The second knee kick that Jones demonstrates is a side kick. Most martial arts have a side kick. However I think that one of the best side kicks, the way it is trained and the way it is properly incorporated with angles and punches is from Savate. In Savate they call it a “chasse”.
In the first video of Jones demonstrating the two knee kicks, we see Jones angling out to the side before throwing that kick. That is so typically of Savate. There are two other distinct feature of this kick:
1. It is thrown like a piston, or like a stomp. This means it can be chambered and thrown many times without compromising your guard or stance. Sometimes you are too committed with a traditional side kick and you lose your basic stance, ability to counter, throw multiple techniques or even protect yourself. Watch the first minute of this match between Farid Khider, Savate practitioner and Yuya Yamamoto, Karate and Muay Thai fighter.
2. The position of the foot is different than the traditional side kick. Sometimes it can be perfectly sideways, like the traditional side kick, but it is usually at a 45 degree angle. This really helps with “stomping” or the jamming effect of the chasse, and you also don’t have to commit too much too this type of kick, therefore protecting yourself at all times.
So there you have it. The various martial arts that use the infamous Jon Jones knee kick. In future articles, I will show how to do these techniques, set ups and training methods.