Top 5 Basic MMA Techniques Every Beginner Should Learn

This article is for anyone looking to get a better grasp of some of the foundational techniques in MMA. Although we will cover the “how-to” in the following writing, it is important that you train with a professional coach; this article is simply a supplement to that training.

Start with the basics, and engrain them into yourself. Yes, spinning back-fists look awesome and do work, but a simple straight right is a much higher percentage punch and will be what you build many combinations off of. So before you start moving onto the fancy stuff, make sure you have your foundation down pat.


The two stances for MMA are orthodox and southpaw. Orthodox is the most common stance, it means your right leg and hand are back. Southpaw is simply the opposite, your left leg and left hand are back. The stance you choose is usually predicated upon which hand is dominant. If you are right-handed an orthodox stance will likely feel the most comfortable, and vice versa.


  1. We will cover how to get into an orthodox stance, you will follow the same procedure but opposite if you are a southpaw person.
  2. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Step your right foot back, the toes of your right foot should be in line with the back of your left heel. Make sure your feet are separated by about 12 inches.
  4. Bend your knees slightly.
  5. Have your right foot pointed outwards at about a 45-degree angle. Your front left foot should be pointed straight ahead.
  6. Make your hands into a loose fist and have the tops of your knuckles in-line with your cheekbones, they should be very close to your face.
  7. You are now in an orthodox stance.


This is the most basic strike and the most necessary. The jab will be a great tool in distancing and setting up combinations. Imagine the jab to be like the flint and steel for starting a fire, with the power strikes being the flame; it is tough to get a flame without something to ignite it.


  1. The jab always comes from the front hand; if you are in orthodox, it will be your left hand, if you are in southpaw, it’ll be your right hand.
  2. Quickly extend your front arm and do a snapping motion at the end.
  3. Make sure your elbow doesn’t flare out, at the end of the punch everything should be in line.
  4. Your hand should “snap” at the end of the strike, your thumb should start vertical and end horizontally. You should be hitting with only your two front knuckles (the largest ones closest to your thumb)
  5. You can now perform a jab.

Please check these 5 common jab mistakes


The straight is the jab’s bigger brother. The jab is very commonly followed by a straight, it is more powerful and is commonly followed up by a hook or a kick. With the two strikes mentioned, you can be a force to be reckoned with. Conor Mcgregor utilizes a straight left to its highest capabilities and has had tremendous success with it.


  1. Choose your preferred stance. The straight will always come from whichever hand is on the side of your rear foot.
  2. First practice pivoting and bending your rear leg inwards, slightly turning your shoulders at the same time.
  3. From here snap your hand out and do the formerly mentioned movement at the same time. The right will have the same technique as the jab, just with the rest of your body moving behind it.
  4. Make sure you don’t “load up” with your punch, make it crisp and clean, power will come.
  5. Don’t push the punch. It should snap.
  6. You can now execute the straight strike.

4.Leg Kick Block

Leg kicks need to be blocked, if you have never experienced a solid leg kick it is hard to understand what it does, but know it is not a great feeling. When you are hit with a solid leg kick, it sort of shocks your leg; yes it hurts, but it is the “shock” feeling that makes you unable to use it.

This is where the block comes into play. If properly blocked, your opponent will quickly stop attempting these kicks due to the pain it will inflict on them instead.


  1. The leg kick is very simple, but it is important you follow each step to the tee.
  2. When the leg kick is coming, lift your leg and make sure you keep the lower half of your leg strong and stiff.
  3. If you don’t keep your calf area strong, you can easily be knocked off balance.
  4. A good way to make sure you are not lazy with this is flexing your toes when you block the leg kick.
  5. Make sure you are always defending your face when you are leg kicked, keep those hands up.
  6. You can now block a leg kick.

5.Single Leg Takedown

The single-leg is one of the most common and most successful takedowns in wrestling and MMA for good reason. It is a must-have in your arsenal, if you master the single-leg you will already have a proficient takedown-game. If you want to reach the highest levels in MMA you have to have grappling proficiency and experience, so this is a great starting point to reach that level.


  1. Throw a strike to their head, as a means of distraction.
  2. Bend at your knees.
  3. Step with your front foot to the outside of their front foot at the same time.
  4. Wrap your arms around their leg and lift it in between yours, make sure to pinch your legs. Maintain a constant head pressure into their sternum.
  5. Step the leg on the outside of their body backward and around rapidly finishing the takedown.
  6. You can now perform a single leg takedown.

These are 5 of the most basic techniques to help supplement your game. The most important thing to learn these effectively is going to a certified trainer and learning from him/her.

Good luck on your mixed martial arts journey!