(Sam Morris/Las Vegas Sun)CLHFqj_FY8kTechnique Spotlight: The Standing Sidekick RJ Gardner November 18, 2014 Spotlight A passion and love for MMA is highly due to the myriad of styles and techniques a fighter can use to be successful; it’s also a major reason why the sport is so unpredictable at times. There are so many different ways to attack and defend in the sport. Nearly every time we watch a fight, we see something new; a new technique, a stance variation, or a different position that adds an additional wrinkle to the game. The sport is always evolving and the fighters are always looking for new and improved techniques to give them an edge in the cage. But with so many moving parts in the sport, there are many techniques that get overlooked. The standing sidekick is one of the many effective, but underutilized techniques in MMA today. You will see it from fighters with traditional karate or taekwondo backgrounds from time-to-time, but as a whole, it’s just not a typical technique thrown in the cage today. A sidekick is simply a kick that is delivered sideways in relation to the body of the fighter throwing the kick. It is a very basic technique that is taught to nearly all novice martial artists learning a traditional style. There are many different variations of the technique and it can be used both offensively and defensively. One of the major reasons the sidekick is underutilized in MMA today has to do with the stance it is thrown from. Rather than being in a standard MMA/Wrestling stance, where a fighter is more squared up with an opponent, the sidekick comes from a closed stance. The closed stance makes defending takedowns extremely difficult and it also limits a fighter’s ability to create angles for attacks. The argument against that is the fighter doesn’t need to be in that closed stance for the entire fight. The sidekick is never going to be a premier technique in the sport, but it can be an effective tool for attacking the body and keeping distance. As the sport continues to evolve and the footwork of the fighters gets more advanced, expect to see the sidekick more and more.