Does Mixed Martial Arts Include Taekwondo? | Explained

Mixed Martial Arts contains many martial arts, but does it include Taekwondo?

In this page, we will explain.

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Does Mixed Martial Arts Include Taekwondo?

Mixed Martial Arts does include Taekwondo, and many fighters with a Taekwondo background have had massive success in MMA organizations. Some of those fighters who have practiced Taekwondo and have become champions include Valentina Shevchenko, Anderson Silva, and Anthony Pettis.

taekwondo strikes on bag

Benefits of Taekwondo at a Young Age

Taekwondo is one of the best martial arts that children can get into for many reasons.

Creates a Foundation

Taekwondo is a beginner-friendly sport that can create a fantastic foundation for foot to eye coordination, hand to eye coordination, footwork, flexibility, and principles.

Understanding Range

Most of the Taekwondo sparring occurs from a middle to long range distance, which means footwork, and quickness to enter the range and land a strike becomes much more important.


Additionally, you cannot hit to the face with a punch, it must be with a kick.

This places emphasis on kicks, and forces the student to work on their flexibility to be able to land a head kick.

Jumping kicks to the head are the most points that a student can score during a Taekwondo sparring match.

taekwondo and mma

MMA Fighters With a Taekwondo Background

Some of the UFC fighters who became champions or fought for the title, while having a Taekwondo background include:

  • Anderson Silva
  • Anthony Pettis
  • Valentina Shevchenko
  • Yair Rodriguez
  • Rose Namajunas
  • Edson Barboza
  • Benson Henderson

What you'll notice with this entire list, is that they are all extremely flexible, have devastating knockout kicks in their career, and are fantastic in the middle to long range.

Taekwondo Weaknesses

In fact, Anthony Pettis was so dominant early on his MMA career, became the UFC Lightweight champion, but then lost his championship to Rafael Dos Anjos.

RDA employed a forward-pressure, wrestling-centric, short range approach.

This is the perfect gameplan against Taekwondo fighters, as these are the largest weaknesses.

On the other hand, other fighters such as Valentina Shevchenko and Rose Namanjunas continued becoming more well rounded during their career, and worked on these weaknesses in order to continue their success inside of the octagon.

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