January 12

The Thiago Alves Low Kick -Technique Breakdown


The Thiago Alves Low Kick -Technique Breakdown

How To Kick Like Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves -Technique Breakdown


Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves is known for having perhaps one of the most Brutal Low Kicks ever seen in mma or the UFC so I just had to break it down so I could learn from it. In this post you will find a range of slow motion and still images to breakdown the technique of Alves.

Due to technological advances we can now look in detail at so many techniques and break them down. I hope you enjoy this and please share this post if you find it useful.

Here is the break down:

First the kick

low kick gif alves

Ok that is the slow motion but lets look closely at what is going on

1. Defends the Jab

alves pic 1

In the above photo we see Alves Defend the jab, its difficult to tell if he took the jab but it would appear he has managed to parry the shot as the opponents punch (Josh Koscheck) seems to deflect over the shoulder of Alves

alves jab set up

In the above section we see Alves fire out a left Jab, key learning points are:

  1. Chin Tucked behind left shoulder to guard against any counter
  2. Right Hand of Alves also by chin to guard against counter

Alves pic 2The above image show the next segment and there is a lot going on.

1. Note the left foot of Alves which he has stepped on to. This has turned in the direction that his rear kicking leg will follow through. This first step is essential to allow full rotation of his hips and power generation

2. The rear leg or driving leg has its heel off the ground, this is the kicking leg and will drive the kick combined with a violent twist of the hips

3. The right hand of Alves is not punching but he has thrown it forward in an almost follow up to his left jab. This acts as a feint and Koschek buys the feint and defends a possible right cross and not the leg kick. In fact Koschek sways backwards which is a terrible defence to the right and he leaves his lead left leg forward. Perfect for Alves.

alves pic 3

The above image Shows the chain re action that has occured.

1. The left knee of Alves has fully turned in the direction of his left foot

2. The twist of the hips is occurring 

3. Alves has raised his heel. In this image we see it is almost in line with his hips and shows great hip flexibility

alves pic 5

In the above image we see the moment of connection, at this point the low kick is still yet to fully form and his hips have not fully twisted, although he has landed the kick his body is still very much in motionalves pic 6

Alves has now straightened his kicking leg and the impact against the leg can be seenalves pic 7

Straight after landing the kick Alves returns the leg to its starting position and note his hands are still very high to protect his head against counter

Further examples:

Here is an example of Alves delivering a kick and following up with strikes:

alves gif 3

 Here is another look at an Alves Kick in Action:



Here is an example of Alves using the kick going backward and forwards

alves gif 4

I hope you have enjoyed this breakdown of the How To Kick Like Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves. Please feel free to share and subscribe to our site to get a free ‘never gas out’ mma fitness book.







All videos were taken from footage freely available from YouTube and no copyright infringement is intended. The article is for creative and educational purposes to help MMA athletes improve their skill.


Please take care and before training or attempting this type of technique please seek out proper medical approval and do so under a qualified coach or risk injury.




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  1. A very good breakdown of the Thai kicking technique here. The use of the hips is something that is often neglected in the movement. The ‘stepping over the fence’ as I was taught. Also worth mentioning is the pointing of the foot in regards to regular footwork. A fine point taught to me by Ted Wong RIP.

  2. Drills, drills and more drills as well as squats can deliver an awesome low round house. A slight step out with the lead leg from thai-boxing also helps break through the centreline of your opponent.

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