Brazilian Karate Coach Says Machida's Crane Kick Is "Most Difficult to Land"

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IMay 3, 2011

Since his highlight reel knockout victory over Randy Couture at UFC 129, Lyoto Machida has been dubbed the "Karate Kid."

The Brazilian's style is so unique and complex, as he combines different styles into his arsenal, along with his elusive speed and footwork, including Shotokan karate, Sumo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.

To put into perspective just how lethal Machida's flying crane kick was, look no further than former Brazilian karate coach, Geraldo de Paula, who said that the kick Machida used is very hard to land.

"That was a perfect move. For those who know karate well, it is the most difficult attack to land. For those who know less, it’s fatal. Nobody is expecting a front kick like that, a front punch is more common," de Paula said to UOL Esportes, courtesy of FightersOnlyMagazine.

"The most common kick is mae geri, when one of the feet doesn’t leave the floor, as Anderson Silva did versus Vitor Belfort [at UFC 126]. Lyoto made a more complex kick, mae tabi geri, taking both feet from the floor with a mid-jump,” he explained.  

He went on to explain the intent of the kick is not to attack the face of an opponent, or knock them out. 

"As we don’t look for the knockout in tournaments, but points for landing hits on the rivals, it is more used to hit the abdomen. For karate practitioners the most common head attack is circular kicks.”

The mae tabi geri is practiced in all martial arts, but it is mostly utilized in Shotokan karate. 

Machida, who was accompanied to the Octagon by his family and actor Steven Seagal, credited both his father and Seagal for helping him perfect the kick.