Heel Kicks

Why were heel kicks to the spine and kideney disallowed?

uummm maybe because getting kicked in the spine or kidney can seriously injur somebody?

but im not a doc so i have no clue.


I guess what i don;t get is you can punch someone in the kidney (not sure bout the spine) and in pride you can jump as high as you want and land on the other guys head with you heel with as much force as possible, but you can't heel kick someone in the kidneys or spine when you're in a guard position.

Thats' why i'm curious as to what the reasoning was.


i didnt' know you could punch in the spine, i thought all strikes to the back were not allowed.

shows how much i follow the rules.


"I've always thought heel strikes were a key aspect of guard fighting and taking them away meant taking away one of the bottom guys best tools."

At the same time they took away head butts, one of the top guys best tools when in someone's guard.

The UFC rules state no heel strikes to the kidney, but it does not prohibit punches (Baroni vs Lindland) nor elbows (Diego vs Koscheck) to the kidney. Seems contradictary to me.


A few notes... legs average 12 times stronger than arms.

Heels are small boney projections, smaller surface area, more force imparted.

The Kidneys are a non-elastomeric organ. They are not like your skin; they don’t stretch and bounce back. They are full of blood and easily reachable.  Kidneys are relatively fragile.  Tearing them is not uncommon.  It could rather easily result in death from a major tear.

So it stands to reason that they would want to protect an easy target that can cause severe problems from impacts from strong and massive legs and small boney projections.



Spine, self-explainatory....no fighter wants to end up paralyzed.


strikes to the spine with anything is not allowed.

I've never fought in any kind of fight that allowed direct strikes to the spine.


Those sharp elbows by Diego to Josh's kidney would do more damage than heel kicks to the kidney from guard don't you think? Smaller area with greater force. I am not arguing the injuries, just the consistency of the rules.

Actually UFC rule 10:

"Striking downward using the point of the elbow. "

They didn't seem to enforce it.

GeeRox-  Not sure on that one...I can get alot of power in a heel hook....then again I can get quite a bit from an elbow... MMA has so weird rules due to the wide number of variables, it is always going to be a fight to try to keep the fighters safe and yet not restrict them to ineffectiveness or boring fights.  Fighting is not easy, but they HAVE to try to keep it more or less non-life-threatening for the fighters...  No one wants to see a good fighter killed or his career ended because of a major injury.


"No one wants to see a good fighter killed or his career ended because of a major injury."

Amen brother.

Are those Kidney strikes that bad?

Cracked skull will heal.. Broken kidney will not

i see

A Brazilian fighter supposedly died weeks after a long NHB fight with Helio Gracie where he was repeatedly heel-kicked throughout the fight.

Oh, and he died of kidney failure. Can't remember his name though.