T Nation

Forehead Conditioning (MMA)


Before I get shouted down as a dick, it's not so stupid as you think. I've been doing a bit of combative and mixed martial arts training, and I've seen a fair few guys deliver headbutts, and then recoil with the shock of the fact that they've just bashed their head on something. Anyway, I don't have too big a problem in that regards at the moment, but figured that a little more conditioning couldn't hurt.

So here's my question, as after a search of T-Nation, I couldn't find anything, how would you go about conditioning your forehead for forefull impacts?


Its about neck strength. The forehead itself can't be conditioned unless you were actually damaging the bone and causing calicum deposits to form.

If the neck can prevent the head moving back as much once struck, it will reduce the impact with which your brain will strike the front of your skull. As for headbutting people intentionally... i guess headbutting hard things might help desensitize your brain from being stunned when it is stuck. However your brain would have to be pretty small to perform this exercise due to the stupididty of it.


Thanks, another mate of mine was just telling me that it's all about the strength of your neck, and where you lay the strike. Repeatedly bashing my head off things isn't really a path I'd be wanting to go down, because as you put it, the level of sheer stupidity registered there is off the charts.


Make sure that you can either aim your attack to hit the bridge of the nose if that is what you want. If you are just alking about accidental contact the only way to really get over it is to practice alot and then get used to the occasional hit to the head.


do bridging so your forehead is on the ground, and your feet, and nothing else, that will help. Not good to be banging your head on things, but this way at least you can toughen it up a bit. The bones do get denser, just as knuckles do from hitting hard stuff. But you don't want impact on your head, it squishes the brain about.

Also I'd bet they are all doing the headbutt wrong. You don't nod your head into it. You dip it down and charge with your body. If you nod your head in then the movement is faster and rotation on brain higher etc.. and the shock of the hit is more sudden, and more on the front of the head instead of the top. Think of it more as a head-ram.

And finally, some people have hard heads.


Accidental knocks to the head are the sort of thing where I've figured that time and practice will get my used to those, but I think you're right about the technique, my thoughts were more thinking that no matter how well you aim it, there's a chance you'll miss the nose. I hadn't thought of the back-bridges though, makes sense, that sort of pressure on the forehead will have to create something of a resistance.

Thanks for all your input


I'm pretty sure headbutts are illegal in all forms of MMA.


Then you will get used to being hit in the head.



But just let me point out that your brain has no sensory neurons. Ie, it can't feel anything. You might be referring to neurons like around the skull?


In Bas Rutten's Street Fighting DVD, he says NEVER to headbutt like that as you are just as likely to get hurt as the other guy.

Instead of making a downward movement, lower your head and then ram the TOP of your dome into the other guy's nose.


What he said. Think of rams butting heads, they lower and charge. You are bracing your neck and using leg drive to generate force. Otherwise you are using neck flexion to strike with your forehead, which will have less force and leave you more prone to injury.

Seriously though, there is no headbutting in MMA so what are you talking about?


Yeah, the MMA tag was added after I posted. I have no intentions of using headbutts in MMA, I just mentioned that that's been part of my training. The primary focus has been on Krav Maga though, but a headbutt is more intended for out of the ring fighting. Besides, I don't think I'll be up to competing level any time soon.

Anyway, I've seen that DVD myself, and I'm aware of the headbutting technique (actually, a few posts earlier a guy mentioned it), yet connecting with any part of your body still requires for it to be conditioned to accept that sort of punishment. Which is why I was looking to see if there was a way of doing some form of conditioning for the forhead.

Anyway, you've all raised great points, and given me plenty of food for thought. Boxing is something I've been considering for a while, probably one of the best ways I've seen to learn to take a knock and give one back


no kidding, especially if you are shorter than the other guy and have to work inside.


Thanks brads I missed that G-force article.

Headbutt/ramming is not allowed in MMA etc.. because it is so dangerously damaging. Which is why you should be proficient in it for the real world. Using your head can help you in really tricky situations like when you are being bear-hugged and pummelled from all sides etc...

You CAN do a nodding headbutt and make it work well but it isn't as good and it is more risky. What is worse is the tendency to pull back first, to get some momentum going. Which kind of gives it away.

Women should learn to head-ram the most. Women generally are not as strong with fist or foot, but can hold their own when it comes to rock hard noggin'. A super-fast slap in the face then a head-ram from a woman is a double whammy ... if the slap gets through it can stun. If they catch the slap their hands are occupied then Bam! bam! as Bas would say. Slap to face, headram to face, some kind of quick throw or leg sweep to put them on the ground then run like the dickens.