T Nation

Spinning Backfist

So…how would you go about actually using this is a fight (either on the streets, in practice, or in the ring)?

Cause I’ve known this technique for years but have never actually used it in a fight, not even in practice. I’ve only practiced this in the air or with a partner doing drills.

Yet, I see UFC guys knocking out people with this technique. I cannot, for the life of me, seem to get the timing right.

I use it as a backup technique when something goes wrong. For example, if I throw a left side kick and they parry it to their left while slipping to their right. I’ll continue the direction of their parry while whipping out a spinning backfist with my right.
So basically if I mess up or a defense they make allows them to get an angle (my outside), I’ll do it because a) If i turn back into them I’ll be met with their counter, b) Since they took an angle, my backfist doent have to do a full 360 to hit them.

I also use the spinning kick and spinning side kick this way too.

IMO Any techniques that set you up by already turning your hips in the direction you want to spin e.g.
Left hook > right spinning back fist
Left round house kick > right spinning back fist

A drill you can do is have a partner hold a pad for a HARD roundhouse kick, but every once in awhile they pull the pad away so you miss going at force, you continue the momentum, land the foot down and whipping around with a spinning back fist.

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during sparing ,my opponent threw several spinning kicks i kept dropping and dumping him ,he faked a spinning kick threw spinning back fist caught me on the side of my head as i was coming back up,did not knock me out ,but gave me a pretty good concussion ,had to be taken to see doctor a couple of days later
his hand hurt for days,so do not forget hand conditioning

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Only a ruffian deals a blow with the back of the band. A gentleman uses the straight left.

Simple Definition of ruffian
: a strong and violent person (especially a man) who threatens and hurts other people

Seeing the topic, I had a flashback to a childhood memory of seeing Sherlock Holmes in a fight, and him saying that.

A quick Google produced
"Sherlock Holmes at Fisticuffs."

Just like I remembered it!

Another way to look at it would be the right tool for the job.
If you are at my 12 o’clock you’ll get a straight.
If you move to my 1 o’clock you’ll get a left hook.
If you move to my 11 o’clock you’ll get a left backfist.

There are certain moves that I call low percentage because they don’t have a really good chance of landing. The spinning back fist is one of them. You can be Sure when they work it looks cool especially a spinning _______ fill in the blank. Anything spinning is very cool. But looking at the odds of something like a spinning back fist actually landing where you want it to is low compared to a standard kick or punch.

With that said there are certain times when they would work more than other times…but over all use something that has a higher chance of landing.

Good Luck,


Was Liddell on V. Silva the best backfist?

Some good points made already.

Some things to add:

I strongly prefer and advise people to use the spinning hammerfist rather than the spinning backfist. Hammerfists are generally much more durable/resistant to injury than backfists (provided you don’t spin with the arm pre-straightened, in which case you are asking to get your elbow hyperextended) and lend themselves better to a spinning back elbow should the opponent unexpectedly close on you.

A couple good uses for the spinning hammer/backfist that I like are:

-after you miss a round kick and are spinning through to potentially catch someone coming in to counter you

-to “double up” a circular attack (I.e. Left hook to head right spinning hammerfist). Just like doubling up a jab the second striking has a good chance of landing

-after a jab/double jab which turns you “Side Stance” (also btw setting you up for a lead leg side kick/round kick/hook kick which can act as a good mix up), especially good if the stay just out of reach or try to parry/block the jab (and even if they try to return fire with their right cross)

-off of a shoulder roll against the straight right/right cross. This is especially true if they don’t get their guard back immediately, and even then it can be a very powerful shot so they may still take some of it.

Shonie Carter’s KO of Matt Serra might be the most memorable spinning backfist for me.

With Sierra folding his hands behind his head, and actually snoring! Definetly a memeorable shot!

It’s cool that Carter spent some time in East Tennessee, to really round out his game and learn toughness.

That was classic for sure!