3 Set-ups for the Spinning Backfist

The Spinning Backfist has long been a favorite technique of Kickboxers & Muay Thai fighters. The amount of power created by the spin is incredible, and it's a difficult technique to see coming. Some MMA fighters such as Shonie Carter and Jon Jones have used this technique in the highest level of MMA competition, the UFC.

One of the most important aspects to the spinning backfist is the set up. The set up will increase the effectiveness of the technique.

Here's three set ups you can add to your arsenal:

  • Backfist
  • First, you can use the backfist to strike with
  • Hammerfist
  • Second, you can use the hammerfist to strike with
  • Hammerfist
  • Third, you can use the forearm to strike with
  • Elbow
  • Forth, you could also use the elbow to strike with
  • Step 1
  • The 1st set up, Sally throws a jab to the outside of my head (missing on purpose)
  • Another angle
  • Sally misses to the outside, trying to get me to follow the jab with my hands, which opens up the opposite of my head. This step also allows Sally to determine if she is at the right distance to throw the technique.
  • close up of footwork
  • Sally steps outside my foot to make it easier for her to spin around with the backfist
  • Step 2
  • Now Sally can spin and strike with the backfist
  • Step 1
  • For the next set up, Sally leads with a jab
  • Step 2
  • Sally follows up with a straight right...
  • Step 3
  • Sally now throws a left hook, the hook is more of a slapping hook, to help create momentum for the spin...
  • Step 4
  • Sally starts her spin...
  • Step 5
  • Sally now finishes with the backfist
  • Step 1
  • For the third set up, Sally drops low like she is going to shoot. As Slick sees my hands go down to defend the shot....
  • Step 2
  • Sally quickly spins and slams her fist into my face.


mmarcroft's picture

nice post (and nice extension on that last one)

Pain- it may be the best reminder that you are still alive

CombatChaz's picture

ya, great extension.

Joe Friday's picture

Yea, I would not suggest using your face as a replacement mitt too much... She hits pretty !@#$ hard! I use the 1,2,3 setup for the spinning backfist once every purple moon... but now I must try the fake shot!

Just the facts maam.

WOODMAN's picture

Nice moves Slick...
Nice Chin Coach Charlie


Take me out Kobe style

b thorne's picture


eagles51493's picture

Spinnin back fist has always been one of my fav's since the first time I saw one done when I was about 8 years old lol.


FireCat-75's picture

nice setup with the shot

Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying "I will try again tomorrow"

Murakumo's picture

My favorite setup is just after a whiffed 10. If they're out of range on a 10 whiff and you feel them wanting to come in to capitalize on it, finish the turn and use the momentum/rotation for a spinning backfist to catch any over-eager opponents.

The illustrious Chopstick Ninja!

tat2edup's picture

Due to my Rocky Balboa fighting style, Ive never trained any technique that begins with the word spinning LOL, but this video made it look much more effective with the simplicity of the setups. I will definately play with these setups for sure, Thanks.

"Courage is endurance for one moment more"- Unknown Vietnam vet

"If size mattered, the elephant would be the king of the jungle."- Rickson Gracie

erjon4's picture

cool I learned something I might use it with the axe kick

jwhite43's picture

I'm a HUGE fan of the spinning back fist and hae used it pretty effectively, but I have seen one instance of this move going badly wrong when using the forarm as the striking point. In sparring I had a friend use this about 3 times on a boxer pretty effectively. the fourth time the boxer stepped in to shorten the range and my buddy hit the side of the boxers head with his forearm and snapped his own forearm. It was NASTY! whole thing was intended and had to be pinned back together. Chaz, can you give any insight into the propper hand positioning when striking with the forearm.

"You shut your mouth when you're talking to me!"

CassieTrost's picture

Speaking of Shonie Carter, I totally saw him fight a couple weeks ago! No spinning backfists though, he knocked out Danny Abaddi with a right cross. It was bad. Even though he was wearing a bikini bottom. Yes.

Good moves Slick!

Elite MMA Academy Santa Fe Springs, CA

warriordragon's picture

I was just talking about this move with my kickboxing partner he said its good to throw but risky. And easy to counter. I like it. He doesnt. He says its a good way to get KO D. But like I said I like it and its worth the risk. Good post thanx.

Snap or tap your choice!

Coach Speedy's picture

Hurray ! Spinning Backfists !!! That's My Sh*% Son !

Alderwood Mixed Martial Arts come check us out and get a free week of training if you ask for coach Speedy!

(425) 670-2662

Brian's picture

I like doing a double spinning back fist but it's only something I do every once in a while. Just another tool in the tool box.

Keep training and enjoy what you do.

svenjamin's picture

fifth, you could use the dangling modifier to strike with.

"I'm as gay as a daffodil, my dear."

warriordragon's picture

Im going to practice this for sure. Thanks

Snap or tap your choice!

raven's picture

A great street fighting only opinion would be to stay in somewhat close or tight to gain a quick spin and let them have it, Chuck Norris had one of the quickest spinning back fist I have seen in his tournament days, go back and look, he was very fast.

mustadi anetta's picture

Great technique.. I used in on some of my standup fight.


AMMAwarrior's picture

looove itt

Defeat is a state of mind

Steppin_Razor's picture

Excellent, Chaz, thank you for this.

Sally's technique is awesome and educational to watch in detail. I was really noticing how during the spin her center of gravity stays a little bit forward, and the way she sweeps her foot around driving her heel. The footwork for the spinning back fist has always challenged me.

I also love that the spinning back fist is a traditional martial arts technique.

It seems to me the hammerfist puts the elbow at less risk in case of one's opponent moving in suddenly during the spin.

Victory is the Power within you
Despite the defeats that you've been through
That give you Strength and Heart to continue
Rise up above your challenges and win through

DRay's picture

Love the set-up from dropping low. I've used it a number of times successfully.

"The greatest companion is good balance, wrestling boldly, and never faint hearted."

-Fabian von Auerswald

CombatChaz's picture

Dray. Yay!!!!! make sure you hit the "I hit this" button..!!!
Steppin_razor, if the rules allow it, I always recommend throwing the hammerfist, I've seen too many broken arms from the backfist version.

CombatChaz's picture

Sally just drilled me with this today... i need a "I've been hit by this" button...