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DaveS
11-02-2006, 11:25 AM
This isn't directly aikido related, so apologies in advance and if it gets deleted or moved I won't be too upset...

As part of the 'why do people hate aikido' digression on kicking, there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless. I've always been told and believed this too, and can see why it should be true - a high kick is easier to see coming, sacrifices a lot of your own balance, runs the risk of being caught and messed around with, leaves you very open to some sort of counter and so on. If you want to kick high, join a chorus line.

However, I've recently started cross training in muay thai and there, going for a kick in the ribs seems to be considered a good idea. Since there's obviously a lot of competition in MT, if high kicking was a bad idea in MT competition then the people who said it was a good idea would probably have figured this out some time ago. So are there exceptions to the general rule about high kicking being iffy, or do the rules of a MT match rule out some of the reasons to avoid it? AFAICT, catching the kick and blocking it and countering are both options in a match...

SeiserL
11-02-2006, 12:25 PM
So are there exceptions to the general rule about high kicking being iffy, or do the rules of a MT match rule out some of the reasons to avoid it?

IMHO, it really all depends on "who" is doing the kicking and how well they do it.

General rules are just that, general.

justin
11-02-2006, 01:29 PM
answering from a karate background most high kicks are just a rouse to which a more powerful technique is delivered

Lan Powers
11-02-2006, 04:31 PM
I don't think I have ever seen a Muay Tai fighter catch the others kick....hunh!
Lan

Lyle Bogin
11-02-2006, 04:34 PM
I have known a few martial artists that could knock down an opponent with one kick to the head. It's not as easy to see coming as one might think, especially if you use your lead leg.

Amir Krause
11-02-2006, 04:45 PM
This isn't directly aikido related, so apologies in advance and if it gets deleted or moved I won't be too upset...

As part of the 'why do people hate aikido' digression on kicking, there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless. I've always been told and believed this too, and can see why it should be true - a high kick is easier to see coming, sacrifices a lot of your own balance, runs the risk of being caught and messed around with, leaves you very open to some sort of counter and so on. If you want to kick high, join a chorus line.

However, I've recently started cross training in muay thai and there, going for a kick in the ribs seems to be considered a good idea. Since there's obviously a lot of competition in MT, if high kicking was a bad idea in MT competition then the people who said it was a good idea would probably have figured this out some time ago. So are there exceptions to the general rule about high kicking being iffy, or do the rules of a MT match rule out some of the reasons to avoid it? AFAICT, catching the kick and blocking it and countering are both options in a match...

High kicks are not more complex then most Aikido locks, and their usage in the "real street" is achievable. A serious M.A. who specialises in kicking high will set the situation up before he kicks, just like an aikidoka sets the situation (Kuzushi, position) before he goes for a lock.

Both types of techniques are not simple and rudimentary, rather, those are specialized and very efficient tools that requre expertise among those who use them.

Further, one of the reasons to practice very high kicks is so the practitioner will have better lower kicks: to the middle etc.

P.S. chest hight is normally considered as middle, and the hgh kicks are aimed at the head.

Amir

Justin Azevedo
11-02-2006, 06:28 PM
Some possibly irrelevant insights from someone who has trained in Capoeira:

The secret to effective kicks is the same as the secret to... well, pretty much anything in Aikido, and most other martial arts: use the hip, not the limb.

Throwing a wild, high, fully-invested kick with the back leg is essentially the same thing as a haymaker: suicidal, but effective on the rare chance that it actually connects. Someone who is trained properly in kicking will generally either show the high kick as a precursor to a more effective technique or, as Amir said, will control the situation enough so that the kick is much more effective. For instance, Capoeiristas will feint and move in order to provoke a certain reaction from the opponent (think atemi), and then throw/show a kick once the opponent is committed to moving into the most vulnerable position relative to that kick.

In any event, don't ever let anyone tell you that a kick in and of itself is not an effective technique. In fact, my training with using my hips to kick effectively helped me considerably when I started training in Aikido. The same principles of moving from the center and creating power with your whole body rather than a single muscle or limb apply in both situations.

Jess McDonald
11-03-2006, 01:40 AM
that sounds good to me.

RampantWolf
11-03-2006, 03:28 AM
I have seen some people who study Tae Kwon Do who can throw a kick to the head about as fast as an average person could throw a punch, and with a lot more power. I would never throw a kick higher than about groin level because it just doesn't work for me... I feel unbalanced and definitely not centred when I do it. But for those that train for high kicks they seem to have no problems.

There was a show on discovery channel not long ago where some scientists compared different styles of MA, the Tae Kwon Do spinning back kick delevered over 1500 pounds of force to the crash test dummy and was also put forward as being one of the fastest martial arts.

Joe Bowen
11-03-2006, 04:04 AM
I don't think I have ever seen a Muay Tai fighter catch the others kick....hunh! Lan

You must not watch much Mauy Thai, it happens quite a bit. My Aikido instructor in Korea was a former Mauy Thai practioner and coach and I'll tell you that you don't want to be on the receiving end of a well thrown kick. I once took a glancing kick on the arm just messing around and the arm was numb and not useable for at least 30 seconds which was duly exploited.
I've also seen a Tae Kwon Do guy whose feet were so quick and legs were so subtle that no sooner had the judge finished saying fight then his opponent was kicked in the head. They weren't hard kicks, didn't knock the guy out, but it is disconcerting to be hit that fast.
Kicking has its functionality and like many have expressed on this threat, good kickers aren't just blindly throwing their legs out there.
However, it does have some disadvantages and we'd do well to learn how to kick well, so we'll be able to exploit both...

joe

stelios
11-03-2006, 08:02 AM
Have a look at
www.aikidoedintorni.com
The guy (Fabio Branno, at the video section) quite interestingly defends against many sorts of kicks. It can be done.

ian
11-03-2006, 11:34 AM
I don't consider a kick in the ribs particularly high. You are supposed to loose roughly 1/3rd of your power for every foot above your waist you kick. Thus high kicks tend to be less powerful. However power isn't always the most important thing - people can be knocked out with kicks to the head (and regularly are in competition). Speed is often more important.

High kicks are technically difficult and put the kicker in a more prone position. Often (but not always) they are a longer distance attack, so in street defence they have limited application. I wouldn't ever say they are useless. Personally I don't practise them since I think the time is better spent on other things, but many people can kick very well and very fast and I would be very wary of them.

Muay thai has a very practical and simple approach to martial training. I would listen to what your instructor says and trust them. Don't forget also that aikido derives from aiki-jitsu for samurai and so developed differently (mostly with the thought of weapons involved).

DaveS
11-06-2006, 06:54 PM
Cool, thanks everyone! I guess the consensus seems to be, once again, that essentially it's not the martial art it's the martial artist...

Michael Meister
11-07-2006, 01:10 AM
A friend of mine, doing tae kwon do told me, that high kicks (esp. to the head) will give you more points in competition.

SeanHaeussinger2
11-07-2006, 01:52 AM
This isn't directly aikido related, so apologies in advance and if it gets deleted or moved I won't be too upset...

As part of the 'why do people hate aikido' digression on kicking, there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless. I've always been told and believed this too, and can see why it should be true - a high kick is easier to see coming, sacrifices a lot of your own balance, runs the risk of being caught and messed around with, leaves you very open to some sort of counter and so on. If you want to kick high, join a chorus line.

However, I've recently started cross training in muay thai and there, going for a kick in the ribs seems to be considered a good idea. Since there's obviously a lot of competition in MT, if high kicking was a bad idea in MT competition then the people who said it was a good idea would probably have figured this out some time ago. So are there exceptions to the general rule about high kicking being iffy, or do the rules of a MT match rule out some of the reasons to avoid it? AFAICT, catching the kick and blocking it and countering are both options in a match...In my thread "creation of new techniques", I've been talking about a new style. At first, I've been talking about training with guns. Last sunday, I had my partner kick at me, though I was cautious, because I thought the head Sensei would yell at me or something.
Though by the time I'm a black belt or something, I should have my form complete, and hopefully I would have my own dojo that alllows most any attacks. So, you wouldn't worry as much if you rifle butt your partner.

Dirk Hanss
11-07-2006, 02:53 AM
As part of the 'why do people hate aikido' digression on kicking, there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless.
Coming back, there are several reasons, why people claim high kicks as 'useless':
1.) Some guys tend to claim everything as useless, they cannot perform sufficiently. ;) And they are right. Those techniques are useless for themselves at that time. Claiming they are useless for everyone in every case is just hiding incompetence :freaky:
2.) Many MA (including aikido) try first to teach their student to keep stability. If you are not firm, you offer your partner something. So in the first (20?) years, you learn standing firm on the ground. High kicks are counterproductive to these lessons and thus useless in this stage.
3.) Many high masters found after growing old, that there are principles of Budo, which if applied correctly can help you keep priority in a conflict without all these good-looking, but exhausting or even dangerous (for their body) techniques. They say that after all their years in budo, they recognised those techniques as useless or superfluous. Often the citations, that high kicks are martially totally ineffective, is a misinterpretation of what the master said.
4.) A new argument, but also a kind of synthesis of the above: Very fast and precise high kicks while being centered well (even when flying) are highly effective. You have to train very long for performing them well. You will see them very often, if the rules of competition encourage high kicks and in all other MA competition at a very high level, as you need all skills to get world champion, especially those, which are not expected, by your opponent. High kicks on lower level championships look often good, but quite often are as dangerous for the performer as for the receiver. But as some people gain some unexpected victories, they all try hard to do so.

So my personal opinion is that you should first train basic and stable techniques and much more principles. For most of us the efforts on those pay off much more than the others. In the meantime you can train high kicks, ushiro kicks, etc to get an idea, how to apply the principles to those attacks. When you master those principles, you can add, whatever you are missing. For most people in budo the reward-risk-relation is negative. In this meaning those techniques are inefficient and even useless (so not generally, but for most of us). It is totally different in competition, as when you fail, you just get up and try again. That is the environment and for this environment these techniques are developed and they match it perfectly.

Cheers Dirk

Amendes
11-07-2006, 09:38 AM
A friend of mine, doing tae kwon do told me, that high kicks (esp. to the head) will give you more points in competition.

Kick to the head is 2 points, kick to the body is 1 point under the new WTF rules.

I do Aikido and TaeKwonDo as well as Silat.

Silat kicks are very effect but they are never really higher then the waste. As for Taekwondo, in tournament we are not allowed to do all the things that would be fun to use against kicks. :-)
Basically we kick each other, that's about it. Punching is even a waste of time because you have to hit so hard. They are going to put sensors in gloves we will start wearing soon to see if its hard enough. Anyways back to where I was....

There are a few people I know that can kick high effectively in a (Street fight situation) and the ones I know who can have been doing it for at least 10 - 20 years.

My teacher is a Grandmaster in TaeKwonDo (8th Dan) who trained under the founder of Taekwondo General Choi, and Shihan in Aikido (6th Dan) as well as a 6th dan in Jujitsu who trained under Grandmaster S. Yonekawa of Japan. He also is Silat Sifu as well as a Sifu of Tai Chi. He himself told me that kicks above the waste are not for the street.If he has gone that far in All those other arts with kicks I would take his word for it. :-) He seems to have the experience.

LOL

Phischy
11-14-2006, 02:15 PM
Sean,
There is a solid reason why we do not pratice much kicking at Jiai. Taking the ukemi for it is very difficult while standing on one leg. We have praticed this in the adult class and it's very punishing on the body. I would advise not praticing kicks during open class without the approval of either Sensei or Tenley and under their supervision. If you have questions, both are very open to listening and advising. However, questions of this sort are best for after class or on Sunday's during Open Mat.

In reading the other thread about creating new techniques, you do need to be aware that all the aikido techniques you train with now are softer or alternative versions of what you'll learn in the Adult classes. Certain techniques cannot be used on teenagers due to your physiology, in that the tendons in your wrists/elbows haven't fully developed and cannot take the stress of full-speed techniques you'll learn later.

The last point you should be aware of, is in training in the kids class you're training with students who have, ballpark, the same number of months training as you. When you reach the adult classes you'll be training with students who have more years training than you've been living. In one of your threads you haven't been 'beaten up' or 'exhausted', that'll change. There are nights when I've crawled off the mat, soaked in sweat and sore as hell. Training is finding your limits and expanding them.

In reference to 'dodging bullets'. Wait a few years before you attempt that. What I would recomend is first being able to dodge an adult with a knife in a classic chest-thrust and a helluva lot less dangerous than a 9mm or .45 Once you've gotten that down, then work on bokken (think of it as a baseball bat) take aways etc... The speed and force in the adult class should humble you.

I applaud your enthusiasm, just remember there is a lot left to learn. So train often, train with intent and stick with it until you're promoted into the Adult classes where everything you know about Aikido will change and new challenges will be presented to you. Then you'll have a chance to work with kicks, and taking the falls.

Eric

aikigirl10
11-29-2006, 07:35 PM
personally i think high kicks are great.
i've kicked people in the face before and it seems very effective...
the pain doesn't surprise them so much as the fact that i actually kicked them in the face

and ya know i've been kicked in the face too... and of course didn't see it coming at all
like some people have said it depends on who's doing the kicking

DaveS
11-29-2006, 09:13 PM
personally i think high kicks are great.
i've kicked people in the face before and it seems very effective...
the pain doesn't surprise them so much as the fact that i actually kicked them in the face

and ya know i've been kicked in the face too... and of course didn't see it coming at all
like some people have said it depends on who's doing the kicking
As it happens, I got kicked in the throat tonight and was pretty surprised by that. And yes it was pretty much entirely my own fault - I've really got to remember the golden rule: your face and neck were not meant for blocking...

raul rodrigo
11-29-2006, 09:34 PM
During a seminar, the shihan was asked to demonstrate a kick defense against a full speed attack. His technique dumped my teacher, the uke, on his back and apparently put a lot of stress on the knee because he was unable to do kneeling techniques for three weeks afterward. Theres a reason why we dont do the kick defenses at full speed.

Rupert Atkinson
11-29-2006, 09:48 PM
there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless...

This is really simple - you will find exactly what you look for.

Most high kicks are martially useless because most people can't do them, and many of those who can can't do them well. But, if they have trained well, then high kicks can be very useful. Since most people can't do them well, it follows that most people say they are useless. So, why not try finding someone who can do them well, then ask them what they think? But I think we already know the answer.

DaveS
11-29-2006, 10:13 PM
This is really simple - you will find exactly what you look for.

Most high kicks are martially useless because most people can't do them, and many of those who can can't do them well. But, if they have trained well, then high kicks can be very useful. Since most people can't do them well, it follows that most people say they are useless. So, why not try finding someone who can do them well, then ask them what they think? But I think we already know the answer.
Yep, that was what I was beginning to think...

As regards the aikido related posts[1], I'm pretty well aware that my own aikido training doesn't deal with kicks at all and this doesn't bother me. I was really more interested in high kicks in a general sense and (I guess) from the point of view of the kicker rather than the point of view of the aikido practicing kickee.

I guess the other interesting thing that I'm learning is how much of muay thai is about punching rather than kicking anyway!

[1] so yes, this is spectacularly off topic

Cady Goldfield
12-01-2006, 07:26 PM
IMHO, it really all depends on "who" is doing the kicking and how well they do it.

General rules are just that, general.

It also depends on who is being kicked at, and how well they know how to move in, connect with and control the kicker.

I spent the first 20+ years of my MA studies in karate and "old style" TKD (read: karate adapted by Koreans during the Japanese occupation). All of our kicks "back then" were low, in fact below the waist and definitely never higher than the waist. We focused on knees, insides of knee and thigh, ankle, instep stomping.

It wasn't until the late 70s that high kicking started to make a genuine presence. Koreans were beginning to move their training away from the Japanese model and more toward a nationalistic Korean style promulgated by Gen. Choi Hong Hi and other guys who had learned karate during the occupation, but also had vestiges of old Korean kicking arts. We started having to add wheel kicks and other high stuff to our repertoire. A lot of us old stylists grumbled about how vulnerable the movements made us.

And when TKD became an Olympics demo sport (later a full sport), the flashy kicks really took off. Even some kung fu and karate schools started adding them to attract new students who were dazzled by the acrobatics.

Are they useful? If you are really quick and powerful, you can make them work against...some people. Don't try them on a grappler, though. They eat those kinds of openings for breakfast. Maybe as a substitute for a sucker punch, but why take the risk.

Stick to low kicks, or even better, learn to kick like a sumo guy.

Kevin Leavitt
12-02-2006, 10:45 AM
I typically use low kicks. Occassionally there is the perfect opening for a high kick, spinning kick, or skipping side kick that is just there.

I learned a great deal from my Karate days about mid distance and control.

Watch the UFC, a usually see a few higher kicks than you'd think would be practical thrown.

I have been successful with kicking grapplers in the head. That said, I would be very careful about high kicks as you are planted longer and more off balance than from a low kick, which can translate into a takedown by your opponent.

It is important to have a good arsenal of weapons. High kicks do belong in that arsenal.

JAMJTX
12-09-2006, 01:34 PM
I don't consider the ribs to be a high kick. "high" is when we start to get above solar plexus, but most people are talking about the head.

My first Tae Kwon Do teacher taught us to never kick higher than the level of our own nose. My my general rule now is not higher than your own solar plexus. This can still be considered high, because it is above the center. But it's not high to the point where you may have to lean back and stretch to reach. You can still keep weight forward driving into the kick.

It is easier to defend against a higher kick and you are more vulnerable in that position. But it's not impossible and it does depend a lot on who is doing the kicking and who is doing the defending. A skilled kicker verses someone who is not so skilled in kick defenses, the high kicker will win.

I had a Goju Ryu teacher who was once sparring with someone who believed that: 1) high kicks did not work 2) Goju Ryu stylists never did high kicks. He stopped believing both very shortly after Sensei knocked him down with head kick - probably before he hit the ground.

Cady Goldfield
12-09-2006, 01:48 PM
I trained for many years at a TKD dojang in Boston where TV actor/comedian Joe Rogan was a student (it was before his big break in showbiz, but he was doing standup comedy work in the area clubs). He was one of the most talented kickers I've seen, including Koreans, and was one of the few TKD technicians whom I believe could drop even a gifted grappler once he was familiarized with jujutsu/grappling strategy. He had the speed, timing and "calculated intuition" to set up an opponent.

Some people just have natural ability, which when coupled with an aggressive nature and a keen strategic intelligence, could take almost any kind of art and make it workable. But most people can't "make it work" consistently and under a variety of conditions, and even Joe would meet his match in certain settings and conditions. Nobody's perfect. ;)

Really, it comes down to what your handful of most effective, reliable and consistantly successful techniques are. If high kicks are one of them, that's great. But I suspect that the majority of people, except for those of the highest skill level, are going to rely on methods that minimize their exposure and moments of vulnerability, and which they can quickly pull off using only gross motor movements when under pressure rather than refined ones.

clockworkmechanicalman
12-25-2006, 02:29 PM
wow! lots of great posts. as a former TKD student i can say that without a doubt high kicks work, but it depends on the situation. one should set up the high kick with a low kick, like a boxer's 1-2 (jab-straight) combo. that being said high kicks take alot of streching to maintain. since i've quit TKD (which was some time ago) i've also quit streching (regularly). i can still throw the 3 basic kick (front, roundhouse, and side), and some variations like step-side, and spinning roundhouse kicks. but the lack of practice has really left most of my spinning back kicks below par. plus i can't kick above the sternum. i used to be able to kick apples off people's heads (like a TKD william tell), but not anymore. if i was in a situation that i couldn't get out of, high kicks would not be my priorty. i would snap kick to the man-berries or step side kick to the front (or side) of the knees. also i wouldn't kick higher than that because of the lack of balance involved. that being said muay thai using an arsenal of low kicks as well as the high kicks mentioned earlier. i do love to watch muay thai, but the thought of kicking with my shins brings back painful soccer memories. speaking of which why do we call football, soccer and rugby(well american rugby), football? they (american footballers)don't even use their feet...well not that much anyways.

aikidoc
12-25-2006, 04:01 PM
anyone able to get the video of fabio branno to play?

statisticool
12-26-2006, 02:00 PM
I've always been told and believed this too, and can see why it should be true - a high kick is easier to see coming, sacrifices a lot of your own balance, runs the risk of being caught and messed around with, leaves you very open to some sort of counter and so on. If you want to kick high, join a chorus line.

However, I've recently started cross training in muay thai and there, going for a kick in the ribs seems to be considered a good idea.


I think that 'you can see it coming' can be said about a lot of techniques. Although, even if you can see it coming, it doesn't mean you can avoid it or avoid it unscathed.

Cady Goldfield
12-26-2006, 05:16 PM
I pity the fool who throws a high kick at someone whose sense of perception is well trained, and thus perceives such kicks in slo-mo and can attack the kicker in the wink of an eye. The ultimate in martial training is to have that level of perception. It ain't Matrix, it's just having a neuro-muscular system that has been conditioned against increasing speed of attacks. Combine it with the experience-tempered ability to "read" the opponent before he even fires a kick, and high kicks are a suicide choice. Been there, dunnat.

statisticool
12-26-2006, 09:43 PM
I think a drill that could be fun is to have A and B square off. Have B throw a spinning (important) kick somewhere at A. A can see a spinning kick coming, so have A try and playfully kick-push B in the butt midway through the spin.

If A cannot do this the majority of the time, then A cannot do something similar when a non-spinning kick is thrown.

Cady Goldfield
12-26-2006, 10:23 PM
We actually used to do that as part of our drills, "back in the day" when I was training in TKD. It was fun, but in retrospect, I'd rather have moved in and taken the partner down in a pin and choke. :)

Tharis
12-27-2006, 11:40 AM
Stick to low kicks, or even better, learn to kick like a sumo guy.

What does this mean? How do sumo guys kick?

Cady Goldfield
12-27-2006, 01:23 PM
I'm no expert there, Thomas, and was just speaking from admiration having seen the power they generate while kicking low (into the thigh/quads, calf, inside of knee or ankle), and not exposing themselves to counters. They aren't using the usual hip torque; their whole body is behind it. I recently saw a video (someone posted a link on E-Budo or here) on YouTube of Aunkai guys doing it, and it involves internal forces rather than the familiar karate/TKD type externals.

hkronin
01-02-2007, 11:44 AM
If you want to see the effectiveness of high kicks, just search for some highlight reels of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. You can find many on You Tube. Mirko has knocked out more opponents with a kick to the head, than any other method, and we are talking about heavy weight mixed martial arts professionals. The caliber of opponents he has defeated with these kicks is just as impressive as the kicks themselves.

Of course this is one man, with an exceptional talent, but it should put to rest any controversy to the effectiveness of the strike. Like many previous posters have mentioned, it's all in how well you can deliver the strike. The problem for many people who train this type of strike, is that they train for Karate, Taekwondo tournaments where their goal is to reach the head, but no necessarily impact with power. The latter is a much different skill.

Cady Goldfield
01-02-2007, 01:56 PM
Paul,
Any strike to the noggin with a blunt instrument, arriving at the peak of acceleration, is gonna leave a mark. I just question whether the foot is the best of those blunt instruments with which to deliver that strike, when there are equally effective ways that are easier and leave one less vulnerable to countering.

And I note this after a quarter of a century of karate and TKD study. Again, high kicks (for anything but sport competition) are for the exceptional, but not the average or typical practitioner.

hkronin
01-02-2007, 04:48 PM
Paul,
Any strike to the noggin with a blunt instrument, arriving at the peak of acceleration, is gonna leave a mark. I just question whether the foot is the best of those blunt instruments with which to deliver that strike, when there are equally effective ways that are easier and leave one less vulnerable to countering.

And I note this after a quarter of a century of karate and TKD study. Again, high kicks (for anything but sport competition) are for the exceptional, but not the average or typical practitioner.

Cady,

Thanks for the reply to my comment. I brought up the example of Mirko Filipovic because that was an example of someone using a high kick successfully against expert BJJ fighters, olympic wrestlers, k-1 fighters, judo gold medalists, muy thai fighters...etc.

Keep in mind that he is known for these high kicks, everyone he fights is expecting him to use the left high kick, his opponents are experts in grappling and taking down their opponents, and yet he still pulls it off. Obviously, not everyone will be as good as Mirko, but then again, how likely is it that anyone of us will face olympic level wrestlers on the street. It's just an example that it can and has been used succesfully against opponents who would be best suited to counter it and take down their opponent. (which is considered the biggest risk of throwing a high kick.)

As far as there being "equally effective" and "easier" ways of striking or dealing with an opponent, I would say that it all depends on the context. I think any technique would be effective under the right set of circumstances, yet a poor choice in other circumstances. A high kick is just one more tool in your toolbox to use if need be. A pefect example is Ray Mercer (professional heavyweight boxer) going into K-1 to fight Remy Bonjawski (kick boxer). Why box a boxer when you can kick him in the head. By the way, the fight was over in about 10 seconds from a high kick to Mercer's head. In that situation, that was a good tool to use.

I agree that it is a difficult skill to excel at and be able to pull off in a fight, or self defense situation, but so is everything I've learned in Aikido and every other martial art I've trained in. It's just the nature of the beast. That's martial arts. If you want an easier more reliable weapon, but a gun. Training to do something difficult is what makes it fun! :)

For what it's worth, I used to share the same opinion as you that it was just not a practical technique. Then I saw people use it succesfully over and over again, and I realized it was the incorrect application of the technique by many people that was faulty, not the concept of the technique itself.

That's just my humble opinion.

Cady Goldfield
01-02-2007, 04:56 PM
Hey, I love kicking (and punching, too) -- I've been training in other arts for years now, but once a kicker (and puncher)... well, it's hard to get it out of your system.

As long as you practice with other kickers, then sure those high kicks have a good chance of serving you. But I gotta tell you -- the guys I train with now will take you apart if you try it (and so will I, know that I've learned some of their skills). In summary: Don't try high kicks with highly trained grapplers! :D

I sure do love watching first-rate high kickers, though. It's a fine show of athleticism and coordination.

hkronin
01-03-2007, 02:33 AM
Enjoy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9Pc4igX85s

DaveS
01-03-2007, 10:06 PM
As long as you practice with other kickers, then sure those high kicks have a good chance of serving you. But I gotta tell you -- the guys I train with now will take you apart if you try it (and so will I, know that I've learned some of their skills). In summary: Don't try high kicks with highly trained grapplers! :D
One thing that a lot of people seem to have been saying is that you need to set up a high kick and / or wait for a suitable opening. Is it that highly trained grapplers have particularly better resources against a high kick[1] or just that they don't obligingly stand there and box with you until that opening arrives? So rather than carefully waiting for an oppurtunity you tend to either end up grappling on the floor or getting impatient and going for a high kick when the opening isn't there....

I'm suggesting this based on reading what other people have said and 'thinking about it' rather than from experience of trying it,[2] but afaict once someone's sharp enough / well trained enough to see the high kick coming and go for an effective counter, aren't they going to pretty much own you whether they're a grappler or not?

[1] and I can see alot of things I wouldn't want to happen to me while high kicking a grappler, but then I wouldn't want a highly trained muay thai fighter to catch my leg and then elbow me in the side of the head,either.
[2] the latter seeming to be a rather better way of arriving at the truth on these sorts of issues....

hkronin
01-04-2007, 10:55 AM
One thing that a lot of people seem to have been saying is that you need to set up a high kick and / or wait for a suitable opening. Is it that highly trained grapplers have particularly better resources against a high kick[1] or just that they don't obligingly stand there and box with you until that opening arrives? So rather than carefully waiting for an oppurtunity you tend to either end up grappling on the floor or getting impatient and going for a high kick when the opening isn't there....

I'm suggesting this based on reading what other people have said and 'thinking about it' rather than from experience of trying it,[2] but afaict once someone's sharp enough / well trained enough to see the high kick coming and go for an effective counter, aren't they going to pretty much own you whether they're a grappler or not?

[1] and I can see alot of things I wouldn't want to happen to me while high kicking a grappler, but then I wouldn't want a highly trained muay thai fighter to catch my leg and then elbow me in the side of the head,either.
[2] the latter seeming to be a rather better way of arriving at the truth on these sorts of issues....

Hi David. Good analysis there.

One thing about good high kickers like the link I posted above is that they are also good leg and body kickers. With good kickers, the kicks all look the same at the onset. After a few leg or body kicks, you can be a little leary of taking another, and then that's when one comes to the head. It looks like another leg kick, but goes to the head before you realize it. Logic would tell you that the sheer distance it has to travel would tip you off, but they can be very difficult to see, and very difficult to predict where they land, especially if you are also focused on their hands and other possible weapons. It happens very fast.

There is also a preconception, that anyone who is a good grappler can take a striker down at will. For most opponents this is in fact the case, but I have seen many strikers develop excellent sprawling skills, that make it very difficult, almost impossible to take down. Look at Chuck Liddel, Mirko Filipovic, George StPierre.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 03:04 PM
As was discussed earlier, there are always exceptions, and exceptional people. But they are not the norm.

Keep in mind that the kicks we practice in the p/k arts today -- wheel kicks, spinning back kicks, all of the jumping high kicks -- are contemporary in making. They were not a part of classical self-defense or combat arts, even though they might have been kept as an "artsy" extra in some of the old Chinese arts that had moved into the realm of performance or spiritual art and away from street "practical" combat. TKD, "Home of the High Kicks" is a modern art that was cobbled together from Shotokan karate and (apocryphal) vestiges of Korean leg-fighting and kicking systems that were alleged to have been practiced as sport, and for entertainment in the royal court -- not the battle field or street.

In short, these kicks are meant to be performed against other kickers, and the fighting strategies that most people practice in their schools are designed with other kickers in mind. That's how most people spart, in other words. Even most "self-defense" routines seldom start with a high, spinning or flying kick; they are mainly a "finishing-off" technique after the "bad guy" has been incapacitated with strikes, punches or other less vulnerable actions.

Unless you train with grapplers who, in the skills of their arts, are equal or superior to your skill in your kicking art, you will not learn how to make high kicks work effectively against a good or superior grappler.

That was my "beef" after training in TKD and karate, as well as "external" Chinese arts, for many years; we trained only against our own system and its stylized methods. To obtain an understanding of the limitations of this type of training, I ultimately had to leave and take up grappling/jujutsu and MMA. The experience clarified, nearly immediately, both the weaknesses and potential strengths of high kicks are.

Kevin Leavitt
01-04-2007, 03:20 PM
Hey Cady, you know that Joe Rogan is supposedly a decent BJJ/MMA guy under Eddie Bravo these days as well as having his day job? Apparently he is a very well rounded martial artist.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 03:27 PM
Kevin,
Joe -- like a lot of serious martial artists -- realized the limitations of a strictly p/k curriculum. I recall reading a year or two ago that he was pursuing grappling and MMA, and thought "well, I might have known." :) It doesn't surprise me that he is "decent" at it. He is gifted athletically and spatially, and also is very focused and disciplined. I always liked watching him train at the dojang, and even got some good tips from him that I have kept with me over many years.

statisticool
01-04-2007, 09:28 PM
Logic would tell you that the sheer distance it has to travel would tip you off, but they can be very difficult to see, and very difficult to predict where they land, especially if you are also focused on their hands and other possible weapons. It happens very fast.


Not to mention, legs being powered by the body's most powerful muscles, and gaining a lot of momentum, the kicks tend to crash through defences, basically slamming ones own hands into their body.

statisticool
01-04-2007, 09:31 PM
TKD, "Home of the High Kicks" is a modern art that was cobbled together from Shotokan karate and (apocryphal) vestiges of Korean leg-fighting and kicking systems that were alleged to have been practiced as sport, and for entertainment in the royal court -- not the battle field or street.

In short, these kicks are meant to be performed against other kickers, and the fighting strategies that most people practice in their schools are designed with other kickers in mind. That's how most people spart, in other words.


I'm wondering what the use of grappling is in the "street"? It seems to be a superior method for getting tangled up with one opponent while the others stomp on you.

Cady Goldfield
01-04-2007, 10:23 PM
Justin, I use "grappling" and "jujutsu" interchangeably, though some people think "wrestling" when they say grappling. Jujutsu skills can help you pin, lock up or break your opponent's joints, knock him out, etc. In my experience, pretty much all fights end up on the ground, and that's where it helps to know how to "think OFF your feet." ;)

I agree with you about the down side. Even a grappler is vulnerable on the ground. Worst fights I've witnessed were two guys rolling on the ground, and a bunch of one guy's buddies start attacking him with kicks to the head, groin, ribs while he's on top of their friend.

Chris Birke
01-04-2007, 11:27 PM
Agreed Justin, clearly you speak from expirence. Professionals like bouncers and cops never grapple; too dangerous on the street. Grappling is simply choosing to be on the bottom...

DonMagee
01-05-2007, 09:35 AM
Kevin,
Joe -- like a lot of serious martial artists -- realized the limitations of a strictly p/k curriculum. I recall reading a year or two ago that he was pursuing grappling and MMA, and thought "well, I might have known." :) It doesn't surprise me that he is "decent" at it. He is gifted athletically and spatially, and also is very focused and disciplined. I always liked watching him train at the dojang, and even got some good tips from him that I have kept with me over many years.

He's not just decent, he's a brown belt. Thats a huge accomplishment in bjj.

Michael McCaslin
01-05-2007, 11:00 AM
Agreed Justin, clearly you speak from expirence. Professionals like bouncers and cops never grapple; too dangerous on the street. Grappling is simply choosing to be on the bottom...

Uhhh.... nope.

You have to be careful using "professionals" and "never" in the same sentence, particularly in a public forum where some of them hang out (for the record, I'm not one of them).

I'm pretty sure it's been pointed out here before, but if it hasn't now is as good a time as any. "Professionals" like cops and bouncers have fewer options at their disposal in a confrontation than a "civilian" does. If a citizen's safety is threatened, he is (in most states) justified in taking any reasonable action to defend himself. He can just kick the aggressor in the groin and run.

Cops and bouncers, on the other hand, have rules of engagement and force escalation they must follow. They also don't have the option of the "Reebok defense." They are often forced to grab and control people (which meets the definition of grappling IMHO) who a person not acting in a professional capacity might just decide to bash over the head and be done with it.

In general, it is much harder for the pros to engage a threat in a proactive manner, because liability concerns typically drive them to escalate force in a reactive mode, and limit their options when they do. The general populace is not subject to these limitations.

This, IMHO, is one reason you see the professionals gravitating towards grappling training against resistive opponents over the last several years. It's much less risky from a liability standpoint (and arguably more effective) than hitting someone with a club (especially when you are constrained as to where, how hard, and how often you can do it), and you can't tase everyone.

Us regular folks are allowed to kill monsters. Cops usually have to figure out a way to get a leash on them. It's a tough job.

Ron Tisdale
01-05-2007, 11:23 AM
Nice post Michael.

Best,
Ron

statisticool
01-05-2007, 03:20 PM
Grappling is simply choosing to be on the bottom...

Of course not. But the bulk of its teachings certainly are about getting tangled up with somebody. Check out any BJJ cirriculum and see how many kicks and punches they do.

And with multiple opponents, unlike with single opponents, it doesn't have a prayer.

hkronin
01-05-2007, 11:10 PM
In my experience, pretty much all fights end up on the ground,


I have heard this phrase so often, but I disagree with it's connotations. If therre were some type of concrete data to prove what percentage of fights ended up on the ground, I wouldn't be surprised at all to see it above 70%. I don't have a problem with the statement as much as what it implies.

What I disagree with is the logic, that {all fights end up on the ground, therefore it is best to train on the ground because that is where you will end up if you find yourself in a fight}

First of all, I do train in grappling and I love it, so this is not a stand up vs. grappling argument. I just think that the logic is flawed in the above statement.

I think a large number of fights go to the ground for the following reasons.

1) most fights start on the feet. Once on person begins to lose this battle, it is instinct to try a different plan, i.e. grab the guy.

2) Most people have little stand up fighting skill, most people are somewhat instintively afraid of getting hit, and grabbing an opponent is a natural reaction to having someone trying to strike you.

3) More people have wrestling/ football experienceup training...which involves grabbing and taking to the ground, than stand up/ fighting training.

Now in my opinion, being a trained martial artist, we shouldn't have to accept "going to the ground" as the likely end to any confrontation. Having said that I believe in being skilled on the ground which is why I train there as well, there's nothing worse that getting taken down, and having all of your years of training flushed down the toilet becuse you have no clue what to do down there. I just don't think any martial artist should accept going to the ground as the inevitable.

statisticool
01-06-2007, 07:06 AM
Cady Goldfield wrote:

"In my experience, pretty much all fights end up on the ground, "

Are you talking about real self defense situations, or sport encounters?

Cady Goldfield
01-06-2007, 08:13 AM
The ones I've seen in bars, behind football fields, and in the less pleasant parts of the city I had to walk through on my way home from work. Some have been at sporting events but involved the parents of children playing the sports.

Kenji_08
03-15-2007, 11:16 PM
I agree that most fights end up on the ground. I am a 17 year old high school student. I have seen many fights and I have never seen a fight stay off the floor unless it was a one hit fight. This is why I train on the floor.

On the subject of high kicks. They are almost useless in street fights but they do make a good set up kick. However it is always there if you need it.

mike.quinn@fsmail.net
03-20-2007, 06:58 PM
Hi Guys,
My first post so be gentle?. Are we talking high kicks from a sport or self defence situation?. Do not confuse the two ok. M.T I understand to be a sport, same as kickboxing etc. The older DO arts are based on tradition ie self defence and battlefield etc. First I would not kick anyone in the head except most extreme situation blah blah. Effective if you make contact but risky if you miss. Thats your choice. Take the consequences in a self defence situation. However, kicks would normally require a long range unless your rubber man or Bruce Lee. Most streetfights say after an argument start at talking distance say 2 /4 feet apart then rapid distance close down. You might not get the chance to kick. There are clues in traditional Karate where kicks are always low. Why?. Perhaps there is your answer unless you dismiss a whole style/art. There are no high kicks in any Kata ( a visual encyclopedia) of techniques. High kicks only became of use after intro of competition after the war. Hope this is of use. Thanks.

Cady Goldfield
03-20-2007, 07:29 PM
Yes, high kicks are the most recent addition and mainly were included for show and sport. My first MA was the "old" TKD, the type that Gen. Hong Hi Choi extracted from Funikoshi's interpretation of karate. Early TKD was essentiallly Shotokan karate-do. Kicks were never higher than the waist, and generally targeted the hip bone (to control and turn the opponent), knees, ankles and insteps (stomps). There was a lot of powerful punching.

As the Japanese occupation ended, Koreans were quick to separate themselves from Japanese influence and started to alter their TKD-karate into something more visibly Korean. That included de-emphasis of hand techniques (and for many dojangs, the loss of the sources of upper-body power was lost as well), and splicing the retained low kicks with some of the remnants (so the legend goes) of the old Korean taekyon kicking sport-art used as a royal court entertainment in the feudal period.

They also changed the way the former Japanese kicks (which were Okinawan kicks, which were Chinese kicks ;) ) were chambered, to allow for a more mobile, on-the-move style of fighting. The high and spinning-high kicks (wheel kicks, jump spinning axe kicks...) were added here as well, mostly as a crowd pleaser for demonstrations.

By the late 1970s, TKD had divested itself entirely of karate. But it also sportified itself and many schools and systems of TKD had become more sport than MA.

I wrote earlier that very few people can use high and spinning kicks effectively against a good jujutsu guy/grappler, MMA fighter and basically any good MAist who has developed a keen eye for the timing and tactics of kickers. Kickers are among the (if not THE) most vulnerable of fighters, because picking one foot off the ground and commiting to its use places the fighter on only one leg.

It's risky, and not worth cultivating oneself as a one-trick pony in hopes that you can use those high kicks as your main source of fighting. Better to be very well versed in other things and save the high kick to finish off your opponent with a flourish when he is already dazed... :D