Chuck Clark wrote:
Think again, Andrea. The movements of kicks and punches are quite different due to the mechanical workings of the joints involved. Kicks tend to always work in arcs and punches can come at you in a very straight line.
If you always watch the center line and shoulders of the uke, you can see any pre-movement body shift to take weight off a leg in order to kick (this works for the punches, too). Arcs are also much easier to see and enter into.
This is true only of you are dealing with traditional Thai / Korean /Japanese / Okinawan styles of kicking. When you look at the South Asian styles or even an art like the Russian Systema kicks can be done at exactly the same range as the hands. In terms of the Jeet Kun Do ranges mentioned above We typically think of kicks at "kicking range", knees at "punching" and "trapping range" and , unless you are familiar with Thai close quarters knee techniques, we don;t usually consider kicks at grappingrange.
In your Kali, Silat, Kuntao styles or the Russian Systema you will see an array of close quarters leg techniques. The lines are often quite deceptive so that they tend to cause you to block on the wrong plane (the Jeet Kun Do folks call this PIA or Progressive Indirect attack which loosely translated means an attack that changes vectors in mid flight).
In all these systems there is a smooth transition from strikes using the legs / knees / feet to foot traps and entanglements. So the person doing what i recommended earler which is to enter directly to the attacker's center and jam the potential kick will still have to deal with non-impact use of the feet.
It is this reason that I beleive we discover an area which has largely disappeared from Aikido but I think ewas once important, trapping tha foot of the attacker. If you look at Silat for example, there are many technbiques that are very similar to those we know from Aikido. The difference is ath they are usually done without grabbing (using entanglement instead) and very frequently the defender enters directly in and manages to step on the attacker's foot thereby trapping it. Not only does this prevent him from making a balancing step in order to not fall, but it also prevents the use of that foot for impact technique. I think this type of training disappeared from Aikido because it is somewhat dangerous. If you think of a kokyunage executed when the ukes front foot is trapped you can see that as he falls in the typical spiral he will dislocate his ankle if you do not realease the foot.
When I started to investigate this I was supposing that these may havre been in Aikido at one time. Later my Assidtant Chief Instructor, Kevin Lam, told me that in fact Imaizumi Sensei had specifically stated in class that foot trapping had been important in applied technique.
Any, trapping is an important part of kick defense once you start considering the use of the legs and feet in these other styles.