David Sim wrote:
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.