Re: High kicking
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).
Last edited by ian : 11-03-2006 at 11:37 AM.