We've only trained defense against kicks one time. It was when I was still 6th kyu. During individual warm up I decided to do some leg exercises from my Tae Kwon Do days and my sensei decided to devote the entire session to kick defence.
Kicks come in these basic variants
piercing side kicks
high and low sweeps (inside and outside)
(did I forget any?)
against both snap kicks and sweeping/hooking kicks above the knee area, the defence was to step in past the kicking leg and either grab the leg or go in towards the body for a throw. I dont know how much of this was aikido, because my sensei also has a high rank in karate and he stressed that this session was dedicated to defence.
for the side kick it is very difficult to go past, so the defence here was to keep distance and move in after the kick had finished.
The best defense against kicks I find is to get close to the opponent (like Mike said). My flat mate is a Tae Kwon Do blackbelt and we do some friendly sparring every once in a while. If I am outside his range he will usually rush in with some mad feint combo kicks and get me, but if I can avoid his first kick and go in, often I can catch him off balance (now he is aware of this and it is not easy to pull off).
From Tae Kwon Do, I have other defenses, like hard blocking with either arms or legs, or kicking the leg first, usually aiming for his knee and trying to skid the leg in towards his groin, which is very open during kicks. But these blocks are painful and they remind me why I quit Tae Kwon Do in the first place.
Oh and I never ever kick without a guard up. Now I mostly do chinese style kicking, never above the waist. The arm on the same side as the leg is stretched out to meet any incoming attacks, the other one ready to guard the groin.
Last edited by gasman : 10-04-2002 at 08:37 AM.