Benjie Lu wrote:
In our dojo, we practice extensively against mae giri or kicking attacks, high kicks, low kicks and all other kicks in between.
In my experience, high kicks are generally less effective than say a low thigh kick. Again, we emphasize ma-ai and irimi when dealing with kicks. I think it is good practice for aikidoka to learn how to defend against kicks because other martial artists who are very skilled in kicks can cause serious injury from the force of their kicks and their sheer speed when delivered by a skilled MA makes them very difficult to anticipate.
I agree wholeheartly with Benjie that ma-ai (distancing) is the emphasis when kick attacks are concerned. Generally, skilled karate-ka and TKD exponents will only kick when the target is already within range which is logical since the success rate is higher than moving into range to kick as the target could be moving away or moving in to jam the kick.
Being the sole yudansha in karate in my class, I was always called upon to do attack my sensei with a maegiri. From where I was standing, I always knew that it was a waste of my effort - the distance was not right, I had to charge in to kick - thus telegraphed my intention which I have been trained not to so do. Times when he was within my kicking range, I would kick in an honest but controlled manner allowing him to move and execute his countering technique. I can honestly tell you that I could have easily brought him down with my kicks if I wanted to. I am sure that many of you guys who have been trained in competition fights will agree that the speed of the maegiri and reverse punch is not to be underestimated especially when the attacker is within the striking range.
I think my teacher was aware of this and he reminded the class that the techniques he did were for exercise only