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Old 11-02-2006, 11:25 AM   #1
DaveS
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High kicking

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...
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Old 11-02-2006, 12:25 PM   #2
SeiserL
 
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
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?
IMHO, it really all depends on "who" is doing the kicking and how well they do it.

General rules are just that, general.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:29 PM   #3
justin
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Re: High kicking

answering from a karate background most high kicks are just a rouse to which a more powerful technique is delivered
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:31 PM   #4
Lan Powers
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Re: High kicking

I don't think I have ever seen a Muay Tai fighter catch the others kick....hunh!
Lan

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Old 11-02-2006, 04:34 PM   #5
Lyle Bogin
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Re: High kicking

I have known a few martial artists that could knock down an opponent with one kick to the head. It's not as easy to see coming as one might think, especially if you use your lead leg.
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Old 11-02-2006, 04:45 PM   #6
Amir Krause
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
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.

Amir
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Old 11-02-2006, 06:28 PM   #7
Justin Azevedo
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Re: High kicking

Some possibly irrelevant insights from someone who has trained in Capoeira:

The secret to effective kicks is the same as the secret to... well, pretty much anything in Aikido, and most other martial arts: use the hip, not the limb.

Throwing a wild, high, fully-invested kick with the back leg is essentially the same thing as a haymaker: suicidal, but effective on the rare chance that it actually connects. Someone who is trained properly in kicking will generally either show the high kick as a precursor to a more effective technique or, as Amir said, will control the situation enough so that the kick is much more effective. For instance, Capoeiristas will feint and move in order to provoke a certain reaction from the opponent (think atemi), and then throw/show a kick once the opponent is committed to moving into the most vulnerable position relative to that kick.

In any event, don't ever let anyone tell you that a kick in and of itself is not an effective technique. In fact, my training with using my hips to kick effectively helped me considerably when I started training in Aikido. The same principles of moving from the center and creating power with your whole body rather than a single muscle or limb apply in both situations.
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Old 11-03-2006, 01:40 AM   #8
Jess McDonald
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Re: High kicking

that sounds good to me.
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Old 11-03-2006, 03:28 AM   #9
RampantWolf
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Re: High kicking

I have seen some people who study Tae Kwon Do who can throw a kick to the head about as fast as an average person could throw a punch, and with a lot more power. I would never throw a kick higher than about groin level because it just doesn't work for me... I feel unbalanced and definitely not centred when I do it. But for those that train for high kicks they seem to have no problems.

There was a show on discovery channel not long ago where some scientists compared different styles of MA, the Tae Kwon Do spinning back kick delevered over 1500 pounds of force to the crash test dummy and was also put forward as being one of the fastest martial arts.

If it's stupid but works, it isn't stupid.
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Old 11-03-2006, 04:04 AM   #10
Joe Bowen
 
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
Lan Powers wrote:
I don't think I have ever seen a Muay Tai fighter catch the others kick....hunh! Lan
You must not watch much Mauy Thai, it happens quite a bit. My Aikido instructor in Korea was a former Mauy Thai practioner and coach and I'll tell you that you don't want to be on the receiving end of a well thrown kick. I once took a glancing kick on the arm just messing around and the arm was numb and not useable for at least 30 seconds which was duly exploited.
I've also seen a Tae Kwon Do guy whose feet were so quick and legs were so subtle that no sooner had the judge finished saying fight then his opponent was kicked in the head. They weren't hard kicks, didn't knock the guy out, but it is disconcerting to be hit that fast.
Kicking has its functionality and like many have expressed on this threat, good kickers aren't just blindly throwing their legs out there.
However, it does have some disadvantages and we'd do well to learn how to kick well, so we'll be able to exploit both...

joe
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Old 11-03-2006, 08:02 AM   #11
stelios
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Re: High kicking

Have a look at
www.aikidoedintorni.com
The guy (Fabio Branno, at the video section) quite interestingly defends against many sorts of kicks. It can be done.

Last edited by stelios : 11-03-2006 at 08:04 AM.
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Old 11-03-2006, 11:34 AM   #12
ian
 
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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.

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Old 11-06-2006, 06:54 PM   #13
DaveS
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Re: High kicking

Cool, thanks everyone! I guess the consensus seems to be, once again, that essentially it's not the martial art it's the martial artist...
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:10 AM   #14
Michael Meister
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Re: High kicking

A friend of mine, doing tae kwon do told me, that high kicks (esp. to the head) will give you more points in competition.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:52 AM   #15
SeanHaeussinger2
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
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...
In my thread "creation of new techniques", I've been talking about a new style. At first, I've been talking about training with guns. Last sunday, I had my partner kick at me, though I was cautious, because I thought the head Sensei would yell at me or something.
Though by the time I'm a black belt or something, I should have my form complete, and hopefully I would have my own dojo that alllows most any attacks. So, you wouldn't worry as much if you rifle butt your partner.

Last edited by SeanHaeussinger2 : 11-07-2006 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:53 AM   #16
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
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.
Coming back, there are several reasons, why people claim high kicks as 'useless':
1.) Some guys tend to claim everything as useless, they cannot perform sufficiently. And they are right. Those techniques are useless for themselves at that time. Claiming they are useless for everyone in every case is just hiding incompetence
2.) Many MA (including aikido) try first to teach their student to keep stability. If you are not firm, you offer your partner something. So in the first (20?) years, you learn standing firm on the ground. High kicks are counterproductive to these lessons and thus useless in this stage.
3.) Many high masters found after growing old, that there are principles of Budo, which if applied correctly can help you keep priority in a conflict without all these good-looking, but exhausting or even dangerous (for their body) techniques. They say that after all their years in budo, they recognised those techniques as useless or superfluous. Often the citations, that high kicks are martially totally ineffective, is a misinterpretation of what the master said.
4.) A new argument, but also a kind of synthesis of the above: Very fast and precise high kicks while being centered well (even when flying) are highly effective. You have to train very long for performing them well. You will see them very often, if the rules of competition encourage high kicks and in all other MA competition at a very high level, as you need all skills to get world champion, especially those, which are not expected, by your opponent. High kicks on lower level championships look often good, but quite often are as dangerous for the performer as for the receiver. But as some people gain some unexpected victories, they all try hard to do so.

So my personal opinion is that you should first train basic and stable techniques and much more principles. For most of us the efforts on those pay off much more than the others. In the meantime you can train high kicks, ushiro kicks, etc to get an idea, how to apply the principles to those attacks. When you master those principles, you can add, whatever you are missing. For most people in budo the reward-risk-relation is negative. In this meaning those techniques are inefficient and even useless (so not generally, but for most of us). It is totally different in competition, as when you fail, you just get up and try again. That is the environment and for this environment these techniques are developed and they match it perfectly.

Cheers Dirk
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:38 AM   #17
Amendes
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
Michael Meister wrote:
A friend of mine, doing tae kwon do told me, that high kicks (esp. to the head) will give you more points in competition.
Kick to the head is 2 points, kick to the body is 1 point under the new WTF rules.

I do Aikido and TaeKwonDo as well as Silat.

Silat kicks are very effect but they are never really higher then the waste. As for Taekwondo, in tournament we are not allowed to do all the things that would be fun to use against kicks. :-)
Basically we kick each other, that's about it. Punching is even a waste of time because you have to hit so hard. They are going to put sensors in gloves we will start wearing soon to see if its hard enough. Anyways back to where I was....

There are a few people I know that can kick high effectively in a (Street fight situation) and the ones I know who can have been doing it for at least 10 - 20 years.

My teacher is a Grandmaster in TaeKwonDo (8th Dan) who trained under the founder of Taekwondo General Choi, and Shihan in Aikido (6th Dan) as well as a 6th dan in Jujitsu who trained under Grandmaster S. Yonekawa of Japan. He also is Silat Sifu as well as a Sifu of Tai Chi. He himself told me that kicks above the waste are not for the street.If he has gone that far in All those other arts with kicks I would take his word for it. :-) He seems to have the experience.

LOL
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Old 11-14-2006, 02:15 PM   #18
Phischy
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Re: High kicking

Sean,
There is a solid reason why we do not pratice much kicking at Jiai. Taking the ukemi for it is very difficult while standing on one leg. We have praticed this in the adult class and it's very punishing on the body. I would advise not praticing kicks during open class without the approval of either Sensei or Tenley and under their supervision. If you have questions, both are very open to listening and advising. However, questions of this sort are best for after class or on Sunday's during Open Mat.

In reading the other thread about creating new techniques, you do need to be aware that all the aikido techniques you train with now are softer or alternative versions of what you'll learn in the Adult classes. Certain techniques cannot be used on teenagers due to your physiology, in that the tendons in your wrists/elbows haven't fully developed and cannot take the stress of full-speed techniques you'll learn later.

The last point you should be aware of, is in training in the kids class you're training with students who have, ballpark, the same number of months training as you. When you reach the adult classes you'll be training with students who have more years training than you've been living. In one of your threads you haven't been 'beaten up' or 'exhausted', that'll change. There are nights when I've crawled off the mat, soaked in sweat and sore as hell. Training is finding your limits and expanding them.

In reference to 'dodging bullets'. Wait a few years before you attempt that. What I would recomend is first being able to dodge an adult with a knife in a classic chest-thrust and a helluva lot less dangerous than a 9mm or .45 Once you've gotten that down, then work on bokken (think of it as a baseball bat) take aways etc... The speed and force in the adult class should humble you.

I applaud your enthusiasm, just remember there is a lot left to learn. So train often, train with intent and stick with it until you're promoted into the Adult classes where everything you know about Aikido will change and new challenges will be presented to you. Then you'll have a chance to work with kicks, and taking the falls.

Eric
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Old 11-29-2006, 07:35 PM   #19
aikigirl10
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Re: High kicking

personally i think high kicks are great.
i've kicked people in the face before and it seems very effective...
the pain doesn't surprise them so much as the fact that i actually kicked them in the face

and ya know i've been kicked in the face too... and of course didn't see it coming at all
like some people have said it depends on who's doing the kicking
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:13 PM   #20
DaveS
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
Paige Frazier wrote:
personally i think high kicks are great.
i've kicked people in the face before and it seems very effective...
the pain doesn't surprise them so much as the fact that i actually kicked them in the face

and ya know i've been kicked in the face too... and of course didn't see it coming at all
like some people have said it depends on who's doing the kicking
As it happens, I got kicked in the throat tonight and was pretty surprised by that. And yes it was pretty much entirely my own fault - I've really got to remember the golden rule: your face and neck were not meant for blocking...
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:34 PM   #21
raul rodrigo
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Re: High kicking

During a seminar, the shihan was asked to demonstrate a kick defense against a full speed attack. His technique dumped my teacher, the uke, on his back and apparently put a lot of stress on the knee because he was unable to do kneeling techniques for three weeks afterward. Theres a reason why we dont do the kick defenses at full speed.
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Old 11-29-2006, 09:48 PM   #22
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
David Sim wrote:
there was another statement of the standard thing about high kicks being essentially martially useless...
This is really simple - you will find exactly what you look for.

Most high kicks are martially useless because most people can't do them, and many of those who can can't do them well. But, if they have trained well, then high kicks can be very useful. Since most people can't do them well, it follows that most people say they are useless. So, why not try finding someone who can do them well, then ask them what they think? But I think we already know the answer.

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Old 11-29-2006, 10:13 PM   #23
DaveS
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
This is really simple - you will find exactly what you look for.

Most high kicks are martially useless because most people can't do them, and many of those who can can't do them well. But, if they have trained well, then high kicks can be very useful. Since most people can't do them well, it follows that most people say they are useless. So, why not try finding someone who can do them well, then ask them what they think? But I think we already know the answer.
Yep, that was what I was beginning to think...

As regards the aikido related posts[1], I'm pretty well aware that my own aikido training doesn't deal with kicks at all and this doesn't bother me. I was really more interested in high kicks in a general sense and (I guess) from the point of view of the kicker rather than the point of view of the aikido practicing kickee.

I guess the other interesting thing that I'm learning is how much of muay thai is about punching rather than kicking anyway!

[1] so yes, this is spectacularly off topic
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Old 12-01-2006, 07:26 PM   #24
Cady Goldfield
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Re: High kicking

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, it really all depends on "who" is doing the kicking and how well they do it.

General rules are just that, general.
It also depends on who is being kicked at, and how well they know how to move in, connect with and control the kicker.

I spent the first 20+ years of my MA studies in karate and "old style" TKD (read: karate adapted by Koreans during the Japanese occupation). All of our kicks "back then" were low, in fact below the waist and definitely never higher than the waist. We focused on knees, insides of knee and thigh, ankle, instep stomping.

It wasn't until the late 70s that high kicking started to make a genuine presence. Koreans were beginning to move their training away from the Japanese model and more toward a nationalistic Korean style promulgated by Gen. Choi Hong Hi and other guys who had learned karate during the occupation, but also had vestiges of old Korean kicking arts. We started having to add wheel kicks and other high stuff to our repertoire. A lot of us old stylists grumbled about how vulnerable the movements made us.

And when TKD became an Olympics demo sport (later a full sport), the flashy kicks really took off. Even some kung fu and karate schools started adding them to attract new students who were dazzled by the acrobatics.

Are they useful? If you are really quick and powerful, you can make them work against...some people. Don't try them on a grappler, though. They eat those kinds of openings for breakfast. Maybe as a substitute for a sucker punch, but why take the risk.

Stick to low kicks, or even better, learn to kick like a sumo guy.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:45 AM   #25
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: High kicking

I typically use low kicks. Occassionally there is the perfect opening for a high kick, spinning kick, or skipping side kick that is just there.

I learned a great deal from my Karate days about mid distance and control.

Watch the UFC, a usually see a few higher kicks than you'd think would be practical thrown.

I have been successful with kicking grapplers in the head. That said, I would be very careful about high kicks as you are planted longer and more off balance than from a low kick, which can translate into a takedown by your opponent.

It is important to have a good arsenal of weapons. High kicks do belong in that arsenal.
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