What's wrong with High Kicks?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by pgm316, Feb 27, 2003.

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  1. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Sorry Sonshu, but taught properly TKD is one of the most dynamic & effective Martial Arts & isn't 'showy'. It is a military martial art, & most people who haven't REALLY trained in it properly don't realise that it's only 30% legs. I teach my students to kick, punch & grapple (I also teach them stick & bladed weapons but thats beside the point).
    If you go & train with a really proficient kicker they will show you that they are powerful & ELUSIVE attacking & defensive tools at all ranges. My instructor, Gordon Wallace, had this agument with one of the local shotokan instructors in the toilets at the local nightclub. The karate guy asked him how he could possibly use his legs in that close. Gordon took him into a toilet cubicle & told him he'd give him £20 if he could block his kick. He executed twisting kick & hit the guy right in the temple before he could move. Axe kick is another one that can be used very effectively close in, as can reverse turning kick. I can throw that at point blank range, & it'll take your guard / block & head with it.
    I've spent at least 15 years of my life 'field testing' my training in combat, & I've used all the techniques I teach in reality. If you correctly execute a dynamic high section kick you are not so off balance that a slicht knock will knock you off balance, you can change the angle & movement of the technique. I don't think that high kicks are risky unless you aren't any good at them. Like I say, I've used them in real combat loads of times, & not in the ring. I've also fought a few Thai stylists outside of the training hall, & I've found their low kicking easy to counter.
    When I'm teaching CQC to SAS or Royal Marines I obviously don't teach them to kick people in the head unless they're down on the ground. But these guys aren't going to be practising this stuff every night of every week. The weakness of high kicking lies in that it takes a really proficient & good instructor to teach you it properly, & that it takes a great deal of practise & blood & sweat to make it work.
    It isn't the only answer sonshu, but it does work, its never failed me. It isn't the technique thats the weakness, its the technician.
    Next time I'm down your way teaching a seminar (I should be down at Tom Dennis's in Docklands & Yogi Chands in Bedford in a few months) please come along & work with us, & matbe you'll see what I'm trying to put into words.
  2. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Once again Sonshu, I used to train with a JuJutsu Shidoshi & he had a great deal of respect for our leg techniques, & none of his guys could grapple us from them. I've been sparring with my boxer mate for two years now, & the kicks ain't coming down. My Judo mate is an experienced doorman & has cross trained plenty, he knows how to block. Every technique has a time & a place & will work if you can throw it fast & hard enough & you have the experience to know when.
  3. johndoch

    johndoch upurs

    "The karate guy asked him how he could possibly use his legs in that close. Gordon took him into a toilet cubicle & told him he'd give him £20 if he could block his kick."

    If only George Michael thought of that one:D
  4. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Hehehehehehehehehe:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    I like your sense of humour Johndoch:D

    And after the bet they put some Barry White on...............:D
  5. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook

    My reply - AND NOT HAVING A DIG!

    This must have been the biggest toilet cubical in the world as the ones I use are barely big enough to have a **** in!

    I am not slating the TKD style - lets be clear on this! - I have even been to a few TKD classes (not many) - its not me, but I am not having a dig at the style!

    I looked at the site you have on your profile. The pick of you (I assume its you) do you honestly think you are as well balanced on the one leg leaning back and the angle of your hip as you are on 2? HONESTLY???

    Being as major in the TKD style as you are you are not really gonna slate the high kicks its famous for - this is like bruce lee saying - well I wish I stuck to wing chun?

    Most people can't kick as well as you are obviously able to so there is a danger - this is what this link is about.

    Whats wrong with high kicks - if you **** it up then its lights out for the person - more so than if you **** up a punch! - True or False?

  6. Cain

    Cain New Member

    Have you ever been kicked to the head Sonshu?

  7. johndoch

    johndoch upurs

    I agree with that sonshu. But I guess its how you play the fight. There will be times when the opportunity to kick high will be apparent but its a question if you are confident enough to use it. we all know how quick a real fight gets when you rely on instinct as much as skill. I guess if you can kick instinctively high you may have a higher chance of success. I guess its down to how u train and how confident you are in kicking high.
  8. Sonshu

    Sonshu Buzz me on facebook


    During sparing - I'll be honest the odd high kick has landed! - No power in them though, as for people to do a powerful head kick, it is slower or you have to turn your back to gain the power in a spin. - DANGEROUS!

    I have been kicked in the head during an arguement from behind -did not hurt, little suprised and then fight over - I won.

    The worst head kicking I have had is when I was being stamped on, had to cover up and fight my way up.

    Point I am making is - WHATS WRONG WITH HIGH KICKS - you are off balance - also the more realistic kicks for fighting are the quicker ones - these have less power, I am not a great points fighter.

    Low and Mid level kicks are better as they expose you less.


    ALSO - Thanks Johndoc.
  9. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    Even worse when he walks out with a £20 note and a smile on his face!
    How bad would that look! :D
  10. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    I think that if you make a mistake with a kick punch or grapple you're equally in the crapola. The photo that you are talking about is a posed photo with the kick held, if I'm throwing it with venom then yes, I am on balance.
    If you were kicked in the head & didn't feel it I wouldn't base your whole thoughts on high kicks in fighting on that. I can put my hand on my heart & say that if I've EVER hit anyone in the head with a kicking technique then they've not got up afterwards! (& we're not talking about in the Dojang).
    I'm not having a dig at you either, this forum is here to provoke debate on things like this, & it's healthy.
    When my instructors had us training in class it wasn't semi contact! We were sparring to stay on our feet, & I got knocked out cold plenty, that Kinda says to me that they were kicking with power.
    As for defending my style, if you really look at my background you'll see that I don't have any false loyalty. If I found something that I liked, I'd train in it & try to get good at it. If I really thought that high section techniques didn't work, I'd say so. I've done this for real, probably a couple of thousand times. I've worked 'sorting out problems' for people all over the place. I've had knives, bottles & even bloody swords & guns pulled on me. I've been in gunfights whilst working abroad on training contracts. I've seen the elephant, I'm not an armchair warrior.
    Spinning kicks are often mis-understood. The point of the spin is to generate an immense amount of power. They ARE NOT a technique you throw unless you have the opponent on their heels, & it is to finish them off. The kick in reality would be part of a fast & powerful combination, not thrown if I think your going to be able to punch me in the back of the head, even I'm not THAT dim:D
    Johndoch hit it on the head, it depends on how confident you are. I've spent 20 years (23 if you count the 3 years in Karate before I did TKD) practising to kick people, so consequently I'm good at it & I can kick you in the head just as hard as I can kick you mid section. If someone hasn't the experience & training to be able to do that, then IT IS going to be more risky than keeping your feet on the ground, I agree with that. Just remember, there are people out there who ARE good at it. It's up to you to get good enough to do it.
    PGM316, if he walks out with £40 & a grin on his face it's EVEN MORE dodgy looking:D
  11. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    From what I can tell. Mark you could use a high kick with much better results and much less risk than I could. I think this is whats confusing the thread. TKD people "generalising" are the best high kickers in MA's.

    I'd feel a lot more confident using lower kicks and I think feeling more confident with your techniques is important during a fight. Although, I'm not saying theres no chance I'd use them.

    So you wouldn't always use them as the opening move, what signals or position etc during the fight would tell you that its the right time to use the high kick?
  12. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    It's instinctive. I'll give you an example, during sparring training we train to move off an attackers technique flowing with it & countering. I was having a 'discussion' with a chap who was speeding out of his head & had attacked my (at that time) bosses wife. He went for me with a flurry of punches which I closed my guard in on, & when a big swinging right / left came in I hit him with a reverse turning kick to the jaw, taking the left on the arm as I spun inside & nailed him (I actually pulled the technique as it zipped into my head that if I nailed him full tilt I'd probably turn him into an onion). He actually landed on the bonnet of the bosses BMW:D
    Generally the time to use them is as part of a combination that flows, & when the opponent is either stunned or you've drawn their guard down. A good example would be a leading leg side kick into the pelvis to soften them up, flowing into a double punch to the body flowing into a turning kick to the head to lay them out. I don't think its healthy to attack someone with a high section technique, as granted it is more than likely that the opponent will rip your leg off & beat you to death with the soggy end. These techniques are finishing techniques. The 'stimulus' that would produce a high section technique would be either my opponents guard dropping because they're expecting a mid / low technique, or my opponent being stunned.
    Try using a spinning back kick against a kicking shield, with the shield holder rushing forwards at you. Practise switching stance quickly so you're moving backwards whilst you kick. This works beautifully against a 'rusher' & knocks the wind right out of the biggets guy. Do the same with reverse turning kick, using a large shield to develop power. It works great.
    As opening moves go, if I'm initiating procedings I favour lead hand palm strike to the nose or thrusting knife hand to the carotid sinus, or if using legs low line turning kick to the common outer peronial motor nerve in the leg (knocked someone out with that once:D )
  13. pgm316

    pgm316 lifting metal

    Sounds like you've had some interesting experiences Mark! :)

    Thanks for the good examples you gave, I can see how the kick is much more effective in those situations than as a big opener.

    Hope he didn't scratch your boss's BMW, he was probably thinking you should have let him go for the wife! :D
  14. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    I think on reflection that I SHOULD have let him go for the wife, she wasn't very nice:D
  15. Kwan Jang

    Kwan Jang Valued Member

    -I agree w/ Mark Davies that high kicks can definitely be valid in real-life confrontations. Many people in other systems will knock high kicks because they are not competent with them. As i posted earlier, unless set up properly, I would not personally use them in the street, but it doesn't mean that I'm not able to. Chuck Norris, in one of his recent books, recounts a training session w' the late Bruce Lee in which he scored on Bruce six times w/ high kicks and how that helped Bruce to re-think his condemnation of them. -To Sonshu, regarding some of your earlier posts, with more advanced chambers (like those pioneered by Bill Wallace) the high kicker has much greater protection, better balance(by having a stronger base by pointing the base foot at 180 degrees: also generating more power by using both legs + hips) and have equal power to lower-line kicks. Using such a kicking chamber also generates as much or more power than the classic Thai-style kicks(before you open fire on me, I teach a mixed MA-system that includes Muay Thai. I was introduced to Muay thai in 1980 by Benny Urquidez, and have more recently trained with the trainers at the Fairtex camp.) I am not talking style preference here, but in terms of body mechanics and kinesiology. Also, I don't think Bill Wallace (himsself a former judoka and collegiate wrestler, as well as having a master's degree in kinesiology which helped him in designing a more efficient way of throwing high kicks) would overly be worried by a grappler trying to shoot in on him. _My opinion is this, a less skilled kicker can be easy pickings for a highly skilled grappler. A less skilled grappler can fall to a better kicker or puncher( or trapper), and that more battles have been won on the element of surprise than any other factor. My main concern against high kicks on the street is enviromental(ex. clothing, slick surfaces, ect) and that many people are more proficient at protecting the higher line and don't expect low kicks (aimed at other targets than the groin). Also, even though a highly skilled kicker, I'm also have over 20 years experience in escrima and arnis and would be more comfortable using my hands against a weapon.(or more properly, the person who holds it).
  16. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Thanks Kwan Jang. I teach very much the same material as you seem to. As well as ITF TKD I teach a MMA system consisting of elements of TKD, Pekriti Tirsia, Muay Thai, Sul Sa & modern defensive tactics. Everything you said there is bang on in my opinion. I agree about using your hands against a weapon, I am far more comfortable crashing into critical range against weapon attacks (& I've been on the receiving end of many). I have to admit that using high section leg techniques against a skilled weapons pracitioner, or even an unskilled one with a sharp knife doesn't float my boat. An unskilled opponent flinching to cover against a mis-timed high section kick can still cut you badly with the blade in his hand. Against weapons it's contact - control - counter every time, & the Kali / Sul Sa part of me is trained to instinctively get in where he's gonna find it hard to do anything.
    As I've said earlier, I'll happily use high section kicks in real life, but as Kwan Jang say's, the situation has to be right & the environment right.
  17. karatekid

    karatekid MOOOOOOOOOOOO

    high kicks are less powerfull usally anyway
    which area is quicker to hit:-
    or legs???
    the legs are quiker but the torso has more effect
  18. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Hmmmm, common misconception that one, that high section techniques have less power than low or mid section ones. The answer as far as I'm concerned is- only is your kicking technique isn't right!
    I've knocked somebody out with a low turning kick to the quadracep, as the pain & shock can be so great it triggers the reticular activating system. A kick to the torso can have a great deal of effect, particularly side kick or back kick. But I've seen plenty of snap kicks & turning kicks bounce off people in street fights. If you get hit in the head with a good technique then thats it, goo-nite goo-bye & tankU:D The head is the 'golden fleece', it contains the human version of the'CPU', & damage to it usually leads to a total shutdown. If your gonna use high section kicking techniques in real life just make sure you train with them for real in your training & that you can make em work. Every technique is the 'right' technique, as long as you use it at the 'right' time.
  19. Tireces

    Tireces New Member

    I still stand by that old Bruce Lee quote about punching a man in the foot.
  20. Mark Davies

    Mark Davies Valued Member

    Wot about biting his foot????:D
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