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.