I held a workshop this past weekend to talk core concepts of basic to advance kicks - to look at parameters of movement, basic power generation ideas, tactical pros/cons, and strategic usage of kicks. The idea wasn't to change stylistic approach for the guests participating, but to prompt people to look at the equipment you've got to work with and to see opportunities when delivering strikes in a dynamic environment.
|You can barely see anyone, but here's the lineup of instructors who attended. The short one in the middle? That's me.|
What we did not touch on very much is the somewhat opposing yet very related ideas that 1) it doesn't matter where the kicks comes from, so long as it lands (and delivers its payload), and 2) understanding 3-dimensional space and obstacles help you plot a flight path to your opponent.
All at once when we're introduced to the world of kicks we are taught specific techniques that are applied in specific ways. However, this specificity or 'tried-and'true' training approach doesn't always help you gain the most out of the kick, especially when you know how versatile this weapon could be. This is because the basic kicks are not as important as basic power generation techniques. I.e. it's not how you lift your leg up or extend it, it is how you transmit mass and acceleration through the weapon into your target. It's really no different from hand strikes.
|Habitual movements will be the undoing of a good kicker. Here we are horsing around in order to understand how NOT to flail your arms when you throw a kick.|
What is different is that the kick originates somewhere in your hip, and that you might not have use your legs enough to enjoy the articulation of your joints or how accurate kicks could be after a little 'recalibration'.
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So when starting to really learn how to deliver the kick, we must stop thinking about the kick in hard angles - oh, this is a vertical front kick, or this is a horizontal roundhouse, or a 45 degree turning kick. We need to identify what we are hitting, place the kick, and then transmit the mass through the fulcrum into the target. This is where basic techniques get you to - a place where you can draw lessons from the 'basics' in order to figure out what this weapon has in store for you.
|While most participants enjoyed a relaxing albeit early Sunday morning workshop, here is Sensei Phil laying it on thick.|
On a higher level, understanding the kick's flight path allows you to be aware of the risks you're undertaking with that particular kick. This is not some foolhardy notion that hard stylists can take whatever pain, so long as you demolish my opponent. It is a wiser approach to understand how to maximise impact, how to reduce risk to oneself, and how to effectively weave past opponent's defences and coverage. Looking at 3 dimensional space and objects placed between yourself and your opponent helps you fine tune your kicking weapons and deliver them with more accuracy and better effectiveness.
|I move to increase attendance fees to $50 next year, remove the carbon tax, and stop the boats.|
Once again these ideas do not ... or should not contradict any solid self defence or safety advice. There are always inherent dangers with using any specific technique. It is merely our job to find out what they are and apply such knowledge appropriately.
I enjoyed having everyone participate over the weekend.
More pictures are available on our FB page and in the Smash with Your Foot FB Album.
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Links to Articles that were reference on the day
- Training aids that wreck technique
- Basic Taekwondo Kick a Misnomer
- Amateur Hour
- Power Generation through Kime or Focus
- Common Strategy
- Calibrating Short Range Roundhouse Kick
- Power Generation on Roundhouse Kick Videos
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Front Kick
- Power Generation and Commonsense
- Roundhouse kick: Muay Thai v Taekwondo
- Taekwondo Do-san: Front Kick
- Won-hyo: The Kihon Kata Koma
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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