Striking with the Top of Foot and the Ball of Foot

The Smash with Your Foot Workshop (I come up with the best names) was a smashing success, and it was fun to host other practitioners at our school. One question that was posed early on was from my Goju Ryu instructor friend - who was very interested that I was kicking my target with the ball of the foot during a short range roundhouse exercise. He might have seen more top of foot strikes if this was any other Taekwondo school.
Kicking with the top of the foot applies impact stress perpendicularly on those long thin bones. Kicking with the ball of the foot allows you to channel more stress along the length of the foot - reducing the risk of a painful injury.

My quick response was that that are instances where the top of the foot gives you advantage: the two main ones that came to mind are when you're kicking the groin and going for the outside of the thigh. The top of the foot of course gives you additional reach - so when you're sparring in a relatively controlled situation, you may use that weapon safely with the appropriate protection. By and large however, the ball of the foot allows you to get good striking power without increasing your chances of breaking the thin bones on the top of your foot. The ball of the foot also allows you to use your weapon against hard to reach targets on the body, or land those strikes behind obstacles like an arm held out for coverage. I would advice all practitioners to try and maintain the integrity of this weapon even for long range strikes - and learn how it can work for you.


Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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SooShimKwan said…
In definite agreement.

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