Videos referenced from Taekwondo Animals
The problem with the axe kick is that it has to be brought all the way up, and then dropped a little way in order to hit the opponent somewhere in the head/neck or shoulder region. Wouldn't it be easier kicking the opponent somewhere lower down on the body? It would certainly expend less energy. And look at how much of your body is exposed. This seems to be an overly a risky technique with a poor return on invested effort.
I once had a visiting black belt who used this particular axe kick frequently in sparring. None of our students could understand why - since it wasn't really hitting them. When I pulled her aside she said the kick was to knock someone out. So I told her to perform the kick, and I lunged in and took the downward falling axe kick right on my forehead - full force. Then looked her in the eye and said there's a problem with this kick. The problem is that there are only certain situations where it'll work really well - and most times an opponent who is positioned to strike you will not be in those 'certain situations.'
The counter proposed in the above video is to create distance and then return fire with a roundhouse kick. Wouldn't it be more logical to jam the rising axe kick? To block it in mid air? Then sweep the leg or perform a high level punch? The person has his leg all the way up and is perched on his support leg. He's not going anywhere!?
The way we practice the axe kick is if the opponent and defender are both grabbing onto a weapon - the kick is aimed at the hand or forearm or elbow or bicep. The impact is intended for mid level, and allows the defender to bring in an alternate weapon when both of his primary weapons are occupied. This strike is leveled at an opponent trying to wrestle a weapon away from defender, and the hope is to crush the bones in his hands or loosen his grip or hyperextend an elbow joint - all extremely 'lucrative' pursuits if you're trying to free a weapon to use against him or other opponents.
Look at the below diagram step 25b to 26 of Bassai, and then step 28a.
|Bassai has moves that correlate to Taekwondo Pattern Hwa-rang|
Both steps incorporate some leg lift and then a corresponding hand strike. The first move is a leg lift ala Toi Gye's mountain block, and is how we perform Hwa-rang step 24-25. The knee can be leveled against an attackers grab or wrist control or between a tug-of-war with a weapon. The knee strike hits hand or elbow region, loosening the grip, and the lower block comes dome on top of forearm or bicep to destroy the opponent's extremity. Same thing with step 28a - the axe kick makes impact with the opponent's extremity, then you sandwich a part of the opponent between left hand and right elbow. Nowhere do you see the axe kick performed as the finishing blow (ala the sparring video above).
|Traditional Taekwondo Pattern Hwa-rang - we perform step 24-25 with an axe kick and then a lower block, elbow strike|
Where I think this sportive axe kick might work would be for an opponent losing his balance or backpedaling. Or if he's performing a spinning technique and you are sure that spinning technique is going to go awry. Having that head and neck exposed means you can deliver the downward falling payload full force with less chance of retaliation.
Taekwondo Techniques from Hwa-Rang
Taekwondo Back Kick is Risky but Lucrative
High Roundhouse Kick to the Head
Joong Do Kwan Chung Sah Nim
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