In the picture above, I show what's possibly one of the more popular kicks in our arsenal. Or at least I show two variations of the ever-popular roundhouse kick. The upper right and bottom show the long range version of the kick, and above left shows a short range version of the kick.
At most schools, the long range version is currently practiced to the point where the short range variety is hardly ever seen. And the reason why is that the dual combination of long range roundhouse and fairly similar long range turning kick are easy to learn, keep the opponent at bay, and are dynamic techniques which look good and empower the practitioner.
This over-focus on the long range kick is a pity as the short range version of this kick - performed even passingly well - is one of the more devastating techniques I would use in the close range. The long range technique feels strong because you swing that kicking leg over a good distance. But where it fails is that the transmission of mass which is crucial to generate power, diminishes because of the distance from technician to the target.
The short range kick however allows you to transmit a fantastic amount of body mass which increases the power you can generate through this one strike. The tactical benefit with the short range - while counter-intuitive to practitioners who are used to the long range - helps you immediately engage with the opponent with hand strikes. Definitely a technique to practice and to use after gap-closing on the opponent.
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