Blocking Leg Attacks

Blocking Leg Attacks using a knee lift

I'm part of a group called Instructors United Against COVID-19. We're making instructional video material accessible for students through emails or FB groups - but unlisted on YouTube and not for general distribution. So please don't post the link on a Personal FB Profile but feel free to email this to your own students for their own practice, and of course feel free to post it onto closed groups for use by your own member base. Use this link

This video features a warmup drill and tactical skill we use and train often at JDK. It helps you defend against a lower level leg attack. This is not the most elegant way of defending yourself as you're using bone against bone. But through understanding, and by keeping your cool, this exercise can help you stay 'in the fight' against a person looking to destroy your legs.

The premise is the lower part of your shin is usually much more sensitive than the upper shin. And if you lift up your leg, turning it out like I've shown, and it connects with an oncoming kick - all things being equal, your opponent is going to be on the ground, and you would have not felt anywhere close to the same amount of pain.

A story I'll share is that about 20 years ago I visited, for lack of a better term - a 'fight club', and was pitted against a very committed Muay Thai practitioner. Unfortunately for the both of us, I had a back injury for the better part of a year before that incident, and was not able to walk very well and I certainly hadn't been 'in training'. My opponent however, was ready for a fight, had conditioned his shins extremely well, and was looking to mix it up. He was happily throwing full power thigh kicks to my legs, and I used this exact tactic to defend against his strikes.

You could say I knew I was in trouble because his shins were bouncing off mine - without him showing any pain whatsoever.

Why I say it was unfortunate for the both of us is, under duress, my control over tactical responses was not as good as it usually is. But I was not about to stop and complain that this wasn't part of 'competition rules.' That's not how I was trained. So when he went into a standing clinch, kneeing me into my ribs, I threw an overhand strike and ended up striking him in the side of the neck full power. I knew it was a bad hit right away. I'm still super lucky to not have connected the punch directly to his trachea - the hit to connected with the side of the neck and ended him up in hospital later that day. Of course I felt extremely guilty and more than a little upset with the entire situation.

So big lesson here folks - make sure all your training sessions (especially those with training partners you've never worked with before) have some form of referee, an idea of the goal of the training session, for both partners to know the rules of engagement, and for someone in the group to be on 'medic' duty. Always ensure safety for both yourself and those around you because traditional techniques can damage each other very badly without the safety on!!!

Lastly, if you like this video, or if you're sharing it with your students, or if you'd like to add to our growing resource, or if you can think of stuff that others might enjoy, why not come look for us on FaceBook at 'Instructors United Against Covid-19.'

Keep well my friends.

Colin Wee
Joong Do Kwan Traditional Taekwondo
Perth, Western Australia

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