Friday, February 17, 2006

Are kicks effective for self-defense?

This article is well worth a thorough read, so please click the link above and read the whole thing. Realize though, that opinions will vary, depending on what the respondents skills are. For example, a Savate or Muay Thai fighter may say that they are, while a Brazilian Jujitsu player may not. One of the things I've realized in my years of training, and meeting many other martial artists and "tough guys, " is that it isn't the style, it's the practitioner.

For example, as I always say when teaching, "Every technique will work sometime." The skill comes in being good enough at that technique, knowing when to use it, and having the will to do so. The third point, "will to do so," is the difference between a fighter and a pretender.

A fighter will work into his arsenal every practical technique that he or she is capable of being successful with, and then concentrate on the "when" to use it.

Personally, I have found that kicks are an important, if secondary weapon. You definitely have more versatility and practicality in spending more time on use of your hands in striking, simply because you have to use them for defense and close range combat, but more importantly, kicks cannot always be relied upon when you are standing on uneven or slippery terrain, when you are hurt or stunned, or even when you're just fatigued.

All kicks (as all techniques) have their moments and place, but those that I rely upon are the knee, push kick, Thai kick, side kick, and spinning back kick, primarily. I supplement those with the hook kick, traditional roundhouse, leg obstruction, front kick, and jump spinning back kick. Last, I like the axe, lift kick (into the groin), snap kick (ditto), and spinning kick.

My two cents...

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