Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Video: Kicks versus Punches handicap

This is another example of the disadvantage a kicker can have, but more than that, how footwork can play such a large part in fighting. Note, this isn't pretty, taken from handicap sparring footage of hands versus feet.


  1. Don't move straight back! As dealt with in a previous post on reasons we get hit, moving straight back prevents a defender from setting up counters, and blocking effectively. Also, any time you cross your legs, especially moving backward, you risk a sweep or just tripping and falling. The puncher in the video didn't really do anything special, except control the range (get close enough to punch but too close to get kicked), and drive forward.
  2. Building on the previous point, move laterally! Lateral movement can stifle almost any offense. If the kicker had focused on movement (as he know well!), he could've avoided punishment.
  3. Don't go down! If the guy with his butt to the camera had joined in when the kicker went down, or if the puncher had a knife instead of a fist, we'd be watching a bloodbath. It would actually be a lot better to just turn around and run as fast as you can, as opposed to putting your back on the pavement (or dirt in this case).
  4. The puncher did a leg-check versus the round kick, got hit on the kneecap, then took a breather, then got hit. Protect yourself at all times! As Rick stated so well, there's a big difference between "sparring" and real self defense. The kicker did the right thing, and tried to capitalize on the injury to his opponent. That's how you should train! It does your partner no good to back off, other than giving him a false sense of security. Boxers tap their cheekbones or temples with their gloves to remind themselves of their hand position - do the same. Remind your partner to protect herself. You may save her life!
  5. Retract your kicks! You may have noticed the takedown at the end caused by the kicker making two mistakes: leaving the leg out there by retracting it slowly and kicking too high. Either mistake can allow a savvy, or just plain mean (obviously it's more of the latter, in this case) opponent to destroy your base and take you down.

See also:
Why Do We Get Hit?
Today's TDA Tip: Avoid Moving Straight Back!
Today's TDA Tip: Protect Yourself at All Times
Integrating Striking, Wrestling & Grappling
Todays TDA Tip: Handicap Sparring Key to Improvement
What if you WANT to high kick on the street?
Marc Animal MacYoung on Grappling
What happens if you go to the ground versus multiple opponents - video


MARKS said...

Good points on kicking and a good demonstration of handicap sparring. I thik using kicks in combination with punches is the best way to do it. Just throwing kicks on there own can be seen a mile away. good post.

Nathan Teodoro said...

I love handicap sparring. We'll have one guy work on his striking, while the other has to neutralize him and take him down. The striker gets used to stuffing takedowns (and footwork) and the grappler works his defense and range. Lots of variations. We also work for a particular move, like a draw. Too much fun for an old guy like me to handle!

Kicks and punches have their place. One thing I've learned from putting on shoes, moving from a carpeted floor to blacktop, grass, and dirt, is that many of the kicks you're good at are impossible. What that handicap (kicking only) teaches you is the range and to set them up. It also teaches you how much you need your hands in close! It was fun, though!

Thanks for the comments!