Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Everything works… sometime

A nice find at MMAConvert, a one-kick knockout with a spinning head kick.

There’s been a debate for as long as martial artists get together and trash talk or speculate, as to whether high kicks are effective or a waste of time, or just dangerous to use. My take has been that we need to learn as much as we can, and prepare for as much as we can.

The facts are that this move is rarely seen in MMA, or fights, because it’s a classic, risky, low-percentage technique. The payoff can be high, but so can the costs if you miss. Should you use it? Not if it’s expected.

One final point, the reason it worked was because it was set up with what appears to be a leg kick feint, which drew the guard of the opponent down, creating a perfect head kick opening. You’d be best to plan to emulate that idea – set up your surprise with a good lead, fake, or feint.

What do you think? What are some other examples of high-payoff, but high-risk moves for self-defense or sport?


Anonymous said...

Flying armbar of course. Huge risk, but can be hugely unexpected. said...

I think that this technqiue can be relativly safe when performed correctly, ie with speed and good balance as in the video.

I have seen many times people try this kick without much training in it and up either losing balance and falling or getting countered. what is very important with it also is where one is hitting. Striking the head which is a floppy target will allow one to follow through. Striking the shoulder though (which happens a lot), which is a solid target will not allow one to follow through and counters can be quickly made.

Other high risk tech's I think include any flying technqiue, spinning backfist, and stomach throw (tomoe nage)

BSM said...

I think you hit it: you have to balance risk against payoff. Also, a lot of these high kick or high risk moves that involve turning you don't see much - mostly due to fear of being stuffed on the ground while you are turning.

Spinning back fist from karate and some of tae kwon do's spinning kicks are rare.

I was far from the tournament god but I did learn one thing: I could surprise my opponent with a kick that he didn't think I could do. However, after that he'd always expect it so I had to change my game.

Nathan Teodoro said...

Good poins, all. The flying armbar is spectacular, and an immediate match-ender in MMA, but have higher risks in self-defense.

Marks point about target is right on target ;-) I think we've all seen intermediate or even advanced player try something like this and end up with at least a hand on the ground to catch his fall. You've got to be pretty sure of hitting your mark.

Bob, I was the same way: I am only 5'9", and stocky of build, but can do the splits and can still head kick at 42. It was always a great surprise to my taller opponents when I planted my instep on the side of his head or neck. Of course, I also ended up on my back a couple of times!

Matt Klein said...

Saw your blog listed on John Zimmer's blog. I believe if you set if up properly using a fake backfist, front roundhouse kick, etc. it can be super effective. This guy did not appear to set it up but I have to admit it was one fast kick. People rarely expect it. If you miss be prepared to follow up with another attack or block the counter.

Colin Wee said...

The kicker also took advantage of the recipient's extended arm, and the blind spot it creates for itself. I send many kicks along that blind spot funnel to hit opponents that were not expecting anything until they see the leg cresting the shoulder or feel it hitting them in the body/groin.


Nathan Teodoro said...

Great point Colin! You're right. I've seen many fighters with a tight guard not able to see those kicks.