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BFGalbraith
3/15/2017 5:04pm,
By leg kick, I mean slamming your shin bone into the opponent's thigh. By blocking a leg kick, I mean your opponent tries to slam his shin into your thigh, and you raise your knee to block that kick with your shin. I have recently noticed two different schools of thought on blocking leg kicks, as to what direction your blocking leg's toes should be pointed in.

One school of thought is that your toes should be pointed down towards the floor. This was the belief I was raised with, and I have assumed anything else was sloppy technique. Example of blocking with the toes down:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F5wlTWQMaI

The other school of thought is that instead your toes should be pulled up so that your foot at about a 90 degree angle with your leg. I recently worked out with a Muay Thai sympathizer who had very convincing arguments for blocking leg kicks this way. Example of blocking with the toes up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onf6qfSOxB8

Questions -

Q1: Which is better?

Q2: Why is that one better?

Q3: Historically, why are there two different ways of doing this? Is this an ongoing debate within Muay Thai gyms in Thailand? Is this a this a some-other-type-of-kickboxing (san shou, savate, kyokushin, etc.) vs Muay Thai difference? What?

gregaquaman
3/16/2017 5:29am,
Feet flexed or pointed.

Your foot doesn't really block a kick it just presents a taget. I smash your pointed foot or toes with my shin. You are going to have a bad day. So I am for feet flexed.

BFGalbraith
3/16/2017 10:58pm,
Feet flexed or pointed.

Your foot doesn't really block a kick it just presents a target. I smash your pointed foot or toes with my shin. You are going to have a bad day. So I am for feet flexed.

So for clarification, you prefer what I referred to as "toes up". The top of the foot is indeed a sensitive target. One vote for toes up.

BFGalbraith
3/20/2017 3:51pm,
Justifications for toes up:
1. it creates more solid resistance, harder to kick through
2. it protects your foot.

Justification for toes down:
1. It is a "softer" block, doing less damage to your shin as you allow your shin to "roll with" the kick:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eLqSA_3nKI

?

Or is that not an advantage, because you can angle your kick through the block and hit the supporting non-blocking leg?

Permalost
3/20/2017 4:19pm,
The muscle on the lateral side of the Shin tense when you flex your foot "up", providing more protection for the shin, so I vote "toes up". The foot shouldn't be a target in either case. IMO the foot position isn't nearly as important as the relative body positions and angles of everything else.

Bneterasedmynam
3/23/2017 12:09pm,
I will go toes up on this one. Pointing them down just seems like an accident waiting to happen.

Just out of curiosity what is the consensus on leg position during the check?? Basically to Weidman or not to Weidman??

ermghoti
3/23/2017 12:38pm,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eLqSA_3nKI

That's an Expert Village video, and therefore I am dismissing it as total garbage without having seen it.

Raycetpfl
3/23/2017 1:11pm,
That's an Expert Village video, and therefore I am dismissing it as total garbage without having seen it.

It's not horrible, but that isn't the worst policy to have.

Cake of Doom
3/24/2017 6:57am,
The muscle on the lateral side of the Shin tense when you flex your foot "up", providing more protection for the shin, so I vote "toes up". The foot shouldn't be a target in either case. IMO the foot position isn't nearly as important as the relative body positions and angles of everything else.

This is my reasoning for "toes up" over "toes down". The last thing I'd want is bone on bone (lol) contact; especially if the kick was fired full force.

BFGalbraith
3/27/2017 4:15pm,
The muscle on the lateral side of the Shin tense when you flex your foot "up", providing more protection for the shin, so I vote "toes up". The foot shouldn't be a target in either case. IMO the foot position isn't nearly as important as the relative body positions and angles of everything else.

This sounds like what he MT person I was working out with was trying to get at. Thanks for the specifics.

BFGalbraith
3/27/2017 4:24pm,
I will go toes up on this one. Pointing them down just seems like an accident waiting to happen.

Just out of curiosity what is the consensus on leg position during the check?? Basically to Weidman or not to Weidman??

According to this: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/12/30/5254898/ufc-168-anderson-silva-chris-weidman-dirty-defense-kick-check-break-shin-knee-spike-mma-technique
"to Weidman" is simply blocking with the upper [knee side] part of the shin (instead of blocking with the lower [ankle-side] part of the shin.) I didn't realize that anyone taught not-to-Weidman.

Though now that you mention it, that not-to-Weidman seems to be part of the toes-down-technique used in that Expert Villiage video.

BFGalbraith
3/27/2017 5:02pm,
Evidence toes-down was popular in 90's era kickboxing (when I learned my striking back in the day):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrJPaMOe8EE at 38 seconds, 48 seconds.

With that said, I am seeing a high level of consensus here on Bullshido about toes-up being preferable.

Toes up: 4

Toes down: 0

A high priority for me personally is ergonomics, and the toes up position seems to hurt less when you are using it to block, and it feels less awkward to do than toes-down.

If anyone has insight on the history two different techniques (toes up vs. toes down) that would be interesting. [All I have so far is the difference between the Golden Rooster moves in Chen (older, toes up) vs. Yang (newer, toes down) styles of Tai Chi, irrelevant to the history of striking in MMA.]

Raycetpfl
3/27/2017 5:35pm,
According to this: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/12/30/5254898/ufc-168-anderson-silva-chris-weidman-dirty-defense-kick-check-break-shin-knee-spike-mma-technique
"to Weidman" is simply blocking with the upper [knee side] part of the shin (instead of blocking with the lower [ankle-side] part of the shin.) I didn't realize that anyone taught not-to-Weidman.

Though now that you mention it, that not-to-Weidman seems to be part of the toes-down-technique used in that Expert Villiage video.

To weidman is to not block with the shin so much as the lower knee portion of the leg.

ChenPengFi
3/27/2017 8:03pm,
The muscle on the lateral side of the Shin tense when you flex your foot "up", providing more protection for the shin, so I vote "toes up".

Most of the muscles in that area (tibialis ant. being the biggest) do indeed dorsiflex the ankle.


Interesting exception is peroneus longus which assists in plantarflexion and is also where the large peroneal nerve is running.

https://academic.amc.edu/martino/grossanatomy/site/NURSES/TUTORIALS/Lower%20Limb/Pictures/latlegnerves.jpg


I'm not sure if that favors a technique.

It also bears noting that you can also tighten muscles at full length, so toes down doesn't mean "soft" tibialis ant.
A shortened muscle is fatter too.
More questions than answers.


You can see their relationship here.
The meaty part of the gastrocnemius and soleus are deeper than peroneus laterally, and also plantarflex.
https://bananarunning.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/peroneus-longus.jpg?w=400&h=320

BFGalbraith
3/29/2017 12:38am,
To weidman is to not block with the shin so much as the lower knee portion of the leg.

I don't think he is trying to block the shin with his knee cap, I think he is using the high part of his shin, though yes, compared to other types of blocking leg kicks, he is relatively blocking with the front/lowest part of what is popularly described as part of the knee:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOn7WxHjbXI

See also 2 minutes 40 seconds of the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KeOR-VuUrg

BFGalbraith
3/29/2017 12:46am,
I got to spar tonight using this toes up leg block, it didn't take much to convert to toes up, feels natural. I was able to throw front kicks off the "toes up" block with my lead leg just as easily as the toes down I was used to.