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  1. #1
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
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    Systemic Over Training of the Right Body Kick

    So this is something that's been nagging at me. In any striking art I've studied - karate, muay thai, MMA - the kicking technique which gets the most attention spent on it in padwork and drilling is the right round kick to the body. It makes for a pretty easy combination to teach students - jab, cross, right kick, reset; it's easy to hold thai pads for, or one one of those big karate kick shields. Makes sense that it comes up a lot in drilling.
    It is also one of the techniques that I use the least in actual practice. In terms of "bread and butter" kicks, I throw nearly as many inside leg kicks as everything else put together. If I want to work the body, I can do more damage by throwing a liver kick off the left leg. If I'm following up a one-two, I can throw the right leg kick with a much higher percentage than the right body kick. If I'm inclined to throw the right kick high, I can get a lot more bang for my buck by throwing it to the head. Body kicks put me at a higher percentage of having the leg trapped than either head or leg kicks. All in all, it just seems like (as far as round kicks go) the right body kick is the least amount of damage for the most amount of effort and risk.
    So why do we keep doing this? Is my experience with striking arts simply an anomaly? Does the right body kick have some grand advantage I'm overlooking? Or is this just a totally over-esteemed technique?
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.

  2. #2
    Permalost's Avatar
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    I agree with all points here. I use my left lead round kick far more than the right rear leg one, just like the jab is used far more than the cross (or the right hook/overhand). I'm also not a big fan of how its used in padwork after a right cross- your hips are already turned from the cross and therefore can't put much power into the kick- a right cross sets up a left round kick much better IMO. There's also a TKD defense to a body kick like that where you immediately spin into a spinning back kick and let the kick hit your arm- this wouldn't be possible against a low or high kick.

  3. #3
    1point2's Avatar
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    At least some of the time in both karate and MT, I got the sense that practicing round kicks to the body was really training for round kicks to the head. But you make a lot of excellent points.
    What a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable. -Xenophon's Socrates

  4. #4
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've occasionally felt that, but it doesn't track to well for me. The mechanics of throwing a head and body kick are too different; When you're throwing a head kick, you want to be arcing down in order to clear the shoulder; when throwing body kicks on thai pads, your kick is effectively arcing up.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    So why do we keep doing this? Is my experience with striking arts simply an anomaly?
    My gym definitely does not do this. We work both left & right equally. We also focus on kicks to the thigh as much/more than to the body (or maybe that's just me because I have no flexibility).

    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    I'm also not a big fan of how its used in padwork after a right cross- your hips are already turned from the cross and therefore can't put much power into the kick- a right cross sets up a left round kick much better IMO.
    Also this. Our most common drills has a switch kick following the cross. The rear leg kick follows a jab or hook. We do a four-series:
    - Jab, rear kick
    - Jab, cross, switch kick
    - Jab, cross, hook, rear kick
    - Jab, cross, hook, cross, switch kick.
    Repeat until you puke.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    Does the right body kick have some grand advantage I'm overlooking?
    I can think of two uses:
    1. Body kick your opponent until they drop their hands, then kick them in the head.
    2. Body kick your opponent, then switch to a hook kick to the face (set up the same way), and they won't see coming.

  7. #7

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    - It's probably your more powerful kick.
    - Assuming both orthodox, it's the closest target (other than his leg).

  8. #8
    Permalost's Avatar
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    Savate and karate have a round kick to the body that hits with the ball of the foot or tip of the shoe, with the idea that it can go around a cover or between 2 parallel forearms to ding the solar plexis or liver. I've been on the giving and receiving end of it and think it has some utility, but its also pretty easy to **** up your foot like that. I've never been able to throw full power ones on a heavy bag. But I do think its a worthwhile variation to know, especially if you're gonna throw a right body kick after a cross, since a right leg attack without good hip rotation will have to make up the difference in TKD snappiness.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    Savate and karate have a round kick to the body that hits with the ball of the foot or tip of the shoe, with the idea that it can go around a cover or between 2 parallel forearms to ding the solar plexis or liver. I've been on the giving and receiving end of it and think it has some utility, but its also pretty easy to **** up your foot like that. I've never been able to throw full power ones on a heavy bag. But I do think its a worthwhile variation to know, especially if you're gonna throw a right body kick after a cross, since a right leg attack without good hip rotation will have to make up the difference in TKD snappiness.
    The savate kick to the liver, particularly if they are wearing savate or wrestling shoes, works.
    Underestimate a savate man wearing his savate "slippers" at your peril.

  10. #10
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kanegs View Post
    I can think of two uses:
    1. Body kick your opponent until they drop their hands, then kick them in the head.
    2. Body kick your opponent, then switch to a hook kick to the face (set up the same way), and they won't see coming.
    I don't know if you're onto something that I'm not, but I have never been able to throw a right (back-leg, non-spinning) hook kick that ever did jack ****. It's hard enough make a lead hook more than a slap in the face, and trying to get power out of the back leg hook kick criss-crossing your body... it's a nightmare.
    I do use feint round kick--- throw hook kick.... off of the left low kick. Which I guess just sort of reinforces my point.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.

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