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  1. #1
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
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    Let's hash this out: Arm swing vs Arm Extension on round kicks

    If you're training experience has been like my own, you have probably, at various points in your life, been told to do one of three things with your hands when throwing a round kick:
    1) Hold your arms statically in guard
    2) Swing your arm downward on the same side as the kicking leg
    3) Extend the arm forward on the same side as the kicking leg
    A video of the above three:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vvoh0o-UWpE

    In my own experience, I've been taught all three - the first by my karate instructor, the second by my MMA coach, the third by my Muay Thai coach.
    Option 1) always felt terrible for me, and seemed to slow down the kick and reduce the power substantially.
    The general consensus I've heard is that 2) gives you more power and 3) provides better defense. I want to try and unpack that a bit.
    In my own experience, the extent to which I want to lower my arm is inverse to the height of the kick. When throwing a head kick, I'll do a full bore arm swing; I'm not terribly concerned about using that arm to protect, since my damn leg is now covering my high line. Moreover, I feel like the arm swinging downward helps counterbalance bringing the leg up.
    On leg kicks, though, the kick feels -worse- doing a full arm swing instead of a forward extension. I don't feel like I'm particularly getting more power out of my kick, and I'm just extending the recovery time. Because I'm not lifting the leg terribly high -even when really chopping down on the thigh - there isn't the need for the bigger arm and body motion of a head kick.
    On body kicks, the arm does tend to come lower, but as I posted an entire thread on before, I'm not the biggest fan of body kicks in the first place unless its to the liver.
    As I'm chewing it over, I'm starting to feel like the arm-swing and the arm-extension are not wholly separate techniques or methodologies, but sort of a spectrum of kicking arm-position.
    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

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    Number 1) is IMO the worst since keeping an arm so close to your body unbalance you if you lean backward in order to kick higher. My coach advocate 3) since it is not uncommon in my style to catch a roundkick while punching the other guy. Plus It tend to be cool for low kicks, because you can use your extended arm to disturb the other guy's sight and hit the low kick easily. 2) is subject to controversy : of course it is powerful, but power is not always the only thing you want. It is ok to use it occasionnaly when you're sure you will land this head kick, but you might want to use your arm extended on some occasions for either protection or distraction. We had a talk about this in this thread https://www.bullshido.net/forums/sho...d.php?t=127308. There seems to be no real and definitive consensus on this across the world, since nearly every muay thai fighter swing the arm a lot, while many others stylist advocate not to. It might be related to rules and what could happened in the ring/cage/mats. But both seems to work well to some extend

  3. #3
    Bneterasedmynam's Avatar
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    Swinging the arm isn't bad, but over exaggerating it is. IMHO you have to swing somewhat or the power sucks.

  4. #4
    Diesel_tke's Avatar
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    I've tried out all three. I was taught 1 initially but that was with a kickboxer who was a boxer first. Then when I went to MT, I was taught 2. I tried out 3 for a while just from watching lots of MT matches and seeing them do it, but went back to 2 eventually. 2 feels more natural to me and I like the way my body ends up on a missed kick.
    Combatives training log.

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  5. #5

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    Right or wrong really depends on what you're attempting to do with it, tbh.

    You may say keeping hands up in the guard has its advantages in the sense that of all the options, this allows for a quick follow up for punches. When it comes to throwing the arm this offers the most power of the three, and finally if you extend your arm out with the kick this is the most defensive to keeping you from getting dropped with a punching counter.

  6. #6

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    disadvantage of 3 is that you can't really throw a good superman punch off a (maybe feigned) body/leg kick, which was one of my favourite and most reliable tricks when I kickboxed regularly. I like 2 best. I notice that on leg kicks I don't really swing down consistently. Rather, I initially start the swing down, and correct it to be more horizontal as I start to turn my hips over and the leg goes more horizontal/diagonally downwards.

  7. #7

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    I hate 3, as it's a good way to eat a cross. But then again, I've never been a tremendous high kicker due to knees that love to dislocate. I have however made people eat my cross.

    For low kicks, I actually have no problem with 1. If I'm kicking someone in the thigh, it doesn't upset my balance. I also like to land a kick, plant on forward side (no retraction), and go for clinch/throw. Having both hands up really helps this tactic.

    One of my old kickboxing instructors found it strange that I did 1 so often, but said my power was plenty good, so there was no reason to do anything different.

    2 I really don't have a problem with. Decent counterbalance without screwing your defense too badly.

    Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, because I have never been a high level kickboxer. But damn, I love to bury a full commitment leg kick, and have won a few matches against suckas with it. One-kick dead-legged fight finishers!

  8. #8
    gregaquaman's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter. Kick with your head off line and they shouldn't be able to hit you.
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  9. #9
    Permalost's Avatar
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    I kinda do a hybrid of 1 and 2 by swinging my elbow back while keeping my fist pointed forward. Pulling just the elbow back still gives you that extending pelvic action.

  10. #10
    TheMightyMcClaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RynoGreene View Post
    I hate 3, as it's a good way to eat a cross. But then again, I've never been a tremendous high kicker due to knees that love to dislocate. I have however made people eat my cross.
    I'm a bit confused by this, as the purpose of the arm extension is the guard the high line while kicking. How are those crosses getting through?
    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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