Defense against kicks aka kick defense techniques

Great side kick.During my initial training, we only learned a few defenses against kicks. To become proficient in fighting especially in a kick heavy confrontation, you need a better repertoire of defense moves or counter-kick techniques. The most common kicks can be distilled into two types: those that come in straight like a front or side kick and those that come in across like a roundhouse or crescent kick. For simplicity, we’ll just consider those angles of attack since other kicks mimic the entry into your defense zone.

Here are a few techniques I gleaned from the far reaches of my memory, our Black Belt curriculum and sharing with Hapkido instructors. They make up a portion of the curriculum called Kick Defenses Techniques or just Kick Defense for short (as we do for Gun Defenses and Weapon Defenses).

KD 1 (vs. round kick)

V-step forward

Lift the same side leg up and block the kick

 

KD 2 (vs. front kick)

Step to outside, downward block kick and then roll arm around leg

Dropping elbow on thigh

Sweep foundation leg

 

KD 3 (vs. round, front or side kick)

V-step to the inside and jam the kick

Backfist to the solar while the other hand checks leg

Tiger’s mouth to throat

Leg hock

 

KD 4 (vs. round or front kick)

Fade to the side with guarding arm

Round shin kick to the foundation thigh

 

KD 5 (vs. front or side kick)

Fade to the side with guarding arm

Side kick the foundation knee or back of knee

Switch round kick to the head

 

KD 6 (vs. front or side kick)

L-step back with guarding arm

Slide up leg and grab toes and heel with hands

Turn waist as you whip the foot around towards inside zone

Leg lock

 

KD 7 (vs. front or side kick)

Cat stance and absorb the kick with a trap

Step back or turn waist to pull opponent off balance

Front kick the groin

Drop leg and spinning dragon tail sweep

Stand back up

 

KD 8 (vs. front or side kick)

Cat stance and absorb the kick with a trap

Step back or turn waist to pull opponent off balance

Turn the foot so the opponent is on his belly

Cross step over the thigh, trapping the foot on your upper thigh (lock)

End in a seated position and apply pressure on the submission lock

 

KD 9 (vs. front or side kick)

Fade back, tap and grab the foot

Spin-whip the foot towards the outside

They will fall

Heel kick the groin

Standing leg lock

 

For the truly clever, consider adapting some of the Combinations, Punch Counters and Defense Maneuvers to be effective against kicks. You do adapt these techniques for use against armed assailants, right? You have tried these techniques armed with a pocket stick, right? If not, I just provided you with a month of training ideas. Now go practice, practice and practice again.

Warrior Weapons

To be a modern warrior, you should (or must) know how to be a primitive warrior. The ability to build and use simple, effective weapons from our collective history provides a wealth of skills that transfer very well to modern combat. Primitive Tech such as throwing rocks, tomahawks, throwing knives, spears, and bows are important weapons. These simple weapons were effective and easy to learn. They sustained humanity for hundreds of years. They can also keep you safe if all you have to defend yourself is a handful of rocks or a pointy stick. In our dojo, these are training tracks in the weapons program.

The ‘traditional’ weapons of American martial arts movies are the weapons from Okinawa. Even though ninjas hail from Japan, in movies they are often depicted with nunchuku and tonfa, which are Okinawan weapons. Japanese warriors had a lot of unique weapons as did the proud traditions of Chinese martial arts. It is a shame that American movie producers don’t often use the Chinese Hook Sword or the Japanese Kusari-gama. They are dazzling, interesting weapons.

What I call Low Tech weapons are the traditional martial arts weapons from various cultures like Okinawa, Japan, and Europe. Yes, Europe. I feel the German Longsword and other Western weapons are just as valid to study as the Japanese Naginata or Okinawan combat hoe. Yes we wear Japanese gi in the dojo, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a valid fighting technique from Russia, Germany or Spain. Open your mind and drop the bias.

We live in a modern world with modern weapons. This is evident in the newly created gun and rifle defenses of many current styles. High Tech weapons include guns. Therefore, we should learn how to use them, and use them accurately. This will help in defending against an opponent who is using a gun against us. In certain forms of Ninjustu, they have a tradition for using traditional guns of an earlier era. That era was current when the style was developed. Likewise it is imperative that we do the same.

Style of No Style

I have peppered this post with inspirational quotes from Bruce Lee’s book. This whole post was inspired by Bruce Lee and his book—his practical view on the martial arts. I am not fortunate enough to have trained in Jeet Kun Do but that doesn’t mean I can’t take his wise words and apply them to my situation. I believe that was his intent. He wanted us to break out of the mold of old-way thinking and embrace the thought process of scholars. It is the only way to improve what we have and pass on something wonderful to the next generation.

This is of course a hotly debated topic in the martial arts community. Feel free to express your opinion in the comments below. Be civil and professional, please. We are all martial artists and deserve courtesy.

You are the director of the combat

Approach and delivery

I’m often asked how to succeed in combat or self-defense situations. The answer doesn’t involve an ultimate technique or secret finger strike. Rather it is a state of mind, a warrior’s mindset: you must direct all the actors of the confrontation and make them do what you want. If you are confused, you won’t make the proper decisions during the conflict. One of your priorities is this, you want them to loose.

Grab them and pull them to you. Make them comply with how you want to fight.

Don’t let the aggressor dictate how the fight will be fought. If he wants to fight on the ground, stay up. If she wants to engage in a kicking match, slip inside to punch and throw. If he wants a punching match, pull back and start kicking. Or better yet, move the conflict to one of your strengths.

Missing Author and Dojo Update

pocket-watchIt has been a very long time since I wrote a post to this blog. It seems abandoned, and honestly, it was for a bit. I just haven’t had the time to devote to writing articles. My topic list ran dry and I had writer’s block thinking of new ideas. For those remaining readers, I apologize for not being as consistent. Hopefully, my new list of ideas will pan out better. Be warned, I won’t commit to daily or even weekly posts. Let’s set a goal of once per month right now.

In truth, I was working on another blog which led to his one being left in the “to do” pile. Maintaining a blog is quite tough and I thought doing two would be cool. I was wrong.

What’s new in our little dojo? I’m working on actually getting certified to teach Tai Chi. This process is bringing in load of developmental and foundational curriculum to my anemic Tai Chi program. As a result, the Chi Gung section is getting a boost too. As I make adjustments to how I teach Introductory Tai Chi classes, please bear with me. There will be a few road bumps and a few mistakes as the new ranking goes live next year. This study may even lead to some Tai Chi related posts.

It’s been over ten years since the web site has had a make over, not counting the recent addition of this blog. I think it is high time I did something about that. There hasn’t been anything new on the site since I discontinued the monthly Leopard Pause newsletter and quarterly Black Belt Bulletin. If you miss those features, let me know. Be aware that producing them cost me money that I had to cut from the budget. If you like them, I will attempt to find ways to finance it.

Have any other questions about the dojo, blog or the students? Write to me.