Kicks to keep opponent out of range?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by spaceman82, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. spaceman82

    spaceman82 Yellow Belt

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    I'm a longer guy and try to use the jab to keep my opponent out of his punching range in hands-only sparring. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn't, but I'm new and it's the only the thing I know to do. Once kicks are included in sparring, however, even this strategy goes out the window as I don't know how to maintain range against kicks, especially against guys who're faster than me. My jab isn't much of a deterrent in that situation since they have it beat range-wise with their kicks (which I know I need to get better at blocking/defending), and if I back up or otherwise move around to evade the kicks I run out of space quickly due to the small size of the gym. At the same time, I feel too slow with my own kicks, especially big ones, and am worried about exposing myself if I throw the wrong one at the wrong time. Can you guys suggest some strategies I might use to play to my advantage (length) and keep my opponent out? Maybe some kicks I could start working that work somewhat like a jab in terms of maintaining distance?
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  2. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    If you are far enough away that neither of you can kick, there is a critical threshold where you come into range. Sometimes both come into range together. Other times one can hit but not the other. It isn't so important that you have the longer range as you are aware how far away the other guy can hit you from.

    Then, by manipulating him by touching that range, you can get him to do what you want. You can get him to throw and step out from the cusp, or start closer and step in as he goes.

    Linear kicks are faster than curved kicks. Linear kicks are easy to parry and create big openings.

    So you can step into range and have the initiative because you know they are going to throw a round house, and teep them back. Or you can step in fast to draw a teep or side kick, and be ready with a parry to knock it aside.

    That's the logical structure to closing the gap with a kicker.
     
  3. DoctorTaco

    DoctorTaco Breadhead

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  4. Geordie "Shadow" Munro

    Geordie "Shadow" Munro Amateur Fighter

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  5. shockaholic12

    shockaholic12 Brown Belt

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    Try practicing lead leg front kicks and use them like jabs. Buakaw rocked it very well. If you sparring partner is relatively squared up you have a large target, anywhere from his gut to face. The push from the kick will back them up and if it's strong they'll be off balance so you take a step in and really load up for a follow up strike.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  6. cjwhitt51

    cjwhitt51 Yellow Belt

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    If like you said you are tall than you have the right idea in that you can use kicks like your jab to create and keep distance. You mentioned your kicks feel slow and thats because they are slow(er) then your jab is. The way you make up for that is by set-ups and proper distance.

    As far as set-ups go there are many different ways to go about it. Summerstriker mentioned how you can use coming in and out of range as a set-up for kicks (or obviously anything else you want), which is always a good option. Feints, angles and combinations are also things to look into.
     
  7. Yodsanan

    Yodsanan K'FESTA.1

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    The teep.
     
  8. bowlie

    bowlie Purple Belt

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    I was in the same boat when I started. The only thing I can advise is get better at kicks. It helped me.

    I presume you come from a boxing background seeing as you have a good jab and bad kicks. If so your stance is probably quite bladed. Some people think you should be squarer for kickboxing but I like my boxing stance. I can teep / side kick off of the front leg faster than others and my roundhouse kick off of my rear leg is slower but more powerful than other peoples.

    Try throwing these off of the front leg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S62icvCN6kM
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  9. Harukaze

    Harukaze Brown Belt

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    Teeps and other front kicks are best for gauging and establishing distance. They require less positional shifting of your support foot and body than a side kick, therefore you're not as committed to the kick and can use it as a feeler with less chance of having your kick caught or countered. When you feel like you have your opponent's distancing figured out and can keep him comfortably at bay (i.e. he's thinking about your front kick), then you can start mixing in other kicks or can step in off your own front kick to use your hands.
     
  10. airman20012001

    airman20012001 Green Belt

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    Very informative, great video. One other thing i've noticed about range, if you kick while not in range you really can be countered quit easy.

    So if your going to throw a kick from way out be ready to follow it up. Or use it to bait your opponent for a follow up. double up the hopping side kick, hopping side kick in to a round house works great for closing distance and drawing your opponents gaurd down landing the roundhouse.

    I have people I spar with I can hit pretty much at will, they can't stop droping their gaurd from the side kick faint pulling up in to the round house.
     
  11. SummerStriker

    SummerStriker Black Belt

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    For sure. Kicking from long range doesn't have a high amount of payoff compared to punching people in the face because it is riskier and harder to do.

    In my opinion, almost all kicking techniques fall into two categories - counters and finishes. You can counter a step. Hell, you can counter an intention if you see their mind waver or fix, but what you cant really do much of is throw it alone. A lot of set ups for kicks are designed to generate a flinch - so that only works if you have caused pain to generate that fear from your movement, but if they react your second - real - hit is technically countering either their step or entering the pause caused by their fear. If you see that someone doesn't respond to feints, then their might be room to attack without a set up, but you have to be sure that they aren't responding because they are ignorant, rather than because they find your tricks transparent.

    Once you get accustomed to kicking, it should become hard for someone to "keep you out" with kicks because they should themselves become afraid of your counter. It is better in most cases to keep someone out with a jab than a teep, because the counter to a teep is heavier, even if its reward for success is greater. Keeping someone out with a jab is easy by comparison.

    As finishers, you just hit with what would have otherwise been feints, attack by combination or progressive indirect attacks and all that.

    Sometimes as a kick setup, I let my technique and stance drift, by focusing on hitting with a cross and adjusting myself lazily, I set a certainty in the other guy's mind that I will lead with a rear hand and that he will be safe from it - and then I just kick him. The feint is in the mind.
     
  12. airman20012001

    airman20012001 Green Belt

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    Enjoyed the read, especially the part about fients
     
  13. Phlog

    Phlog Dad Belt

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    A reaching left roundhouse kick to body, to an immediate 1,2,3, right roundhouse kick to head is awesome. Also a axe kick to bring their hands down followed by throwing hands to the head. Kicks as a distance closer are great, just harder to balance. Good precisely because they are less expected and it reduces their interest in counters to your kicks.
     
  14. spaceman82

    spaceman82 Yellow Belt

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    Thanks for all the replies. SummerStriker especially. I'm going to start working on a few of the things suggested here and see what happens. Probably starting with the teep. Will try to update later to let y'all know how things go as well. Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012

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