Mechanics of Kicking 'Downward'

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Teriasn, Nov 1, 2010.

  1. Teriasn

    Teriasn White Belt

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    (1) With a Thai angle kick, does kicking 'downward' amount to turning the hip over more? Is there anything else involved? It seems people bend the kicking knee more as well.

    (2) How does elevation affect this? For instance, I imagine kicking 'downward' on a guys leg. I then picture everything remaining the same except I abduct my kicking leg up to his head. Now it seems like I am kicking parallel to the ground unless I bend my knee (more).

    Thanks for the thoughts.
     
  2. Khun Kao Gym

    Khun Kao Gym Orange Belt

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    1) It's not quite as simple as turning your hip over more. Essentially you are turning so that you are able to direct your kick back down into the floor. IMO, I don't think that bending the knee makes much of a difference, because how much you bend your knee is more dependant on your distance to target than the angle of attack. You have to take it on a case-by-case basis.

    2) I don't undestand what you're asking. Are you asking how much higher your kick must travel above the elevation of your target prior to angling it down?
     
  3. Bennosuke

    Bennosuke Blue Belt

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    1. As said before, it's not that simple. While turning the hip over more, will angle the leg downwards, it must be accompanied by several things. With a leg kick, the leg will generally travel upwards before cutting down. This allows you to put more snap into the kick, like kicking high up for an axe kick before swinging it down. Also, I was taught to bend in the supporting leg as the kick comes down. This allows you to put more weight behind the kick.

    2. Abducting your leg and medially rotating the hip are two different things. If you are asking how one throws a downward angled head kick, it really depends on what style of kicking you practice. In kyokushin the leg will generally come from the side, allowing for the leg to travel high before coming across, and then down on the opponent. The brazilian style head kick, in contrast, is thrown with a "chambered leg" in which the knee is lifted high in front o the body, before rapidly turning the hip over with a bent leg so that the foot ends up at head height
     
  4. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Kicking downward? Your referring to chopping the kick downward at the target i assume. My opinion, your leg kicks should always be thrown by chopping the kick from high to low. That said, a chopping kick can be thrown mid or high as well, if you have the flexibility necessary it is a great way to throw high kicks, chop the shin inside or over the guard.

    Technical aspects that really create the chop in the kick.

    1. you have to get up on the ball of the pivot foot on the post leg, with a slight bend in the leg. But you must remain heavy on the post leg, if you hop or come up light on the toe the kick will flatten out and you cant get your hips turned over as far.

    2. as you turn into the kick throw the point of the shoulder (on kicking leg) and point of the hip (also on kicking leg) down and outside of the opponent (if both orth and kicking at lead leg, throw the point of shoulder/hip just outside of opponents rear foot.). You should almost feel like your falling forward, this is where the arm swing comes in for the counterbalance as the hip drives through (please, lets not get into swing or dont swing, to chop a kick, you swing the arm.... period!)

    3. The important part in creating the power and downward trajectory is to keep your upper body over top your hips, if you lean back, come up high on the toes, or pull away the kick trajectory begins to plane out, get your upper body over your hips and drive the shoulder/hip down and across your opponent. Your upper body should actually be closer to your opponent when the kick lands than when in began (for a low kick). Ideally, your shoulders are below your opponents and your head is outside his power hand (assuming orth).

    4. Make sure your turning through the kick on the pivot foot, the hip should be out in front of the shin that makes contact. When you turn the kick over think about trying to get the heel of the post foot pointing at the centerline of your opponent, almost turning your backside toward him when making contact. The trick to really chopping down on a kick is to get the hips/shoulders/upperbody through about 80% of the rotation before the shin makes contact. Anytime your shin gets out in front of the hip, the kick loses power and the upper body is in a position to be easily countered. Got to get through the kick, commit to it or dont throw it. Stay as heavy on the post leg as you can when pivoting and let your hips carry the kick through. Watch Thiago Alves throw a low kick, he does it exceptionally well.

    As for chopping high kicks, similar technique only it does require you to lean back and really turn the kick over late in the rotation, your back is basically facing the opponent when kick lands. See pic below, maybe that helps. Again, you want to keep your upper-body over your hips as long as possible, even on the high kick, the difference in throwing it higher is just coming up higher on the post leg and turning the hips over later. Instead of throwing the hip/shoulder across your opponent, your basically throw them straight down at your post leg as your hips start to turn, why you end up pulling back more on the high kick.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2010
  5. Bennosuke

    Bennosuke Blue Belt

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    Ssulivan- what do you mean by always throwing the leg kick "chopping from low to high". I can't picture that. Great post though.
     
  6. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Woops, that should of said "chopping leg kick, high to low" my bad.


    I was referring to the trajectory of the kickers shin when throwing a leg kick at the opponent. Ideally you want the hip higher than the shin when the kick starts and lower than the shin when the kick lands...... Imagine an axe chopping into the side of a tree, the most damage is done when the head of the axe makes contact at a downward angle coming from high to low, you want your shin to meet your opponents thigh in the same manner, coming from high to low and chopping down.
     
  7. Bennosuke

    Bennosuke Blue Belt

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    Haha. That makes a lot more sense. Do you bend the supporting leg as you swing the hips with your low kick to get your hips below the kicking shin?
     
  8. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    sure do! drop weight down and through the target.....
     
  9. Teriasn

    Teriasn White Belt

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    Thanks for great description. I feel like I have the pieces to the kick now, although a bit away from making it work.
     
  10. barnowl

    barnowl Green Belt

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    @SSullivan:
    Really nice photo's showing pivot AND hip turn-over. How many did you have to go through to find ones that were at just the right instant to capture the apex of the down turn?
     
  11. Teriasn

    Teriasn White Belt

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    Hmmm...

    Whenever I try the technique as described I feel as though the instant I get to the 'turning downward' part I lose all of the power. It's like there's a disconnect and as soon as power from my hip gets to my knee I lose it.
     
  12. Bennosuke

    Bennosuke Blue Belt

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    Would have to see you perform it, but I would bet it's a lack of flexibility. Since you can't stretch as much at the hip, you lean back which takes power out of the kick.

    Does this sound possible? Do you feel you lose power on your leg kicks if you try to kick down rather than across?
     
  13. ssullivan80

    ssullivan80 see....what had happened was

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    Not still pics, just took screen shots from video clips....... way easier!
     

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