TKD + MMA + Bagwork...


E C Monee

I currently train in TKD and in 1 week I start bjj, I am looking to eventually do some mma once my skills develop and I see how I fair with others. I am thinking of switching to a MA more suited for MMA but currently I like TKD and I want to atleast get my BB in a couple years before moving on. But for now I was wondering if anyone who trains in TKD when doing bag work do you modify your kicks from hitting with the ball or top of the foot to hitting with the shins or does anyone know if this is ideal? We loose a bit of range by doing this but from what I see kicks are alot harder when hitting with the shins. Any info whether from a tkd practinioner or not would be greatly appreciated.
I used to do TKD, and now do BJJ with some stand up (based on JKD, alot of boxing). And, yes, you should switch to kicking with the shin. I did it through using a heavy bag, which worked pretty well. I don't know your access to one or your level of expirience in using them.

One thing to look out for is that you'll have to adjust your distance. I did TKD for about ten years before switching and found it difficult at first to change my sense of distance from where I could hit with the instep to where I could hit with the shin. But I worked on heavy bags alot on this and it's become second nature now.

BTW, anyone telling you to hit with the ball of the foot on roundhouse kicks (other than for breaking) is misleading you.
I use ball of foot. You've got to train it. I've dropped people with the ball of the foot roundhouse to the mid-section.

Popular wisdom, however, says shin is a very reliable weapon. I've had people hit the instep of their foot against my elbow and drop to the ground in I used to think instep was useless.

But now I've seen Crocop fricken knock out people with the instep. The *instep* against the head and he doesn't seem hurt at all by it. So now I don't know what to believe!

Just keep working the bag...
I've known people who could use the ball of the foot in sparring, but it took a lot of timing and/or set up. Yeah, kicking the elbow hurts, but not as much as getting my toes crunched (at least to me). Which is kind of funny, because I wore pretty heavy boots during most of the winter (to keep out the snow), and was much more comfortable kicking with my toes with the boots on than the intep, shin, or anything else.

But, yeah, use the heavy bag.
Most people can't kick with the ball of the foot. Even people who think they can kick with the ball of the foot can't really kick with it.

First time I kicked a heavy bag with the ball of the foot I crunched my toes (just like you said). So I started working on it (kneeling on my ball of my foot, practicing kicks on the bag, etc). When you can really kick the bag you can get a lot of penetration power with the ball of the foot.

But you're right about timing and set up. You can still jam your toes if you hit someone's elbow. Hurts like hell. If you get them in the midsection, however, it will take the wind right out of them...

That is the problem, however. With the proper timing *anything* works...actually getting it to work, however, is another story!
i can manage ball of foot with my front kick which is very nice, but i stick to instep and lower shin for roundhouse kicks
If you're serious about fighting in MMA, like in competition, I'd reccomend devloping some boxing skills in addition to TKD and BJJ.
WTF are you guys saying about kicking someone WITH the ball of the foot? The ball of the foot is on the UNDERSIDE of the feet, right? Are you saying that you kick with your opposite leg on the ball of its foot? Or you are kicking with your INSTEP, the TOP of the foot?

Is that Latin?

The ball of the foot is on the bottom of the foot. When you stand on your tip-toes, that's what you're standing on. The instep is on the top of the foot, where shoelaces are. Part of the original question was what was the best part to use for kicking (I'm assuming roundhouse): the ball of the foot, the instep or the shin.

"Are you saying that you kick with your opposite leg on the ball of its foot?"

What does this sentence mean?
tokian said:
WTF are you guys saying about kicking someone WITH the ball of the foot? The ball of the foot is on the UNDERSIDE of the feet, right? Are you saying that you kick with your opposite leg on the ball of its foot? Or you are kicking with your INSTEP, the TOP of the foot?
Yeah, they are talking about kicking with the ball of foot. You pull your foot and toes back, and the striking surface is the ball of foot. It's very useful for breaking, and can be formidable if you are very precise with it (it can penetrate the guard and hit the solar plexus, for example), but most people kick with instep or shin when sparring because it's easier and more likely to work.

As for the thread starter, my advice to you is to find a person willing to spar really hard (maybe a friend of yours who does kickboxing or muay thai) and spar with him regularly (once a week or so) in addition to your TKD training. It will help with defending punches and getting used to some real physical contact.

As for the bag, yeah, try to use the lower part of the shin. TKD kicks aren't well suited to hit with the upper shin. Try to avoid using the instep, and try to make the contact area your shinbone just above your ankle. You could also try to condition the ankle bones, but this is not very likely to be as effective as the shin. You should never hit full power with the instep below the ankle bone.
Can you make contact with the ball of your foot with anything besides a push or round kick?
tokian said:
Can you make contact with the ball of your foot with anything besides a push or round kick?
Ball of foot is used for front and round kicks.

You can catch somebody with the ball of foot on hook and axe kicks, but that's if you miss it with the heel. Ball of foot is not a good striking surface in this case.
I actually have a friend who started MT recently and I am waiting for him to be ready to spar, unfortunately he can only go once a week so his progression in MT will be slow. My main reason for asking the question is because we don't do any bag work in TKD and seeing that I want too I was unsure wether to switch from ball of foot to top of foot and or shins. I think I'll keep practicing all 3 and hopefully get to a point where I can pick and choose on the fly depending on range. I can imagine the ball of the foot can and will deliver a nasty "punch" done correctly to the torso or head. Thanks for all your replies.

The reason you don't do any bagwork is probably because the class is too big to work it in. When you've only got two bags and 25 people, for example, bag work is going to be a waste of time. Too many people will be standing around watching two people kick and punch.

Either get one for your house or stay after and work the bag. Bag work is so important and is probably the most neglected thing in TMAs. This is coming from someone, btw, who hasn't done a decent bag workout in weeks. So I know it is tough to work it in. But if you really want to be good, you'll find the time...
Yeah the only thing I have seen is one of them stand up bags and the only place I see it is downstairs by the dressing rooms, good place for it eh? We only work with hand targets and shields for the most part. I do already have a bag hanging in my living room, well my dojon now =). I put down some mats to cover the whole living room and put up a nice heavy bag to work on, unfortunately I recently had an accident where I fracture my 1st and 2nd metatarsal, but I am about to start some bag work and is why I was wondering about how to hit the bag, especially coming from a tkd background.
I hate those standup bags. They don't feel right...

Hmmm...must not be married. No sane wife would let you convert the living room into a workout room. Basement, garage....maybe. But the living room? Never...