Kicking with the toes

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by skribs, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Okay, hear me out for a minute. I know that in general, you aim to kick with the ball of your feet, the instep, or the shin. (At least with kicks like the roundhouse kick, which are traveling in that direction). But that's because we train in class barefoot, or in martial arts shoes that don't offer very much protection.

    But if you're going to be kicking with your regular shoes on (especially in self-defense), my theory is that kicking with the toe of your shoe is going to actually be the best option. It seems like it is going to be the safest part of your foot to kick with, since the toe is usually reinforced in front, and you're not flexing your ankle to do the kick (like you would for your instep).

    The toe of your shoe is also usually hardened, and is going to be one of the smallest points of contact to concentrate your force (the blade of your foot may be sharper, but it's also a longer surface, and it won't really work for a roundhouse.

    If you miss short, you might scrape them with your tread. If you miss long, you hit with your shin.

    Overall, it seems like with your shoes on, kicking with your toes would be the best way to kick. It's just a thought I had, and not something I've seen discussed before.
     
  2. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Depends on the shoes.

    However, if you don’t hit quite right you can wrench your ankle downward and get injured. Something to be aware of. If you still aim for under the toes/ball of foot, then you lessen that risk.

    I prefer the bottom of the heel, regardless of shoes or no shoes.
     
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  3. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I almost kick with my toes when I teep. I hit with the ball and then drive the toes in. Just to get a bit more stabby.

    Otherwise I think savate have a toe kick and capoeira have a toe kick.
     
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  4. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    It's not a new theory and I'm going to show that it's a fully supportable idea...

    In the tkd encyclopaedia, it's often within the description of kicks that the attacking tool is the ball of the foot - or the toes if wearing stout footwear.

    There's also 'discussion' in a fair few bits of tkd literature about the damage profile in relation to penetrative effect - in soft flexible shoes (trainers, gym shoes etc) the ball of the foot is still going to be the best option because it's the hardest part with the least area*, but in rigid shoes (army type or work boots, heavy soled dress shoes etc) the toes are preferable because the structure of the shoe supports it and also renders the ball of the foot impractical. It's also hard and more pointy.


    Effectively, you appear to have seemingly stumbled across a theory that has been part of ITF TKD since before it was called ITF...



    *If I put a cushion on your stomach and apply 5lbs of force, the force is spread over so great an area you'll barely feel it. If I put the tip of a knife on your stomach and apply 5lbs of force it'll penetrate your body - 'sharp' is simply a reduction in surface area.

    You did actually allude to this within your op.
     
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  5. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    How would you do something like a turning kick (roundhouse) using the bottom of the heel?
     
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  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wouldn’t. I was interpreting the OP to be talking about front kicks. Maybe I missed something there.

    Yup, just re-read it. He did specifically mention the roundhouse.
     
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  7. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Well I was gonna comment on this, but @pdg beat me to it.

    It's just not something I've seen before. When I come up with an idea, that other people have already come up with and think is a good idea, that makes me feel like I have the right idea.
     
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    Or I could have insisted that I can land a roundhouse kick with the bottom of the heel. And blow your mind...
     
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  9. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Yep, you have.
     
  10. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    I'd be asking for a video :p
     
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  11. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    @Flying Crane @pdg

    Probably possible with the right shoes. I just don't own any stilettos to try it out.
     
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  12. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    With front kicks it's recommended to continue to aim to use the ball of the foot, or the sole/heel.

    So, you weren't 'wrong', you just had different applications in mind, as you noticed.
     
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  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Or the instep if kicking up (i.e. to the groin or chin). That's what we typically use for breaking with a front kick (with the board held flat).
     
  14. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    On a person to the body are you hitting with the toes anyway? I mean the don't really bend back all that far and a body kick penetrates pretty deep.
     
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  15. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    On a turning kick (roundhouse) my toes are just tighter than parallel to my shin, and my sole is tighter than a right angle to shin.

    So, it's mainly ball of foot.

    But, as you say, there is involvement of toes for sure - but it's the bottom of my toes.

    The thing being discussed (as far as I see it) relates to intentionally using the tip of the toes.
     
  16. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Yeah I don't know I was going to take a slow mo of a front kick to see what actually happens.
     
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  17. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    If the front kick is traveling forward, then I'd think it'd actually be more awkward to use the tips of the toes.
     
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  18. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    You are, but the power is mostly on the ball of your feet. Kind of like when I do a chop, I am going to hit with my pinky, but the brunt of the force is pushed through the blade of my hand (and thus the brunt of the force my hand receives is through the blade of my hand).

    Why not still do that?

    Just gave it a whirl. With shoes it's the more natural way for me to kick.
     
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  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    With shoes like this, of course you want to kick with your toes.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    A forward traveling kick using the toe tip?

    Upward I can see, but forward (front snap kick / push kick) then with shoes I'd be using the bottom of my foot, not the tip.123
     

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