Problems with roundhouse kick

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Orion Nebula, Feb 11, 2019 at 2:48 PM.

  1. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula White Belt

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    Hi all,

    I've returned to karate after a 15 year hiatus and I'm struggling with my roundhouse kick. Practice will make it better, but for some reason this kick is really eluding me. Part of the problem is that my leg is heavy and I need to build more muscle and lose some weight. However, part of the problem is that when I studied karate years ago, we hit with the top of the foot, whereas now I need to hit with the ball of my foot. It makes sense why the ball of the foot is more effective.

    However, there is something about the foot position that is making it difficult for me to do the kick and I don't know why. If I angle my foot to hit with the top, I have good aim and speed and I generally feel balanced. However, if I angle my foot to strike with the ball, I have trouble getting my foot high enough and I am thrown off balance. I feel like this shouldn't make a difference. Is it related to muscle memory? I feel like my muscles shouldn't be at all conditioned anymore due to the long time lapse.

    Any tips for working on the kick would be welcome. Maybe this is just an instance of doing it again and again until it's right.
     
  2. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Likely the muscles which you use to pull the foot into the kick-with-the-ball position are weak while the muscles and tendons which resist it are stiff and short. Your deliberate focus on getting your food/leg to behave is making it difficult for you to focus on balance as well.

    Practice and repetition is your most likely solution. Include a regiment of trying to point your toes toward your shin when you have down time and are sitting around at dinner or recreating.

    Don't worry about it too much. Just put in the time and you'll get there.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I believe that the MT roundhouse kick is superior than the Karate/TKD roundhouse kick. I like the 360 degree body rotation. It's much easier for my knee joint.

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 3:17 PM
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  4. wab25

    wab25 Purple Belt

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    I believe MT roundhouse kick is different to Karate/TKD roundhouse kick. There are pros and cons to each. They are trying to achieve different things. Which is superior greatly depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your kick.
     
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  5. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am messing around with cheeky curved front kicks at the moment. So for me a round kick is thrown with the shin but to sneak in the teep I have been hitting all sorts of angles with it.

    I just angle it at the last second


    Otherwise loose weight. And kick something a lot until your body gets used to it.
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The MT roundhouse kick fits the general MA guideline that "body push/pull limbs". All MT roundhouse kick come from the body rotation. Some Karate/TKD roundhouse kick only use the leg muscle and even freeze the body.

    1. Partial body move.
    2. Full body move.

    IMO, 2 > 1.

    Also the

    - Karate/TKD roundhouse kick uses a "45 degree upward (or horizontal)" power.
    - MT roundhouse kick uses a "45 degree downward" power. This is much harder to develop. You have to kick much higher.

    Again, I believe 2 > 1. Because you can take advantage on the full body rotation and the downward gravity force.

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 3:56 PM
  7. Yokazuna514

    Yokazuna514 Blue Belt

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    Chances are it has everything to do with your comfort level with the kick that is throwing off your balance. Without seeing you kick it is difficult to tell for certain what the cause is but generally, doing a roundhouse with the ball of your foot feels different than hitting with the top of your foot or shin because you are using the muscles in your leg and foot flexed differently. This new sensation could cause you to straighten your root leg more than usual locking the knee joint which can cause you to lose your balance. You can also be holding your breath more (not feeling as relaxed) which can also cause you to lose your balance. The most likely response is that you are focussing your attention on your foot instead of the target which is probably why you are able to do it with the top of the foot and not with the ball of the foot.

    Tips for working the kick is to practice the kick at a lower level that allows you to keep your balance and progress higher until you get to the height you are trying to hit without the loss of balance. Good luck.
     
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  8. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Ummmm.... no..... not so much.

    The TKD roundhouse absolutely involves the whole body. Now, it's true that there is a commonly used sport-variant that uses very little rotation, but that's not representative of the TKD roundhouse in general.
    And, likewise, you can easily find any number of examples of MT practitioners throwing a roundhouse with little or no rotation. Because timing and distance.
     
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  9. Headhunter

    Headhunter Senior Master

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    The problem with that type of kick is if you miss then your back is turned to the opponent
     
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  10. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    It's also fairly well telegraphed, which can be bad.
    Although, certainly, there are times when you might want to telegraph the kick, if you're using it to set up something else.
     
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  11. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If you miss the roundhouse kick, the moment that you drop your foot, you can follow up with a side kick, back kick, hook kick, outside crescent kick, spin back fist, ...

    A kick doesn't have to be a finish move. It can be a door opening move that you can use it to close distance, or set up for something else.

    This guy uses exactly the same combo successfully twice within 15 second. He uses his kick to obtain his clinch. His opponent falls into his set up twice back to back.

    This clip proves that a pre-arranged combo can work more than once.

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 4:54 PM
  12. Yokazuna514

    Yokazuna514 Blue Belt

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    I do believe MT practitioners, when they are using this particular kick, practice it with the full intention of recovering to a fighting position as quickly as possible using the momentum of the kick to bring them around. I know that is what we do in Kyokushin when we practice this kick. Yes, you do take your eyes off your opponent for a brief moment but it is with the full intention of setting up another kick or sequence as others have also said.
     
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  13. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The kicking skill is so much fun because you can use the 1st kick to set up the 2nd kick, use the 2nd kick to set up the ...

     
  14. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master Black Belt

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    Top of the foot vs. the ball of the foot Roundhouse. The first thing I tell people is to practice at a lower level until they have the technique down solid. For me at least, I have to rotate MORE for the ball of the foot kick to keep good balance. I think this is because to contact happens sooner so you have to rotate a little more to offset this. Do you have trouble pulling your ankle back enough and flexing your toes to get them out of the way? The higher the person kicks with the ball the more prevalent this is. If you are, in reality, kicking with the toes they may be causing a springboard effect, pushing your leg, and consequently you backwards.
    Having not seen you kick this is all spit balling but I think it may be in the ball park.
    Keep in touch and let us know how it is going.
     
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  15. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I find it's very difficult to do roundhouse kick with the ball of the foot when I have shoes on. What do you think?
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends on the shoe. But yes, in most cases the ball of the foot is a barefoot kick.
     
  17. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Reps...Slowly work the fundamentals and kick, kick, kick, kick. Go easy staying relaxed and just work the fundamentals kicking. As you get accustom to it increase the intensity. Put in the reps and you'll be kicking well is a short period of time.
     
  18. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Since 99% of the time when you need to use your kick in self-defense (or street fight) situation, you will have shoes on, I don't understand the value to train barefoot only kick? What's your opinion on this?

    I know Karate/TKD guys may have different opinion on this. But should we consider to train with street clothes and with shoes on?

     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019 at 6:20 PM
  19. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula White Belt

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    Thank you to everyone who took time to reply to my post!

    I think you may be on to something here! It definitely feels a bit difficult to get my foot into that position and I definitely stare at my foot while doing it, so perhaps stretching and toe pointing exercises will help loosen it up a bit and I can focus on other parts of the kick.

    I'm most definitely focusing my attention on my foot! I've been doing the kick both ways here for a few minutes to try to glean some new insights, and I'd say that my root leg is stiffer and not pivoting as much when hitting with the ball of my foot. In class tonight I'll try to be more intentional with my root leg and see how it goes!

    In the past, one of my favorite combos was a relatively light roundhouse kick, continuing the rotation in a circle, and following it with a more devastating hook kick. I never used it in sparring, but I loved doing it on the bags. My balance isn't good enough now, but soon.

    Thanks for the advice! I do have some issues with pulling back my toes in general. Even with a front kick, my big toe pulls back but the rest don't pull back nearly as far. I actually have yet to hit something with a roundhouse in class, but I am pulling my toes back just enough for the front kick. Tonight I'll try hitting something and see what my toes are up to.
     
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  20. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Shoes are rough on bags. Sparring is done barefoot (or with kicking pads, which do not protect the foot the way a shoe does). Shoes let you kick with the toes. Kicking with the toes barefoot leads to broken toes. So, since you're going to spend far more time on sparring and bag work than fighting, it's probably a good idea to learn to do it without breaking your toes.

    Sure. I think it's a great idea. Our school doesn't (although I'd like to) but I do encourage students to practice in street clothes.
     

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