Sparring and My Difficulty Against Kicks

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by wingchun100, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    I have been practicing martial arts for a long time now...since 1995. However, it was primarily in Wing Chun, where we did no sparring. All we did was Chi Sao. We never even got around to Chi Gerk, which is "sticking LEGS" practice.

    In other words, I am saying my footwork and sparring experience was very limited until recently. However, I'm finding out that, despite this late introduction to it, I'm doing all right. However, there is one thing that training in the Chi Sao and/or Boxing range has not prepared me for: it's dealing with kicks.

    I don't know why they are such an Achilles heel for me. It's not related to hesitation anymore. At first it was, because I didn't want to get hit. However, I find myself overcoming this fear rather quickly. I think it is a combination of knowing how to defend against them, and then reaction time to actually pull it off.

    I've been caught by kicks where, as they were coming at me, it looked like slow-motion...yet I still got tagged! I am talking about roundhouse kicks off the rear leg, and even a spinning back kick.

    I'm trying like crazy to keep remembering what Emin Boztepe said in one of his videos: "Don't think about the attack. Think about the angle." Well, a roundhouse kick comes at you in an arc, like a hook punch. Side kicks, push kicks, snap kicks, and spinning back kicks are all straight angles.

    In my mind, I have an idea what would work. Now it is just a matter of testing that in reality. What I mean is this: whatever angle they use, you use the opposite. So if someone comes at you with the arc of a roundhouse kick, then you step straight into them. If they use a push kick, then you use what I call "zoning" or "angling" footwork so you (1) evade the straight attack and then (2) can come in at them from an angle.

    I know talking about it on a forum only does so much good, because I cannot test it here! LOL Still, I just wanted to write it down and see if it made sense when I read it. Plus, by sharing it with you folks, I can get feedback and/or how YOU handle kicks.
     
  2. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Find someone who trains Taekwondo to spar with! They will probably throw a lot of kicks your way, and will know more ways to defeat kicks.

    I actually asked a question about improving sparring in the Taekwondo forum, and that is mostly kicks.

    One key thing about roundhouse kicks is you want to attack the thigh. You can dodge the foot mainly by moving back, but it you get in close then it's less effective.
     
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  3. wingchun100

    wingchun100 Senior Master

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    Actually that rear roundhouse is the one I have the most success against. When I see it coming, I use my footwork to close the distance, and sometimes they don't even get a chance to land it at all.
     
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  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    1. Below the knee kick - jam or escape.
    2. Between knee to waist kick - jam and catch.
    3. Above waist kick - catch.
     
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  5. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    roundhouse kicks my son tries to either:

    Forward at 45 degree inside the kick (toe side on a horizontal foot) or backwards at 45 degrees outside the kick (heel side)

    always at an angle and never forward toward the heel side and never backwards toward the toe side.
     
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  6. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    Can you explain this a bit more? I am not able to work out what you mean by toe side and heel side.
     
  7. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Basically if he is gonna go forward....he is moving at a 45 degree direction to where the kicking foot is pointing putting him on the inside of the kick.

    If he is gonna pull away he is gonna move at a 45 degree angle in the direction of the heel putting him on the outside of the kick.
     
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  8. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    A great way to learn to see kicks coming and to respond to kicks is to hold pads for a good kicker.
    The kicker kicks whenever they want any kick they want and you much respond with the pads. Start slow and light power increasing the speed until you are able to catch their kicks every time. Then start jamming the kicks or getting out just enough to re-enter for counters later.
    Then start sparring it again starting slow and building on the speed and timing.
    Have fun.
     
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  9. Anarax

    Anarax 2nd Black Belt

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    How you responds to kicks it similar to how you deal with punches. Meaning, the situation will dictate what defense would be best. The angle the attack is thrown from and where it will make contact on you will help determine how you will deal with it.

    IMO, shin blocks or "shields" are great against round kicks, we used them in Karate and Kung Fu and it always effective. It's just raising your leg straight up similar to how you throw a knee. Angle your shin towards the incoming kick and point your toes downward. With straight kicks(front, side, etc) I would parry the kick while stepping off at a 45 degree angle to counter attack or throw a kick.

    Here's a video
     
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  10. yak sao

    yak sao Senior Master

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    You mentioned Emin, he was my Sifu for many years and this is exactly how he taught us to deal with kicks....shut them down by exploding in.
    Another tactic we'd use is intercept their kick with a kick...either to the torso, the hip, the thigh of the kicking leg, or even the base leg.
    Remember, every kick is a step, every step is a kick, so your kick closes the distance.
    And if he's too fast, your kick is still in front of you as tan or bong gerk.
     
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  11. Mitlov

    Mitlov Purple Belt

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    In theory, I use distance to avoid circular kicks and move off the line to avoid linear kicks.

    In practice, I block them. With my face.
     
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  12. JR 137

    JR 137 Grandmaster

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    In theory -
    I move straight in on roundhouse kicks. Get close enough, and they hit you with the thigh rather than the shin or foot. While their leg is still up, they’re pretty much defenseless.

    I angle in and away from straight kicks - front, side, etc. So if a right leg front kick comes in, I parry while stepping in at 45 degrees toward the non-kicking leg. If the leg’s still up, they’re defenseless.

    Easier said that done.

    Then a good kicker adds feints/fakes in there. Starts a lower roundhouse, then somehow gets it up by my head as I’ve parried lower. After I block the roundhouse, it’s turned into a side kick.

    I had a real tough time last night. I sparred with a 3rd dan who’s got great kicks. Speed, precision, and can seemingly change the kick at will. I got decent at not falling for his tricks the last few months. Last night, he stopped the fakes. He caught me with every single kick, as I was thinking two and 3 kicks within the kick instead. He kept me honest. Actually, a little too honest. It’s like the defense getting used to the play-action pass (fake hand-off, then throw), and getting burned when it’s actually a hand-off.

    Back to square one with him. I’ve got to get to the place where I’ll take the least damage, regardless of what he throws. His wife is even better at kicking, so just when I get a rythym going, I typically have her next in line.
     
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  13. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    That's why my son moves at an angle because it puts him in a better position and takes away the kicks.
     
  14. jobo

    jobo Grandmaster

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    You can't defend kicks you have to move out of the way or trade it for A strike/ grab of your own, fast movement and reaction are what you need,

    Get a heavy bouncy dogs ball, throw it at a wall and practise catching it, When you throw it very hard,it comes back at you like a bullet, when that get easy , cut some lumps out of the ball so it takes random bounces, that OR get some one to hit tennis ball at you, that's good to
     
  15. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    It helps if you have some good kickers to work with. Hold pads for them, spar them. Watch their movement.....their initial movement. Just like anything else, you learn to read body language. You'll see that step with the front foot when they kick, or that twitch of the hip when they kick, the bend of the knee, or the subtle shift of the hands [which most people don't realize they have]

    Doesn't matter if the kicker is in constant motion before kicking, you'll still see the reads as they start to kick. What if they feint? You learn to read that movement, too. Watch fighters, especially kickers, feinting. Watch HOW they feint. When you're a kicker that throws feints, you use feints that that will make your opponent react. So you throw a movement that looks like you're coming in. And what you do when you do that is - you show initial movement used in attacking - it's like a menu. A menu of movement.

    If you have access to a school that has good kickers, go watch them spar. Really watch them. Don't watch them as a fan, watch them as an instructor. Spend time watching intently - watch their feet on the floor. It's like reading a book. Spend twenty minutes looking at nothing but their feet on the floor as they spar. Just watch them from the knees down.

    Most important is where you focus your vision. It really doesn't matter where, you can look at their chest, their hips, their knees, their feet, whatever you like. But you look there at all times. If you shift your vision from one plane to another you're likely to become a heavy bag. Fighters will eat you alive if you shift your vision. Absolutely smoke you.

    And you have to spar against kickers. Contact sparring. There is no real feedback if there is no physical reason not to get kicked. I don't mean kill each other, just hit each other.

    And if YOU ARE A GOOD KICKER, you need to do a lot of mirror work. No, not looking at how cool your kicks are. [Oh, yes you do!] Look at your initial movement. Look at your tells. Look at your front foot when you kick. Then have your dojo mate video you on your phone when you spar. You might be stepping with that front foot when you spar, even if you aren't doing it on the bag, the pads or in the mirror. You'll be surprised how much you give away. Just like the guy you're sparring is giving things away.
     
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  16. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    The give away is why I very rarely bother with full roundhouse kicks.

    And in sparring, I tend to use a slight chamber - the same chamber whatever the kick. I can lift my knee directly in front of me and from there go for either side of my opponent's head or body, push kick, snap kick, side kick, twisting kick, hook - or it's a launch for a back kick of some description.

    Being able to do that means that most opponents tend to react to the knee lifting, and I can choose which kick I want to (try to) take advantage of their reaction.

    Oh, and that's using either leg, front or rear, whichever one is in front.

    A kick doesn't have to be a step, it need not alter distance at all.
     
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  17. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    Do you think you have any tells?
     
  18. pdg

    pdg Senior Master

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    Loads.

    If I had none, every single kick would land - and they don't. Far from it.

    Of course - I'm sparring against other kickers, most of whom have been doing it far longer than I have. The lower the rank of my opponent, the greater my success. Up to around the same grade as me, I'll land 80+% compared to their ~10% against me.

    A fair few of the tells are necessary for the mechanics of the move - how my hips turn, how my support foot moves, what my hands are doing, where my upper body is heading for balance.

    The thing I'm trying to do is work on the timing of those tells so they coincide with my opponent's reaction to the kick they thought they should expect - that and feinting the tell (which sometimes works exceptionally well).

    Or, put my foot back down and punch, but that's my weak area :D
     
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  19. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have absolutely no tells in my kicking during sparring. Because I no longer kick much. And no longer spar.

    Ah, success! Yay! :)
     
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  20. IvanTheBrick

    IvanTheBrick Orange Belt

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    Don't worry. Everyone experiences weaknesses everywhere. But you will learn to adapt, especially if you know the blocks. The more you get hit, the more that the brain, body and mind will adapt to stop you from getting hit. But a key thing for this to happen is be steady on your feet. You can't expect to learn how to dodge, or use your feet to block or dodge if you can't keep your balance. Take a friend or some guy at your gym to do the same attack over and over and over at different speeds so that you find a visual queue for the attack. But remember to find the visual queue for the attack itself, not the person attacking you. Don't concentrate on learning the person and attempting to "feel out" when they will hit; concentrate on reacting. The best way to do this is to look directly at your opponent's eyes. In any situation, the eyes is where you want to be looking.123
     
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