The ball of the foot is a lot stronger than I gave it credit for

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by skribs, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    Have never had a problem. I did not say ON the Achilles.
     
  2. paitingman

    paitingman Blue Belt

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    pretty sure they are just differentiating between the back portion of the heel (the part you can't stand on) and the base(?) of the heel (the part on the sole of your foot. the part you can stand on. the one you might side kick with)

    Having said that, I've made contact with both parts I talked about above.
    I personally almost always throw it with my toes/foot pointed. Sometimes I throw it to slap with my foot.
    But with the foot pointed firmly, you still get a really firm impact with the sole of the heel. I can't say I've sensed much cushioning of the impact from my ankle when done this way.

    I think the foot just has to be locked. Either locked forward or locked back sometime before you connect. This will give a real smash if you contact with the heel.
     
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  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    At this point, @skribs, you're just trying grasping at straws (or twigs...) to try to justify whatever you're doing wrong. There's no help for someone who does that, so you go right ahead and kick with your toes as much as you like. Best of luck to you.
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I'm having a good conversation with the others in this thread. You're the only one I feel like I'm arguing with. That's because the others seem to be discussing the technique and how I can improve, or why they find their technique superior to mine, and you seem to be discussing my inadequacies and how you're better than me.

    This post got even worse. Because once again you're telling my I'm wrong without saying anything of substance, but you've also put words into my mouth I did not say. I never said I was kicking with my toes (at least for the kicks we're discussing ball-of-foot vs. heel).
     
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  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    I never said anything of the sort. I'd bet I'm probably worse at the spinning hook kick than you are. My feet are numb, thanks to chemotherapy induced neuropathies. So spinning kicks are comical. But that doesn't mean I don't understand the mechanics. And, once again, if you're hitting harder with the ball of the foot than the heel, you're doing something wrong. Exactly what you're doing wrong I can't say (and neither can anyone else), never having seen your kick (though I invite you, yet again, to post a video). Let us see your kick when you hit with the ball, and the heel.
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I think what @Dirty Dog is saying is that if you are hitting harder with the ball of the foot than the heel (in certain kicks, anyway), then there's something better about your technique with the ball than the heel. Stated conversely, that means there's something "less right" about your form with the heel. It's even possible both are good, but the technique with the ball is just that much better that you're losing the advantage of the heel. Point is, if your technique with the heel were at the same level, the heel should hit harder.

    I'll use my front kick as an example. It seems logical that the heel SHOULD hit harder at all but (maybe) the highest kicks. It doesn't, for me, because I have better technique with my ball-of-the-foot kick. In my case, it's mostly due to flexibility issues (and partly due to the fact that I practice the heel kick less, because it's less useful, because I practice it less....).
     
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  7. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    That's how your posts have come across to me. That since you and I have a different opinion, I should just accept that I'm right and you're wrong, and that I should just shut up because you've put your foot down on what the facts are and I need to accept it.
     
  8. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    In an attempt to clear the air, let's talk about all these kick being performed bare footed. I will try to go from the bottom to the top of the body as much as possible.
    • A foot stomp is more effective using the heel vs. the ball of the foot.
    • Being a very low target, the ankle has to be kicked with the ball or top of the foot or heel using a spinning kick.
    • A front kick to the knee has to use the heel with the foot rotated outward. A barefoot kick to the kneecap using the ball of the foot may sting a little but unless the knee is fully extended I do not think it could do very much damage. I know this bullet will create an argument for angle of attack that, while very valid, I am trying to avoid for this post.
    • A roundhouse to the knee is most effective with the ball of the foot.
    • A side kick or any type of spinning kick to the knee is most powerful and effective using the heel (please do not go down the road of sweeps as this will again muddy the water).
    • The same applies to any kick I can think of as we go up the body that strikes hard targets.
    • A top of the foot roundhouse kick can separate thigh muscle. Happened to me. I think Thai kickers mostly use the top of the foot with their roundhouse kicks. I do not know if is possible to break the femur with the top of the foot.
    • A ball of the foot roundhouse kick will break ribs even wearing a hogu. I have given and received broken ribs this way. If you can develop the power I am certain the same is true for a front kick.
    • A front or roundhouse kick to the solar-plexus is most effective with the ball of the foot. Being a soft target the penetration advantage using the ball makes it more effective. The same is true for the neck, a soft target.
    • A roundhouse kick to the "off button" on the jaw or to the temple is most effective with the ball of the foot. However, I have seen people knocked out with the top of the foot roundhouse kicks with pads on. I have knocked out a person with a front kick under the chin using the ball of the foot.
    • An Ax kick with the heel is a very effective collar bone breaker. It know that it works.
    • Inside and outside crescents speak for themselves. Spinning or otherwise.
    • A side or hook kick should Always use the heel, regardless of kick orientation.
    Need and intent is what drives "part of the foot" selection mostly. Hard targets, usually heel. Soft target usually ball. I use the ball or top of the foot if I need the extra reach. I use the ball or top of the foot for light contact sparring. It is my choice if I need to ratchet up the contact level. There is no absolute answer to the when and why variables of a kick. They are, variables. That is a big part of the learning that comes with time in the dojo/dojang.
    Now, coming full circle to the Op @skribs query. A very large part of breaking comes down to applied common sense, something that seems to be lacking.
    Let's take a 2" cap block setting horizontally on two supports. If I strike the block with an member that is articulated by a moveable joint, it will be harder to break. If I strike the block with a solid member made of the exact same material, length and strength, it will take less momentum and energy to break the block. IF the articulated member is sturdy enough it can break the block, however more physics have to be considered. It is common sense that using the HEEL of the foot is more effective for hard targets, like ribs, collar bone, jaw, temple, etc... It is common sense that the BALL of the foot gives the striker options and can make debilitating impact. It is common sense that all these questions should and will be answered with enough time spent in practice. It is common sense that the answers will be slightly different for each person.

    A spinning hook kick with the BALL of the foot makes no sense unless you are trying to SOFTEN the impact.
    I know I am speaking in absolutes and that is always a formula for rebuttal.
     
  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    The piece I disagree with is that you should never use the ball of the foot for a hook kick. Even if you are on the side that the heel is stronger, the ball of the foot at least has some advantages in reach.
     
  10. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    By default, the Muay Thai roundhouse kick uses the shin as the striking surface. I'd say this has more damage potential than either the instep or ball of the foot. Usually if you see a MT kicker using the instep it's because they misjudged the distance, the opponent backed away, or sometimes for high kicks if they aren't tall enough to reach the opponent's head with their shin.
     
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  11. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I would apply the same line of thinking to a hook kick using the ball of the foot.


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  12. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    An instep round kick can also break ribs through a hogu. I wouldn’t call it common, but I have personally done this to an opponent in competition (according to said opponent).


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  13. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Would a MT kick use the foot pointed towards the target (to provide a harder structure to strike with) or away (to proved better safety for your toes if you do end up hitting with your foot)?
     
  14. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    If you're hitting with the back of the heel, then the ball of the foot isn't really in line with the target.
     
  15. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Normally you point your toes as if you were going to hit with your instep.
     
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  16. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    We train our kicks this way. When we're kicking on a standing bag or a BOB target, my Master expects us to hit with our ankle or shin. However, he says this is because your opponent will typically move back when you kick, so if you aim with your shin, you'll probably hit with your instep.
     
  17. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 2nd Black Belt

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    I don’t use the back of the heal. I’ve accidentally banged the back of my heal into too many stair risers.


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  18. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. I was taught a round kick using the instep, and I've been working to convert it to a MT-style shin kick. I have trouble delivering much power with the instep without risking stressing the ankle if I misjudge the distance (which would put me out near the toes).

    I've never learned to do a roundhouse with the ball of the foot. I couldn't learn one now because of my toes. But that aside, the mechanics of it seem off to me - it seems like a distinctly different kick...maybe only because I don't have any experience with it.
     
  19. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    I will stand on my statement. Unless you are intentionally trying to soften the blow it is taking away effectiveness from the kicks impact. I believe I mentioned the reach advantage.
     
  20. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I wouldn't want the top of my foot checked too often.
     
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