TKD Sparring- Why aren't front kicks thrown?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by KTricic, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. KTricic

    KTricic White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    While the simple answer to why front kicks aren't thrown is that the kick is usually done with the top of the foot and there isn't a scoring area for that kind of front kick. However if the toes are pulled back and the kick is executed with the ball of the foot being the point of impact would that score, especially if snapped back properly to distinguish between a pushing kick and front kick?
     
  2. Gwai Lo Dan

    Gwai Lo Dan 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Messages:
    806
    Likes Received:
    89
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'm sure others are more insightful than me, but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

    People say front kicks don't tend to score as well as turning kicks (sensors) or back kicks (more points).

    I was a student previously at a school owned by a 2 time WTF world champion. He had a visitor at the school once who was a really big Korean guy. The visitor said his favourite kick was a push kick to the face. Since then, I've thrown push kicks to the body in fun school sparring; when people say that it doesn't score, I think "well, it would if I kicked you in the face".
     
  3. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,938
    Likes Received:
    2,962
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    Because Olympic-rules sparring is not TKD sparring. Those who use more than 10% of what TKD teaches will use front kicks.
     
  4. KTricic

    KTricic White Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    That makes a lot of sense. The sensors and points are a big draw back. Is the chin/face a valid scoring area or would it have to be the side/top/back of head that the helmet covers?
     
  5. WaterGal

    WaterGal Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,279
    Likes Received:
    264
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Traditionally, the face has been a valid scoring area. But the new electronic head gear does not, apparently, pick up on face shots very well, so in tournaments that use them, it's apparently not really a valid scoring area anymore. At least according to folks on the USAT Facebook group, who complain about that A LOT.
     
  6. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,833
    Likes Received:
    3,947
    Trophy Points:
    448
    Location:
    Maui
    Welcome to MartialTalk, Ktricic, hope you enjoy it.

    I think the answer to your question would be whether the ref saw it or not.

    As to why not as many front kicks are used as opposed to other kicks in competition and/or sparring, I think it's due to the nature of a more sideways stance.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Metal

    Metal Green Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    24
    Trophy Points:
    18
    I think there are two main reasons:

    a) short range
    Front kicks have a shorter range than roundhouse or sidekicks.

    b) risk of injuring the toes
    Even if people throw excellent front kicks and bend their toes back to properly kick with the ball of the foot, there is a way higher risk to injure the toes when the kick is blocked or when the opponent isn’t hit properly.


    Besides this, there are a few other aspects that come to my mind:

    c) risk of being hit in the head with a roundhouse, hook or spinning hook kick while performing the front kick

    When performing a front kick the body is upright and it gets way harder to duck, or lean back to keep the head out of the opponent‘s kicking range. Even when keeping a proper guard during a front kick, chances of being hit or the number of accessible scoring areas for the opponent are higher compared to a roundhouse kick.

    d) risk of loosing balance/falling

    Due to the upright posture of the body and the position of the supporting foot/leg (with the knee facing about 45° away from the kicking leg) it’s more likely to be pushed over than when performing a kick where the supporting leg is turned further, with the knee facing 90° to 180°degree from the target. If you monitor Taekwondo push kicks nowadays you‘ll notice that nearly all athletes only use pushing sidekicks instead of the traditional push kick.

    e) Scoring with the PSS

    Front kicks hardly ever have been used before the introduction of the electronic Protector Scoring System though, so this isn’t the main reason.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DaveB

    DaveB 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2015
    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    178
    Trophy Points:
    58
    Because the chest protector makes lifting the knee high enough awkward.

    At least that's how it felt to me. Swinging the knee up for a push or chop was awkward but because of the imprecise and powerful nature of the swing it was easier to manage.

    Before my back went, front kick was going to be my secret weapon at the London Olympics...
     
  9. skribs

    skribs 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    108
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    For me, it's a few reasons (some of which were already mentioned):

    1) Roundhouse kick is simply easier to use. It has longer range, it has a much bigger weapon to hit with, and it's easier to get your hips out the side of the chestguard.
    2) Roundhouse kick combos better with other kicks, while front kick combos better with punches (in my opinion). Front pushing kick combos well with points, but pushing kicks don't score.
    3) Roundhouse kicks tend to score based on sound, while front/side kicks score on sound and impact. A pushing kick or blocking kick doesn't usually score for a side kick. A side kick that makes a proper impact sound and knocks the opponent off-balance does. You would need to generate this kind of impact for the judges to rule a point.
    4) Front-kick is a good kick on a soft target, like the nose, stomach, or groin. It's not as good on a padded target.
    5) Roundhouse kick only has to defeat one hand. Front kick has to get between the hands.

    Overall, I guess you can use it, and if you find a good opening, more power to you. But I'd rather use a punch (quicker and easier) to knock the wind out of the opponent and follow up with a roundhouse-back kick combo.
     
  10. Balrog

    Balrog Master of Arts

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,531
    Likes Received:
    265
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    If the front kick is hitting with the entire bottom of the foot, it's being done wrong. And front kick is one of my favorite sparring techniques.
     
  11. granfire

    granfire Sr. Grandmaster

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    Messages:
    13,474
    Likes Received:
    459
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Out for Lent
    Hmm....
    well, back in the day (have not trained in years, sooooo I am beyond rusty)

    My school did not spar with chest protectors, so no limit on that end.
    Front kicks were very well used - but a back leg kick has more power, as you swing it around.
    But it is usually also telegraphed from all the way back there.

    I used front kicks a lot
    Actually disabled my sparing partner - unintentionally - one time, catching her with my big toe right there in the soft spot on the throat, below the adams apple, between the two collar bones.
    She choked and coughed for a minute, scaring the life out of me!

    It's a distance game:Front leg, back leg, hands.

    But the olympic style seems to be more like a round house kick match.
    Not much finesse.

    BTW, the face , while a good target in real life - especially the nose (ask how come I know), we do have to go to work in the morning, getting your face smashed in playing isn't a valid option for most.
    Head gear was a valid target, face not.
     

Share This Page