Is ball of the foot roundhouse outdated with modern shoes?

dvcochran

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Why does he adress a straw man? You don't need to pull back any toes with shoes, correct, so why not just kick with the same target ?

One of the most common questions you get with this techinique is, how are you supposed to curve your toes when you have shoes on? You are not. Since Gen. Choi's TKD was designed for the military, the roundhouse kick while wearing combat boots is to kick the opponent's target with the shoe tip.
True enough, but combat boots and tennis shoe could not be more different.
 

dvcochran

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I taught roundhouse with both the instep and the ball of the foot. Students threw them both ways but chose which was best for them. Barefoot, with shoes, sneakers etc. Bag work, shields and sparring.

I honestly can't remember even one student that chose the ball of the foot. Mainlly because it's slower
and has less reach

But I'm sure a lot of people love it. It's all good if it works for you.
I have a recorded TKO using a ball of the foot roundhouse to the solar plexus. Great for slipping right between the blocks.
Guy had a hogu on and I had exposed toe shin/instep pads on. Later found it out a broke a rib at the sternum.

I also had a KO in a Shotokan tournament with ball roundhouse kick to the off button. But got kicked out of the tourney for it. That guy had really pissed me off.

I do not think it is any slower (or faster) than the top of the foot since the mechanics are the same. Less reach but that can be factored out some with the hips and lean in.

Someone mentioned the part of the foot used should be the kickers choice. I could not agree more.
 
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InfiniteLoop

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True enough, but combat boots and tennis shoe could not be more different.

But his point wasn't about the boot but the toes... which is a mute point regardless of what shoe you wear and it doesn't impact using the same surface
 
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I have a recorded TKO using a ball of the foot roundhouse to the solar plexus. Guy had a hogu on and I had exposed toe shin/instep pads on. Later found out it broke a rib at the sternum.
Someone mentioned the part of the foot used should be the kickers choice. I could not agree more.
Ball of the foot is illegal these days in Olympics. Or more correctly: "non scoring"
 

dvcochran

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But his point wasn't about the boot but the toes... which is a mute point regardless of what shoe you wear and it doesn't impact using the same surface
Not correct. I have kicked hard enough in tennis shoes to hurt my foot. Even in 'combat boots' if a person gets on top of the boot at all it could still hurt; steel toes being the exception.
 
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InfiniteLoop

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Not correct. I have kicked hard enough in tennis shoes to hurt my foot. Even in 'combat boots' if a person gets on top of the boot at all it could still hurt; steel toes being the exception.

There is always a risk that the foot angle won't be optimal at impact. If the foot angle lands correctly, it will hit the same target.
 

dvcochran

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Ball of the foot is illegal these days in Olympics. Or more correctly: "non scoring"
How so? It has always been legal in certain areas to my knowledge. It would score with an e-hogu I think.
In the days of the 3-score rules (shutter/knockdown/knockout) where knock downs were common it was definitely an effective kick.
Sad too because it is a very, very effective SD tool.
 
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InfiniteLoop

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How so? It has always been legal in certain areas to my knowledge. It would score with an e-hogu I think.
In the days of the 3-score rules (shutter/knockdown/knockout) where knock downs were common it was definitely an effective kick.
Sad too because it is a very, very effective SD tool.

What do you mean how? A decision was made that It's not a scoring technique anymore.
 

isshinryuronin

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I honestly can't remember even one student that chose the ball of the foot. Mainlly because it's slower
and has less reach

But I'm sure a lot of people love it. It's all good if it works for you.
I was initially taught exclusively to use the ball for front and roundhouse kicks and the best I remember, that was what I got hit with in competitive sparring most of the time. I don't agree it's slower or has less reach.

Throwing an instep roundhouse, the foot is pointed so the instep is on the same line as the leg. Pulling the foot up and using the ball, the impact point is 4 or 5 inches in front of the line of the leg, being perpendicular to it. It's closer to the opponent by those 4 or 5 inches, so should arrive quicker. As far as linear range, I think they are about the same.

Considering power, even conceding (for argument's sake) the instep kick may have more power behind it, this is offset by the smaller surface area of the ball of the foot, thus giving more force psi than the instep and better penetration, though the ball is softer than the instep bone. So, I'd call this point a draw.

Other thoughts: Sometimes when using the instep, my ankle would get tweeked. Having the foot pulled up locks the ankle and makes the joint structure stronger. I also hated taking a pointed elbow on my instep! Those that do body conditioning (ashi kitai) can break 2x4's with instep or shin. A few Okinawan styles used to stress the toe kick (barefoot). This kick can be deadly as penetration into a nerve/blood nexus is deep.

With hard shoes, point of the toe is definitely the way to go
 
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InfiniteLoop

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I was initially taught exclusively to use the ball for front and roundhouse kicks and the best I remember, that was what I got hit with in competitive sparring most of the time. I don't agree it's slower or has less reach.

From what I've seen of the old point karate JKA footage from the 70s, they seem to exclusively use ball of the foot roundhouse kicks, and it worked out well. It surprised me that instep was completely absent though
 
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InfiniteLoop

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Sure, but it is not illegal either. Every kick is not going to score.
It probably is if the taken to an extreme in which the receiver gets hurt by somebody who repeatedly does it, and he points it out more than once. But anyway, it has resulted in the technique being extinct.

It is legal and scoring in ITF, I believe, but I have yet to see it in an ITF competition.
 

dvcochran

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It probably is if the taken to an extreme in which the receiver gets hurt by somebody who repea.tedly does it, and he points it out more than once. But anyway, it has resulted in the technique being extinct.

It is legal and scoring in ITF, I believe, but I have yet to see it in an ITF competition.
As much as they have softened up the scoring in the sport I would not be surprised to find a ball of the foot roundhouse is illegal.
But how do you account for a good, solid heel from a head shot side kick scoring? Or the devastating wheel kicks that still occur?
I still think it would score on an e-hogu.
 
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As much as they have softened up the scoring in the sport I would not be surprised to find a ball of the foot roundhouse is illegal.
But how do you account for a good, solid heel from a head shot side kick scoring? Or the devastating wheel kicks that still occur?
I still think it would score on an e-hogu.

I don't believe that it has to do with softening the sport. More that the technique isn't considered relevant anymore. It was already so rare. Just a final nail in the coffin.
 

dvcochran

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I don't believe that it has to do with softening the sport. More that the technique isn't considered relevant anymore. It was already so rare. Just a final nail in the coffin.
I can't agree with that. The only exception would be in the pure sport environment of WT sparring, which is very bound by a ruleset. Saying it is an irrelevant kick is crazy talk IMHO.
From my experience, the sport has softened considerably.
Do you only spar?
 
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Do you only spar?

No. I was referring to the sparring only. It wouldn't surprise me though if ball of the foot gets taken out of the KKW patterns too in the distant future. The fact that they have instep as an option in patterns these days is radical. And the patterns look to have been influenced by the sparring of KKW more so than the ITF.
 

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I have a new found love for ball of the foot as the dollyo chagi kicking tool and I'm curious If you guys think its too artificial when wearing modern shoes?


It looks pretty violent to me... I'm sure it would hurt?

Bottom line, no. The instep and ball of the foot kicks are different kicks, which serve different purposes. Impact with the instep is meant to transfer the power of the kick across a broader area. It is often taught in karate as a 'sticky' kick, meaning it doesn't immediately recoil. The ball of the foot is a penetrating kick, and it recoils instantly.

If the foot is encased in a shoe, the toe of the shoe can substitute for the ball of the foot.

The instep kick is very loud when applied to a bag, and this can be mistaken for it being more powerful. It is not. Kicking power is measured by force of the kick and the surface area to which it is applied. Two kicks with the same force, the smaller surface area will penetrate more. Which is why knives are used to stab and not baseball bats.
 
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InfiniteLoop

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power is measured by force of the kick and the surface area to which it is applied. Two kicks with the same force, the smaller surface area will penetrate more. Which is why knives are used to stab and not baseball bats.
You are neglecting the fact that the instep is hard, ball of the foot is soft...
Hardness of the tool affects penetration.

Ball of the foot is obviously harder with shoe surface though.
 

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