Lower belts keep kicking me in the groin. Need advice.

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,104
Reaction score
8,452
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Ah, no, there is a misunderstanding; it is 100% of the time a complete accident, and last time it happened we were very understanding with each other. I attend a very high class dojo where any malicious contact would basically never go.

I suspect the problem here is that lower belts want to "test out" a wide array of techniques when sparring, rather than just throwing a reliable technique that they're comfortable with. I notice plenty of times, a fresh white or yellow belt will attempt something like a spinning back kick or tornado kick without really knowing how to correctly/quickly throw it, and it becomes clear that they're doing this to either impress the sensei or just experiment with new stuff. It's almost as if they have "run out" of techniques to throw 30 seconds into a match and they feel obligated to mix things up, if that makes sense.

Keep in mind that I am in no way denouncing lower belts nor their curiosities, nor am I upset at them in any way; many these individuals are new to fighting and want to play around with new techniques, even if they aren't quite ready for them yet. In my case, this usually presents itself in the form of kicks that end up inadvertently juicing my jewels. :)
I'm curious - are the white belts being taught spinning back kicks and tornado kicks?
 
OP
T

ThatOneCanadian

Green Belt
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
72
Location
N/A
I'm curious - are the white belts being taught spinning back kicks and tornado kicks?
Yes. We don't hold back teaching advanced stuff to new people in our dojo (I have seen a white belt kid do Unsu with the rest of us).
 

Buka

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
11,741
Reaction score
8,371
Location
Maui
I should elaborate that my school does sport Karate, aka what you see in the Olympics. And to my knowledge, most fighting sports do not permit groin kicks during sparring. In fact, I believe that such a technique is severely discouraged in most dojos.
I've always allowed groin kicking. And we were kickers. The reason I allowed it is - that way you don't get nonchalant about protecting your groin. Same reason we allow face contact.
 

mograph

Master Black Belt
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
1,457
Reaction score
501
It sounds like aside from leaving the dojo, your only option is to guard your groin.

If you face a lower rank, and the odds favor their nailing your groin, then why not protect it with blocks? It seems to me that doing so could only enrich your training, even though the rules of your sport prohibit groin kicks.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,104
Reaction score
8,452
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Yes. We don't hold back teaching advanced stuff to new people in our dojo (I have seen a white belt kid do Unsu with the rest of us).
Those with more kicking experience may have a different take, but that seems counterproductive to me. They should be focused on building solid foundational techniques, not trying to figure out these difficult and complex techniques.
 
OP
T

ThatOneCanadian

Green Belt
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
72
Location
N/A
Those with more kicking experience may have a different take, but that seems counterproductive to me. They should be focused on building solid foundational techniques, not trying to figure out these difficult and complex techniques.
I like to bite the bullet with this issue and lean in favor of teaching interesting things to new people. You can only do Taikyoku Shodan so many times before you become sick of it.
 

dvcochran

Grandmaster
Joined
Nov 7, 2017
Messages
6,794
Reaction score
2,129
Location
Southeast U.S.
I'm curious - are the white belts being taught spinning back kicks and tornado kicks?
For us, 'taught' would be a strong word. Often beginners may be paired with higher belts to hold targets and allowed to go through the motion of advanced kicks but they are not heavily critiqued on their skill level. Instead more attention is given to them on techniques specific to their belt level. Technique and safety are high priorities and sometimes we will just set folks down if they are really struggling or taking chances on a higher level kick.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
10,995
Reaction score
2,890
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
Do you suggest soccer players should be training for self-defense? Suggesting that people somehow aren't allowed to train sport for sports' sake is just utter nonsense.
The soccer players try to send ball into the gate. The MA guys try to defeat their opponents. There is a big difference there.

A: I train MA for sport.
B: Do you train power generation?
A: I do.
B: If in your sport, the moment that you touch your opponent, you win, why do you still need to train power generation for?
A: ...
 
Last edited:

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,982
Reaction score
5,843
Those with more kicking experience may have a different take, but that seems counterproductive to me. They should be focused on building solid foundational techniques, not trying to figure out these difficult and complex techniques.

It is solid foundations.


This is a pretty short breakdown. But all of those things you need to get right to do the tornado kick. You kind of need to get right anyway.

Except you might be able to fake or short cut those elements in simpler kicks.
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,982
Reaction score
5,843
The soccer players try to send ball into the gate. The MA guys try to defeat their opponents. There is a big difference there.

A: I train MA for sport.
B: Do you train power generation?
A: I do.
B: If in your sport, the moment that you touch your opponent, you win, why do you still need to train power generation?
A: ...

It doesn't matter.

Op is training for sport. And as part of that training is getting kicked in the nuts.
 

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Sep 26, 2012
Messages
10,995
Reaction score
2,890
Location
Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
Who cares? I don't get to tell people what their goals should be. Neither do you.
I'm just asking/suggesting. I'm not telling.

A: Why do you train MA for sport?
B: I like to train MA as sport because ...
A: There is another choice and that is ... My opinion is for information only.
 
Last edited:

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
20,982
Reaction score
5,843
It doesn't matter.

Op is training for sport. And as part of that training is getting kicked in the nuts.

Sorry lost my train of though.

So regardless what the goal is. Being kicked in the nuts is probably best avoided.

It isn't a street sport thing.
 

Yokozuna514

Black Belt
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
680
Reaction score
477
As many people have already said, wearing a cup is your first defence against groin strikes. Situational awareness is your second. If this is happening against lower ranked belts consistently, there is a lesson to be learned here:

1) Do you stop, admonish and restart again.
2) Do you stop, provide feedback and restart again.
3) Do you continue and return the favour, discussing the outcome after the round is completed.
4) Do you continue but protect the area overtly.

Lower belts rarely have control and can also have an abundance of enthusiasm to throw new techniques. How you respond when getting kicked will say more about you and your ideas on the art as an instructor. No wrong answers here as different students respond to different approaches but the quest for improving your own karate never ends if you can get past the 'problem' of getting hit in the groin.

As you said in Kyokushin face punching is prohibited but it happens all the time with lower ranks. They get nervous and panicky when pressed so they lash out to stop their opponent. I've come to raise my guard against lower belts for just this reason and you can see when they are about to start raising their strikes higher. Usually there is also someone refereeing the match and you often hear them tell the lower belt to lower their punches during sparring. They can also stop the match to let them know that punches are getting too close to the face. Lastly, the higher belt can 'send' a message of their own to make sure the attention of the lower belt is kept in the appropriate areas. As a higher rank they should be able to defend themselves and keep their opponent 'occupied' until the match is over. In all cases, a chat at the end with the lower rank is the best way to help them improve their control.

Good luck
 
OP
T

ThatOneCanadian

Green Belt
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
123
Reaction score
72
Location
N/A
As many people have already said, wearing a cup is your first defence against groin strikes. Situational awareness is your second. If this is happening against lower ranked belts consistently, there is a lesson to be learned here:

1) Do you stop, admonish and restart again.
2) Do you stop, provide feedback and restart again.
3) Do you continue and return the favour, discussing the outcome after the round is completed.
4) Do you continue but protect the area overtly.

Lower belts rarely have control and can also have an abundance of enthusiasm to throw new techniques. How you respond when getting kicked will say more about you and your ideas on the art as an instructor. No wrong answers here as different students respond to different approaches but the quest for improving your own karate never ends if you can get past the 'problem' of getting hit in the groin.

As you said in Kyokushin face punching is prohibited but it happens all the time with lower ranks. They get nervous and panicky when pressed so they lash out to stop their opponent. I've come to raise my guard against lower belts for just this reason and you can see when they are about to start raising their strikes higher. Usually there is also someone refereeing the match and you often hear them tell the lower belt to lower their punches during sparring. They can also stop the match to let them know that punches are getting too close to the face. Lastly, the higher belt can 'send' a message of their own to make sure the attention of the lower belt is kept in the appropriate areas. As a higher rank they should be able to defend themselves and keep their opponent 'occupied' until the match is over. In all cases, a chat at the end with the lower rank is the best way to help them improve their control.

Good luck
I usually stop and provide feedback, usually in the form of a friendly yet firm "keep it above the belt, please." At this point, I think my best course of action would be to continue doing this and just treat lower belts like ballkicking machines, keeping my guard appropriately low.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,104
Reaction score
8,452
Location
Hendersonville, NC
I like to bite the bullet with this issue and lean in favor of teaching interesting things to new people. You can only do Taikyoku Shodan so many times before you become sick of it.
It should be about what works best in teaching. It has been my experience that people attempting to learn complex techniques with no foundation take longer to develop skill at those techniques, because they develop so many bad habits.
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
27,104
Reaction score
8,452
Location
Hendersonville, NC
The soccer players try to send ball into the gate. The MA guys try to defeat their opponents. There is a big difference there.

A: I train MA for sport.
B: Do you train power generation?
A: I do.
B: If in your sport, the moment that you touch your opponent, you win, why do you still need to train power generation for?
A: ...
Actually, the soccer players are also trying to defeat their opponents.

And if someone is actually training only for a sport ruleset where power is meaningless, they'd be better served not training it, unless perhaps training it improves control (so they don't accidentally strike too hard in competition).
 

Latest Discussions

Top