Roundhouse kicks

Gemini

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We call both versions a roundhouse, because your support leg, hip and striking leg use the same motion throughout. the only difference being the striking surface. We did learn a third, using the toes, but we don't practice it as we have no realistic application nor are we conditioned for it. We use primarily the top of the foot and occasionally the ball of the foot, depending on what you're trying to kick. A harder surface may injure the top of your foot, unless you have shoes on in which case this is much more forgiving. The ball is great for barefeet against a hard object, but as I believe Nick mentioned, with shoes on, getting the proper angle may be difficult. I wear softer sole shoes for that reason. (even dress shoes). I've only thrown a roundhouse for effect on one occasion and it was with the ball of my foot.
 

Marginal

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FearlessFreep said:
I've only tried doing the roundhouse using the ball of the feet a few times as it seems to require more precise distance measurement...bu then maybe that's because I don't practice it...

It does to an extent. You're giving up a little range due to the angle of the foot. If you're not used to the difference, it can take some time to adjust to the shorter distance.
 
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Gary Crawford

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What a good subject! Without argueing the terminologies of the kicks, I say there are diferent phisics and timing to both kicks. I first leaned it as striking with the ball of my foot,but leaned there are certain advantages/disadvantages to this. First as stated before, the ball is a smaller and harder weapon,but more dificult to be accurate at hitting the target. I have found it most effective as a front leg strike. As a rear leg strike,the phisics of pulling the toes back tends to tighten the anke and shin muscles,thus reducing the whipping action that striking with the top of the foot produces. It also has a tendency(with me at least) to lesson the hip action. Striking with the top of the foot allows more speed(and hip action). The bad thing about it that I have discovered when discussing this with senior practitioners is the price of years and years of striking with the top of the foot is damaged metatarscles( i doubt i spelled that right-muscles on top of foot). I personally know two who have serious permanent painfull conditions they will have to deal with throughout their advanced ages. I, nowdays prefere to use a muay thai type round house that strikes with the lower shins. I produces much more power than both types of roundhouse kicks,but is hard not to telegraph. just my take. I hope this helps.
 

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Just to add to the confusion (while trying to avoid the terminology debate... but I'll have to use some), I agree with those who say it depends on the application, but not for the reasons already given.

Ball of foot is, relatively speaking, a round tool, while the top of foot/instep is a flat tool. Round tools should be used for flat targets (in this case, generally the front of the body) - so with roundhouse/turning kick, it will generally be below the level of the neck. In addition, using the ball of the foot allows you to slide your striking tool between your opponent's arms, both because it is narrower and because this foot position causes your foot to be perpendicular to your leg - so your leg can come around the other person's guard and you can stick the ball of your foot between them (or under, or behind the rear arm, etc.). Using your instep/top of foot, you'll be kicking your opponent in the arms a lot, and may decide the kick doesn't work.

Using the instep/top of foot extends the reach of your kick, which is quite useful when kicking the head (assuming your rules allow this; mine allow, and encourage, head shots with both hands and feet). In addition, the head (especially the temple, which is a prime target for this kick) is a round target; therefore, it is more appropriate to use a flat tool (instep). Also, a higher target eliminates much of the "getting between the arms" discussed previously as a reason to use ball of foot.
 

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tkdgirl said:
Ok... This is where I'm getting slightly confused. Spinning kicks/ wheel kicks at my dojang, are where you turn your body around and execute the kick at the finish. Wheel kicks are you spin+ hook kick, and spinning kicks are you spin+ something (i.e. side kick).

Lol from what i know there's 2 ways you can use a roundhouse. Ball of your foot *never done it but i've seen it* And the normal way with the top of the foot hehe.
 
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bluemtn

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I've done both variations of the roundhouse, and for me it depends on the situation. With the toes pointed up and back (ball of foot), it's kind of difficult unless you've got a lot of practice in for that kick. That's where I see that kick can cause some damage to the kicker- if they don't pull the foot and toes back enough. Same goes for the top of the foot- only difference is the damage to the top, or shin (for some). It's interesting to see the different terms for the same kick.

My next question is, would you rather use the ball of the foot for breaking?
 

bignick

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With regards to the roundhouse, I wouldn't let anybody use anything else if I were their teacher.
 

jdinca

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I'm in the "depends on the target" crowd. Top of the foot for soft targets (belly, leg), ball of the foot for hard targets (head).

One thing to think about when using the top of the foot is the "bone back nerve centers" that cross the top of the metatarsals. Can be painful if the top of the foot hits a hard target, especially without shoes.
 

bignick

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jdinca said:
I'm in the "depends on the target" crowd. Top of the foot for soft targets (belly, leg), ball of the foot for hard targets (head).

One thing to think about when using the top of the foot is the "bone back nerve centers" that cross the top of the metatarsals. Can be painful if the top of the foot hits a hard target, especially without shoes.

I do believe that striking with the instep has it purposes and throw the kick quite a bit, but when practicing alone or breaking I use the ball of the foot a lot.
 

jdinca

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bignick said:
I do believe that striking with the instep has it purposes and throw the kick quite a bit, but when practicing alone or on any target of substance I use the ball of the foot a lot.

When it comes to using the instep, we must be talking about different kicks. The crescent kick and the instep kick are the only two in our system where the instep would be utilized. Unless you're including a crescent in the roundhouse category? Or are we talking a different kind of roundhouse? The one I know strikes perpendicular to the target.
 

Marginal

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jdinca said:
When it comes to using the instep, we must be talking about different kicks. The crescent kick and the instep kick are the only two in our system where the instep would be utilized. Unless you're including a crescent in the roundhouse category? Or are we talking a different kind of roundhouse? The one I know strikes perpendicular to the target.
Typically instep = top of foot.
 

FearlessFreep

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Typically instep = top of foot.

Which confused the heck out of me when I started because I always thought the instep was the arch....
 

jdinca

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jdinca

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FearlessFreep said:
Typically instep = top of foot.

Which confused the heck out of me when I started because I always thought the instep was the arch....

Interesting, to me the instep is the inside aspect of the foot and is the surface used in a crescent kick.
 
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