So is Soccer the Best non-Martial Arts way of learning fighting kicking techniques?

Bullsherdog

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I was watching dramatization of Brazillian Soccer legend Pele's life and when he was growing up and playing in the amateur leagues, sometime during his ten years he gt exposed tot he Brazillian martial art Capoeira. He was told by one of his friends the team that some professional soccer players practise Capoeira to improve their game and many Capoeira professionals esp instructors also grew up playing soccer. So Pele decided to try out the style.

Pele has already been playing soccer at a competitive level since he was a kid and even young was already described as a prodigy by elementary school coaches and fellow players. When he took classes in the style, he quickly learned plenty of techniques and was rising in the style. His instructors said not only is he a prodigy who has the potential to become one of the greatest maestro of his time, they also said his prior skill in soccer is really helping him out in learning techniques quickly and rising in the beginner ranks. The Capoeira comunity he was part off seriously wished he would go full time with Capoeira but Pele openly told them after months of training he's not gonna go for a career because the whole reason he took Capoeira was to improve his football so he can imitate some of the pro players' moves.

He never practised traditional Capoiera again but a lot of his soccer drills involve kicking balls with Capoiera style and doing some exercises he learned from his time learning the basics and as history shows it, he would go on to join Brazil's national team and his participation was necessary for turning Brazil into the the status quo superpower of the soccer world along with Germany as Brazil's team won smashing victories a couple of times during his career. Brazil's reputation in football became so legendary as a result of Pele's contribution that Brazil is seen by many as the "capital of the soccer world".

So it makes me wonder. Is Soccer the best non-fighting related method for learning kicking moves? I mean as an English living in London, I can attest from seeing local riots that hooligans without any training in martial arts are capable of doing low roundhouses, kneeing,stomping and other strictly martial arts kicks to enough effectiveness, in some cases even superior execution than veteran black belt level martial artists, to be able to break someones ankles or destabilize someone's leg and cause him to fall to the ground. And thats not counting how devastatingly powerful and quick the "upward vertical kicks" that resemble your stereotypical soccer kick that these hooligans do with so much ease and perfect execution that its basically as second nature as walking for them! And all from simply playing soccer daily!

I actually witnessed a police man try to hit a rowdy drunk customer at a football bar with his bat but the drunk simply did a typical movement for passing the ball at the police and tripped him, making him fall on a table. Literally it almost ooked like a Judo move and it was done s quick before the police man's bat could hit the drunk football fan!

So it makes me assume soccer can turn someone into an effective kicker without needing to take any martial arts. How is this notion? After all country's known for styles relying primarily on kicking like Korea with TKD, France with Savate, and Thailand with Muay Thai as a few examples are the same places where soccer is hands down the most popular sport.

I mean one guy posted a on a tumblr about an article where Barton-Wright who is the creator of Bartitsu (a British hybrid style combining boxing-wrestling with various Asian and European fighting systems and is the style Sherlock Holmes uses in the original Doyle novels) warns about how young boys who only knows boxing are at a huge disadvantage in the streets esp since football hooligans often throw kicks they use from football games and there are cases reported incidents of young gentlemen getting the smollock beaten out of the because they tried to box these hooligans and the hooligans knocked them down with kicks and in some cases even broke their legs. So Barton-Wright warns people learning in self defense that while they don't need to learn how to attack with kicks in the same manner as the French do with Savate and how Asians frequently throw complex leg strikes in their styles, they must learn defensive measures from kicking like dodging, blocking, etc. Barton-Wright actually even encourages the best policy is to learn how to intercept an enemy's kicking techniques by directly counterattacking with specific savate, karate, and kung fu style kicks, preferably strike at the same time as an opponent sends leg strikes with the appropriate counters move. He really warns to be careful fighting against Holigans esp if all you know is Boxing because of how dangerous their football strikes are.

So is there any truth to this assumption of football kicks and knees? Chiming off topic a bit and going the other direction would practising martial arts esp kicking styles like K1 Kickboxing help out with soccer too?
 

jobo

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yes is the short answer, it may be actually a lot better than some ma kick training as your trying to hit a small commonly fast moving object with either precision or power or powerful precision whilst also trying not to get kicked

it's hardly surprising that people who have learnt eye foot co ordination and movement strategies transfere this in to fighting
 

geezer

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....it's hardly surprising that people who have learnt eye foot co ordination and movement strategies transfer this in to fighting

I totally agree. As a person with poor "eye-foot" coordination due to some problems with the bones in my feet and from having grown up in a country where we play "football" with our hands :rolleyes: ...I have noticed that the members of the British and European branches of the style I train successfully integrate more advanced kicking and "sticking leg" exercises much earlier than we do here in the States.

The "European" approach hasn't worked so well over here. In fact, my personal approach is to keep my leg work really basic and I take the same tack with the few students I still teach. I tell them that if they had grown up playing football/soccer it would be a whole different story. Teaching most Americans how to use their feet really well can be like teaching them a second language. As a nation, we are not especially good at either.
 

O'Malley

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I agree about the eye-foot coordination bit.

That said, I wouldn't go as far as to say that hooligans get fighting skills from football. I wouldn't assume that they play football to any significant degree, or that they don't train martial arts (quite the contrary, as some groups train MMA regularly). Also, they can get some skill at violence by fighting regularly and getting more experience.

As for the foot sweep, it's a basic bullying tactic in Belgian and French streets and playgrounds. You get the other kid to fall and then you kick him with your buddies while he's lying on the ground. It works even better when the other guy is scared/angry, because of tunnel vision.

IMO, Barton's essay mostly shows the importance of context: not all people fight the same.
 

jobo

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I agree about the eye-foot coordination bit.

That said, I wouldn't go as far as to say that hooligans get fighting skills from football. I wouldn't assume that they play football to any significant degree, or that they don't train martial arts (quite the contrary, as some groups train MMA regularly). Also, they can get some skill at violence by fighting regularly and getting more experience.

As for the foot sweep, it's a basic bullying tactic in Belgian and French streets and playgrounds. You get the other kid to fall and then you kick him with your buddies while he's lying on the ground. It works even better when the other guy is scared/angry, because of tunnel vision.

IMO, Barton's essay mostly shows the importance of context: not all people fight the same.
your assuming theydont play football and assuming they do study mma, that two very big assumptions, most kids in the uk play football at least informally, it's part of growing very few take mma lessons, if they do then their football skill will assist their development

coz the under pinning skills of balance, depth perception, timing, reactions,co ordination and they can kick with power and accuracy, are easily transferable, , if they dont study ma those skills are still available to them for fighting and most low level football matches tend to have at least 5 mass brawls in them
 
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PhotonGuy

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yes is the short answer, it may be actually a lot better than some ma kick training as your trying to hit a small commonly fast moving object with either precision or power or powerful precision whilst also trying not to get kicked

it's hardly surprising that people who have learnt eye foot co ordination and movement strategies transfere this in to fighting
If you want to develop good eye foot coordination I would recommend Hacky Sack.
 

JowGaWolf

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I think what Jobo says is correct. It's not so much that it's soccer that is making them good kickers as it is the fact that soccer trains some eye-foot coordination along with kicking. If you count the number of times a soccer player kicks a ball, it would be more than a TKD student kicks and definitely more than a typical kung fu student kicks. That gives them a much bigger head start than someone who doesn't kick at all.

As a kid one of the games I used to play as a kid was kick ball with the big red rubber balls, I would kick a football back and forth to my friend always trying to see who can kick the ball the highest, I rode and raced bmx bikes through the woods, and pushed a skate board from 6 to 19 and I had often pushed up hills instead of picking up the board and walking up hill. I ran hurdles competitively for 5 years. Ran competitively for 6 years. I never played soccer competitively but had developed the skills for it from all of the other stuff that I did. My first time touching a soccer ball was in the 7th grade and with in that year I was good enough to space a shot between the legs of a basketball goal that was about 3 feet a part. Oh and I picked up Hacky Sack easily too. Everyday while waiting for the school bell to ring and start class.

I never played soccer competitively until I was 24 I think. I played for a Peruvian team and sucked at it. lol all of my kicking skills didn't translate into soccer skills. I lasted one game and that was it. Turns out that, Track running skills do not translate into Soccer running skills. Track running skills makes it more difficult to kick the ball. So while I could fly by people with the ball, my running style made things worse and not better. But my kicking skills in kung fu are good, my foot coordination is good, and I kick like a mule, on some kicks, not all types of kicks.

I think the more you use your legs, feet, and eyes, the easier it will be to make those connections for other activities. If a person as never made use of them then it will be much harder. People who play sports are always going to have an advantage when learning martial arts compared to someone who has never played sports before. I played a lot of basketball and that may be why I can see body shifts as well as I do.
 

geezer

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If you want to develop good eye foot coordination I would recommend Hacky Sack.

Not sure if hacky sack would help with longer range power-kicking arts like Muay Thai, but it develops skills akin to dribbling and ball control in soccer which definitely translate to the close range kicking, sweeping, scooping, and leg control movements in advanced Wing Tsun. With my fused ankles, soccer and hacky sack are not sports I played, but I have seen others quickly transfer those skills to what we do in WC/WT.
 

JowGaWolf

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Not sure if hacky sack would help with longer range power-kicking arts like Muay Thai, but it develops skills akin to dribbling and ball control in soccer which definitely translate to the close range kicking, sweeping, scooping, and leg control movements in advanced Wing Tsun. With my fused ankles, soccer and hacky sack are not sports I played, but I have seen others quickly transfer those skills to what we do in WC/WT.
Same concept. looks similar to Chinese Shuttlecock

out of all of the similar sports that I've seen, this was the most aggressive one. In terms of martial arts kicks, this one came the closest. This is called Sepak Takraw.
 

Cynik75

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Football (soccer in USA) + wrestling. Tale him to the ground, then kick him in the head.
 

gpseymour

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I suspect my years playing soccer are why my kicks were always better than others I trained with. Certainly gave me a solid foundation in balancing on one leg and changing balance/structure to get a kick to where I wanted it. You also use your foot a bit more consciously when learning soccer, and put it in some positions you wouldn't otherwise (when controlling the ball). I find new folks have the hardest time just developing balance for basic kicking, followed by controlling their muscles to form the foot/ankle as instructed. Soccer likely helps with both.
 

Sandalphon

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That is a really interesting idea actually, and I have never thought about it. I mean, I have never seen football as a sport that teaches you how to kick. Well yeah, you are hitting the ball, but it has nothing to do with the Martial Arts way of kicking. Actually, I like football really much, and you know, I consider it the best sport out there. I have a special passion for this game, and I am trying to watch as many games as I can. However, sometimes I just do not have enough time, so I have to watch the highlights and the scores on Soccer Live Score Result | Live Soccer Result Today | 55goal , as they are posting the highlights right after the game.
 

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