Why kicking in the head?

Manny

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Hello all, I don't want to start a flame here but want to know the way you think about the emphasis TKD puts in kicking the head.

Last nigh before my TKD class I watched the teens and moms training, the sambonim wanted the class to perform dolyo chaguis (high round kick) to te head stressing this kick to the maximun. I watched how some just can't kick well enough to the head no matter his/hers efforts.

In some point I got one conclussion. It's unnatural for the human body to kick the head, the feet are lower extremities used for movement, the head is way above the ground. Kicking the head is as unnormal as punching the feet while they are on the ground!! Feet and head are opositive!

In some others MA feet/legs are used from toe to waist and arms and hands are used from waist to head and this makes sense.

It's true a good kick to the head can be devastating even in some cases lethal but this is something hard to achieve because the head is a small target moving in a fight, and the kicks must be fast and with timing and not many are lyke Super Foot Wallace out there.

I think because a kick to the head scores better than a kick or punch to the stomach in tournaments we as TKD people go for the head, but remeber sparring inside the dojang or tournament is a controled enviroment.

I saw a tall teen last night going to the floor trying to reach the head of his parhner, he landed flat on his back and confused, this in the street leaves us defendless.

The biomechanics of the body tells me a kick to the head is not natural, so why we give su much atention to this?

Just my two Mexicans cents.

Manny
 

dortiz

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When you can kick to the head you know you can kick anywhere you want to.

Put the bar in the middle and thats what you can expect.


Dave O.
 

SJON

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Excellent question, Manny.

For SD, I can think of no reason at all to kick to the head unless the opponent is on the ground or bending over and vulnerable.

Reasons why TKD puts so much emphasis on high kicking?

1. It looks cool, sets it apart from other arts and brings in more paying customers.
2. It's good for fitness and coordination.
3. There is a Korean tradition of high kicking - the tournament game of Taekyon - and Koreans enjoy this.
 

Chris Parker

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Excellent question, Manny.

For SD, I can think of no reason at all to kick to the head unless the opponent is on the ground or bending over and vulnerable.

Hi,

As stated, I feel it is just a preference of the art, and comes from more of a "competition" background than a self-defence background... you get more points in a competition or a head kick than a head punch, if it connects, if I recall my old Tae Kwon Do days.

In fact, the majority of injuries I witnessed in Tae Kwon Do competition are just as Manny describes, people attempting high kicks, and ending on their backs (and, not having been taught how to fall safely, injuring themselves).

But, to address the quote above, in a number of situations/countries/legal circumstances, to kick someone in the head, particularly if they are already on the ground or bent over from previous techniques, would be considered overt force, and would land you in jail for assault. So I wouldn't even consider it for SD under those circumstances.

When done well, it aids fitness, flexibility, balance, fast-twitch fibre responces (speed), and others. But not self defence. So I would ask what you are training for? If you are after the other reasons for training these type of techniques, then go for it, and don't worry about using it where it is not so applicable. If you are after different things than your art currently provides, then you may look at why you are training there. I would say that the majority of arts can be tailored to suit most needs, but how they are tailored is often down to the instructor, and how they chose to present their art.
 

ATC

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Kick to the head if you can. If you cannot kick to the head then don't. But practice will get everyone there.

Also your logic is some what flawed. The legs hinge from the waist so a kick to the head is not like a punch to the feet but more like a punch to the groin due to the arms hinging from the sholder. Groin punches are done all the time.
 

seasoned

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When I was young I thought high kicks were cool, and low kicks were for old people. Now that I am old, I see the relevance, of hands from their waist up, and feet from their waist down.
 

Tez3

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The reason I teach children is because they are the only ones I can kick to the head!
Kicking to the head should be banned I say! of course, if I could actually do it myself I wouldn't say that! :)

I think it's a useful tool to have in your armoury of strikes and kicks. I think you can do without though but if you do it well and you can use it at the right time, go for it.
 

blackxpress

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If you watch MMA matches you'll see why the high kick is a valuable weapon to have in your arsenal. You rarely see an MMA fighter throw a high kick because, by and large, they're impractical. Too easy to get taken down while your leg is way up in the air like that. But, once in a great while, you see a guy connect with a round house to the side of the head and, BAM, game over. Some of the most devastating knockouts in MMA competition are head kicks. Muay Thai fighters learn it because, like dortiz said, when you can kick to the head you know you can kick anywhere you want to. I think the same can be said for TKD. You wouldn't want the high kick to be your first choice but it's nice to have it in the bag if your opponent gives you the opening.
 

StuartA

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Everone can kick to the head.. if you are having problems, try this:

1. Kick them in the groin first - when they double over, kick them in the head!

2. Sweep them and as they try to get up - kick them in the head!

:angel:
Seriously, I think the prominence of head kicking in TKD doesnt come so much from sport, but from TKD wanting to make its mark and be somewhat different to other arts.. shotokan already had high/head kicks.. but TKD made them a lot more "often" and a mainstay of the art.

Stuart
 

Tez3

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Everone can kick to the head.. if you are having problems, try this:

1. Kick them in the groin first - when they double over, kick them in the head!

2. Sweep them and as they try to get up - kick them in the head!

:angel:
Seriously, I think the prominence of head kicking in TKD doesnt come so much from sport, but from TKD wanting to make its mark and be somewhat different to other arts.. shotokan already had high/head kicks.. but TKD made them a lot more "often" and a mainstay of the art.

Stuart

Nice one!

The high kicks are in Wado Ryu as well, couldn't do them either lol.

it's true about the high kicks in MMA though I have seen some great ones, makes a sensational KO.
 

searcher

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When you can kick to the head you know you can kick anywhere you want to.

Put the bar in the middle and thats what you can expect.


Dave O.


Hit it on the head.......................BIG TIME!!!!!!!!
 

dancingalone

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When you can kick to the head you know you can kick anywhere you want to.

Put the bar in the middle and thats what you can expect.


Dave O.

In my opinion, you don't get better at kicking low by practicing high kicks. You might be training yourself to be more flexible, but if you can kick someone in the jaw, it does not necessarily follow that you'll be able to connect with someone's knee or groin too. You get good at what you practice, so if you want to be able to strike the groin or knee with a high degree of proficiency, I think you should practice kicking to the groin or knee.
 

jarrod

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because kicking someone in the head is really, really satisfying. tkd isn't my art, but i definitely understand the appeal of training solely to boot somebody in the brain pan.

jf
 

Kacey

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When you can kick to the head you know you can kick anywhere you want to.

Put the bar in the middle and thats what you can expect.


Dave O.

I agree. Train for the most difficult aspect of a technique, and the less difficult aspects will come more easily. Train for the less difficult aspects, and the difficult aspects will remain "impossible". Also, if you train for it, it gets much better - and I've seen plenty of people get kicked in the head because they don't believe it can be done, and therefore leave their guard open to high section kicks.
 

Marginal

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I think it has a lot to do with TKD's strategic focus. If you approach the art thinking legs are stronger than arms, you tend to start emphasizing the legs more. Especially if you get someone unused to head kicks, a high kick can become very intimidating.

It's still a high risk low percentage strike in general, but you always have a trade off for any technique you use.
 
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Manny

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Excellent question, Manny.

For SD, I can think of no reason at all to kick to the head unless the opponent is on the ground or bending over and vulnerable.

Reasons why TKD puts so much emphasis on high kicking?

1. It looks cool, sets it apart from other arts and brings in more paying customers.
2. It's good for fitness and coordination.
3. There is a Korean tradition of high kicking - the tournament game of Taekyon - and Koreans enjoy this.

I agree with you. For me it's very dificult to kick high to the head, that's why I concentrate in high power kicks to the midsection. When I was a teen I was more flexible than today, I'm tall so this helps but if triying a roundhose kick to the head my balance is poor and the kick is poor to.

I can kick high with ax kicks for example and even side kicks some times but roundhose kicks are very dificult.

The said... if you can kick the head you can kick anything or any place is not completly true.

High kicks are something I would never use in a real fight. High kicks in the dojang are something I would use to try to score or try to catch my sparring partner, if I can conect a high kick inside the dojan I would be proud cause it's a kind of game.

I try to do my best kicking in dojang and this translates to try to kick high at face level, however I think to focus just in high kicks is not good enough, TKD has a lot of technikes to use that can be as good as the roundhouse kick to the head with less effort.

Manny
 

Stac3y

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I like to kick people in the head. It's fun. And for sparring competition, head shots are the most likely to be seen by 2 or more judges, and kicks score higher than hand techniques.
 

MikeyMac

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My instructor believed the head to be one of the hardest targets to hit, (smaller and moving) and trained us to use body shots, groin shots and leg shots far more often. That said if you needed to do fifty pushups for a physical test for a job in two minutes, I would think you would train to do 100 if you could in that time, so the 50 were not a stretch for you.

The same goes for head and higher kicking, we were taught to kick high enough where we might be hitting a person a foot higher than us in the head, which made us all the more capable of kicking a person our height in the gut.
 

K31

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Not that I can roundhouse kick someone of equal height in the head (ax kick, yes) but I if I could, I wouldn't try to use it in a fight. It is a big surprise though. I was sparring a black belt more than a head shorter than me and bam! she round houses me to the head and displaced my head gear. Never saw that coming.
 

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