The Best Kicking Strategy

Even in hockey the principle applies: Stick is high, kick low

In the last two days I have been making the case against high kicks. In short, I believe high kicks are too risky, too unlikely (although not impossible) to pay off, and require too much training to execute –time that could better be spent training on other techniques.

I also neglected to mention that the circumstances that prevail when you train in high kicking are not likely to prevail on the streets. In the gym you are wearing loose clothing, you are barefooted or have appropriate shoes, you are warmed up, you are not practicing on a surface that is wet, uneven, gravelly, muddy, icy, etc. On the street, none of this is likely, let alone guaranteed.

Today I outline what I believe is the best kicking strategy: a synergistic combination of low kicks and high line strikes with a weapon, preferably a long stick.

Stick High, Kick Low

As I mentioned yesterday, by kicking low you may draw an opponent to drop his hands to catch or block, at which point he is wide open to a baseball bat careening toward his head. In Thai boxing the knockout kicks are rarely against the opponent whose guard is up, but who begins dropping his hand to try to stop low kicks.

Also, against the long stick, the opponent’s strategy is to burst in. By kicking his forward leg, I prevent him from moving in, even if the kick doesn’t damage his leg. The low foot jab to the knee or groin stops the opponent long enough (and possibly getting him to drop his hands) for me to land high line strike.

Dog Bros: Stick High, Kick Low

The opposite can be used: by hitting high with the stick, I draw the opponent’s hands up to create an opening for a low-line kick. The Dog Brothers can be seen using this technique to devastating effect on their “Los Triques” DVD, a combination of kali and krabi krabong. As the opponent brings his arms up to block a stick strike to the head, a Dog Brother launches a Thai roundhouse kick to the ribs, which are totally exposed. This is not theory or a pipe dream; you can see the technique applied in real time in a live sparring session.


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