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How to pivot? Knee pain from roundhouse
I am a new student to MMA -- I've in fact only had a couple of classes -- and no previous training. I'm really liking what I'm learning, and it's a great workout, but there is an associated problem. So far I've learned a few things, but no in-depth instruction on striking or pivoting. I'm not sure how much to turn my feet or hips when punching or kicking.
During last night's class we were to give a roundhouse to our sparring partner, who would then rush in on us after the block. Being my first time doing a roundhouse, after a few kicks my support knee had a sharp pain to the right of the knee cap and hurt every time I'd kick with my other leg. It generally feels fine to walk, but any twist to the knee at all (such as taking a corner walking) gives a sharp twinge of pain -- but nothing too bad.
Anyone care to chime in on similar injuries, and how to stop it from happening? I plan on starting a knee/ACL 'injury prevention' workout a few days a week -- but that doesn't help my technique.
Say I'm in my fighting stance: my support (left, front) foot is pointed at my opponent. Do I take a step to the left before kicking, or should I just pivot the support foot where I'm standing? If a pivot, do I pivot on my entire foot or a specific part (heel, toes)? Does the pivot occur slightly before the kick, or as I'm twisting my hips to kick?
I apologize for the length -- but I'm a concerned newbie. I'm already sitting out a class during the first week.
*I did find useful information here.
this is funny because I was going to answer, and then say something like "Onganju will show up sooner or later and explain in perfect detail." I see by your link, you've already read Onganju's posts on the subject. I can't explain anything any further. So in summary.... what he said.
...Oh, one thing I can add is stay on the ball of your foot during the kick. you don't have to be way up on your toes, just keep the weight on the ball of your foot. If you try to pivot your entire foot, I can definitely see knee pain stemming from that movement because your body will turn, but your foot will resist the pivot, putting pressure on your knee.
if u are orthodox make a 45 degree step with ur front leg and twist ur hips to the left than kick with ur shin
we were told the same thing in kick boxing as the post above so thats the way to do it
He's really not asking how to do a roundhouse, he's asking how to pivot. The pain that he notices after throwing the kicks is from not pivoting on the ball of his supporting foot when he throws the kicks. He's probably flat-footed (all of his weight is distributed through the sole of his foot from his toes to his heels), which causes his leg to stay in the same position while his body torques over. The repetative snapping over has stressed his knee a little. In fact, I mention that can happen while addressing footwork in this thread here. In essence, you're putting the same type of torque on your knee and ankle as you would in a heelhook, but just for a brief moment.
Truthfully, the pivot is one of the "finer points" of throwing a round kick (and most kicks in general). It's a learned, co-ordinated movement of the whole body (you can't pivot without moving your hips and upperbody, it doesn't happen). It's one of those things that, like good, technical footwork, comes to you with repetition and drilling over and over again. That isn't to say there isn't a tip I could give you beyond that, or provide you with a few exercises that will help you develope thos movements.
First thing first: Practice good form. Don't worry about power, and don't worry about the level of your kicks. Start out slow and break the movements down in links. Concentrate on form, and then add a little speed. When you can throw a quick, clean kick that is when you will then try to kick through your target with power. If you go for the highest, hardest kick possible without good form you are probably looking at falling on your ass (at least) or blowing out your knee (at worst).
Exercise #1: Hip Turn-Overs (With Partner) - This will require a partner to do, but is a great way to warm up before drilling. To do this:
1) Stand in front of your partner and raise one leg up around waist height.
2) Your partner will grab your leg in a loose grip at your ankle. This is a loose grip, because you want room for their leg to rotate. One of the best ways to do this is rest one hand in the palm of the other, hold your hands at the closest hip to their leg (usually the mirror side: your left hip to their right leg and your right hip to their left leg), bend your knees a little to lower your base, and rest the top of your hands on your thigh. This will create a loop between your hip and your elbow, providing more than enough room for your partner's leg to rotate.
3) Once your partner is settled in, with a hopping motion, turn your hip over toward your partner (if your right leg is up, your hip will turn in to the left, and vice-versa). You should finish in a position where your extended foot is pointing down, the heel of your supporting leg is facing your partner, and you have to look over your shoulder to see your partner. Do that for about 20 to 30 times for each leg (20 if you are just starting out).
When doing this, make sure to keep your hands up (start building that habit now). Remember to turn your hip all the way over (it should be like flashing your buttcheek to your partner). This will help teach you how to pivot and turn your hips completely over, and help you learn what part of your foot you are pivoting on.
Exercise #2: Dead-Leg Swings - This can be done on your own, but it is very effective if you are in front of a MT heavy bag. To do this:
1) Stand in front of the heavy bag an arm's length away in a squared stance, feet in line, shoulder-width apart with your hands up in an en garde position.
2) Raise one leg up to side about 6 to 8 inches off the ground in a relaxed position. Your knee should have slight bend to it.
3) With your leg off the ground, pivot on the ball of your supporting foot and turn your hip and shoulders in. This movement should swing your leg into the heavy bag. When you finish, the heel of your supporting foot should be facing toward the bag, the backside of your hip should be facing the bag, and your body should be turned a full 90 degrees from where it started. Do at least a dozen on each side.
When you do this, do not keep your shoulders square to the bag as it will prevent your hips from turning over. Do not stiffen your leg or kick into the bag. You are using the torque created by your body to swing your leg. Do not sweep your leg inward like you are doing a judo foot sweep. Keep your hands up. This will help teach you pivot without someone supporting your weight, and also help coordinate the movement of your upper body into a round kick.
You see, most new trainees think that punches are done solely with the arms or that kicks are done solely with the legs. The truth is that in order to punch or kick with power, you have are actually throwing each punch and kick with your whole body. You easily generate 30% to 50% of your power just off of your core movements alone. Those the fine-tuned actions of turning your shoulders, rotating your hips, and pivoting on your feet that are involded in that. So remember, form and technique first. Power will follow after that.
good work Onganju
Thank you for the replies!
I've been following your advice, Onganju. I feel no tension in my knee at all when doing the kick now, although the knee is slightly sore otherwise.
I believe the biggest problem was that I must've improperly kicked (staying flat footed, which I am) with no pivot a good 30 or more times in 10 minutes, and never asked for help. I suppose since I'm the only new student I feel embarassed to ask for help. I'm still having big coordination issues when learning new combos and takedowns, which I feel pretty bad about -- my sparring partners have been at this no less than 3 years.
Surely learning simple combos will get easier with time? I just can't seem to remember what to do after being shown, and I always forget things like keeping my hands up, where to place my hand during a takedown, etc. Ahhh.
Don't feel bad about being new. Everyone starts at the same point: A measure of physical ability and even less learned skill. I'm sure the guys you are working with know that too, so don't feel embarassed about it.
Another thing: Don't feel bad about asking questions. I've noticed that when newer guys ask questions, they tend to "get it" a lot quicker. Sometimes minute details can mean the difference between grasping a technique or falling prey to one. In either case, those details don't become apparent unless they are sought out. In fact, I've noticed that the guys who are honestly interested in getting better are usually the ones asking questions (even the real seasoned guys). If the guys you are working with are cool, they will definitely answer your questions (if at least once).
when i was starting out I had the same problem. Its gonna take awhile to get it but like some one said before its a pivoting issue. What your doing is your rotating everything but your support leg is staying where it is while the whole body is moving and your knee cant support that movement.
If you throw a round house watch your feet. I use my lead leg as a pointer for the kick. If my foot is facing them thats the target. When you swing the kick as your hips move your foot should move with it. It takes awhile but you will get it.
as i understand it, most of the power in the kick comes from the hip, but the pivot is crucial in unleashing it. I like to practice the pivot by practicing my worst kick, the turning hook.
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