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Old 01-15-2007, 12:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the Tao of the Roundhouse Kick?

I've noticed that in a lot of these bouts that end in a KO,that KO came by way of a roundhouse kick to the head.
They say that the best way to teach is by example, and some of the videos posted here give some great examples.
So my question:What is the Tao of the roundhouse kick to the head?
How do I go about developing the awesome kicks that I just saw on those YOu Tube videos?
Sincerely posted, Ferdelance
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Old 01-17-2007, 01:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferdelance
I've noticed that in a lot of these bouts that end in a KO,that KO came by way of a roundhouse kick to the head.
They say that the best way to teach is by example, and some of the videos posted here give some great examples.
So my question:What is the Tao of the roundhouse kick to the head?
How do I go about developing the awesome kicks that I just saw on those YOu Tube videos?
Sincerely posted, Ferdelance
Well... There are 2 schools of thought on "roundhouse" kicks. There is the more "traditional" method taught in styles like Karate, TKD and Savate. And then there is the more "modern" method prevalent in MMA and Muay Thai. The big difference is whether the kick is chambered with a bend of the knee (Karate, TKD, etc), or swung in a "dead leg" style (MT or MMA). Which is more effective? Well, that really depends on the combatant as I've seen real vicious KO's from both.

Currently, the MT method is more prevalent in MMA. The reason being is that it is the easier to learn. The TMA method is broken down into other technical parts which take longer to learn and utilize for a striking novice. With many MMA competitors coming from a grappling background, MT is more readily accessible.

I will go into the technical breakdowns of each if asked to. As always, I'm going to do a bit of show and tell.

Here is a clip of some MT style round kicks. Notice how each kick is thrown without chambering the knee, the practitioner steps into each one and connects with the shin. All are earmarks of the MT style.
Here is a clip that ends with a KO off of a TKD roundhouse kick. You can clearly see how the kick is chambered with the knee and then snapped into the target with the instep of the foot connecting.
Here is the second fight between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes. St. Pierre comes from a Kyokushin Karate background, and the infamous high kick he uses to bring about the end of the fight is a hybrid of the two schools of thought. He clearly steps in and chambers the kick at the knee, but the contact point is his shin.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onganju
Well... There are 2 schools of thought on "roundhouse" kicks. There is the more "traditional" method taught in styles like Karate, TKD and Savate. And then there is the more "modern" method prevalent in MMA and Muay Thai. The big difference is whether the kick is chambered with a bend of the knee (Karate, TKD, etc), or swung in a "dead leg" style (MT or MMA). Which is more effective? Well, that really depends on the combatant as I've seen real vicious KO's from both.

Currently, the MT method is more prevalent in MMA. The reason being is that it is the easier to learn. The TMA method is broken down into other technical parts which take longer to learn and utilize for a striking novice. With many MMA competitors coming from a grappling background, MT is more readily accessible.

I will go into the technical breakdowns of each if asked to. As always, I'm going to do a bit of show and tell.

Here is a clip of some MT style round kicks. Notice how each kick is thrown without chambering the knee, the practitioner steps into each one and connects with the shin. All are earmarks of the MT style.
Here is a clip that ends with a KO off of a TKD roundhouse kick. You can clearly see how the kick is chambered with the knee and then snapped into the target with the instep of the foot connecting.
Here is the second fight between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes. St. Pierre comes from a Kyokushin Karate background, and the infamous high kick he uses to bring about the end of the fight is a hybrid of the two schools of thought. He clearly steps in and chambers the kick at the knee, but the contact point is his shin.
First off, thanx.Because 1) I didn't know that the two differences exist,2)I didn't know that Savate shared that similarity with what is being called TMA, so you learn something every day.3) You've renewed my interest in Savate. So much so that I might introduce some threads along the lines of Savate, which I have read, is a very effective form of fighting, yet recently I have heard so little about,especially along the lines of who is teaching it where and along what lines,what kinds of training methods do they employ, do they have a ranking system analogous to the belt system of karate and judo.
Things like that.
But for now, if you would: I would like for you to break down for me the technical points of each type of kick, please.Also, how you train it,develop it, and hone it into an effective move, as effective as I have seen in these videos of various UFC knock-outs.
Thanx again. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.
Sincerely Ferdelance
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The TMA Method of Round/Circle/Cut Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferdelance
First off, thanx.Because 1) I didn't know that the two differences exist,2)I didn't know that Savate shared that similarity with what is being called TMA, so you learn something every day.3) You've renewed my interest in Savate. So much so that I might introduce some threads along the lines of Savate, which I have read, is a very effective form of fighting, yet recently I have heard so little about,especially along the lines of who is teaching it where and along what lines,what kinds of training methods do they employ, do they have a ranking system analogous to the belt system of karate and judo.
Things like that.
But for now, if you would: I would like for you to break down for me the technical points of each type of kick, please.Also, how you train it,develop it, and hone it into an effective move, as effective as I have seen in these videos of various UFC knock-outs.
Thanx again. You have no idea how much I appreciate this.
Sincerely Ferdelance
We'll go into Savate in another thread. But, as requested, let's look at the "roundhouse" aka "te" aka "round" aka "circle" aka "cut" kick. First, a visual that breaks the movement down from right to left.

We will assume an orthodox lead with this, with the left facing forward, and the rear leg back. The Traditional round kick can be broken down as so:
1) Push off the toes of your rear leg and bring your knee up to the side at the level of your hip.
2) Rotate your hips by pivoting on the ball of your support foot.
3) Rotate your thigh around so that your knee points at your target.
4) Extend your lower leg into your target making contact with the ball of your foot.
5) Once contact is made retract your lower leg.
6) Return to your fighting stance.

Looks pretty straight forward, right? Well, here's where it gets tricky. The steps 2, 3, and 4 are not actually seperate steps. The all occur simultaneously, and feel real awkward to the untrained. Further, it takes a while to get the movement in the technique in control to a point where it is powerful. All the while, you risk breaking toes or feet if using the kick on solid targets. Since MMA is not a point-based sport, "snappy" kicks aren't of too much consequence. Thus the reason why the TMA method of round kicks isn't as prevalent in MMA.

However, a lot of TMA stylists attest that this style of kicking has a lot more control and accuracy. It doesn't devote such a huge amount of momentum into the attack that it pulls the attacker around in a full circle if the kick misses. Further, through the use of chambering the leg the practitioner can "hide" the nature of the kick that will come next, as they can easily use a side kick or hook kick instead of a round kick after chambering the leg.

TMA Round Kicks in action: This is a clip from the Martial Arts movie "Iron Monkey" which stars Donnie Yen as Wong Kei Ying (father of Wong Fei Hung a legendary Chinese Martial Artist). He unleashes a very quick flurry of round, hook and side kicks from the same side leg at around 1 minute and 40 seconds of the clip and right after 2 minutes. Notice the leg chamber?
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Last edited by Onganju : 01-17-2007 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 01-18-2007, 10:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The Muay Thai Te/Round/Swing kick

We broke down the technical how-to on the TMA "roundhouse" kick in the above post. In this post, we'll break down the Muay Thai Round Kick ("Te").

As noted above, the earmarks to a MT Style Round kick are as follows:
  • The kick is proceeded with a step forward.
  • The kick is thrown with minimal chambering of the leg at the knee.
  • The contact point is the shin and not the foot.

Just like the TMA Round Kick, we will assume an orthodox stance with the left leg leading. The following steps are for a kick using the rear leg. To throw a Round Kick MT style:
1) Push off the toes of your rear leg and take a short (4 to 6 inches) 45 degree step forward with your front foot toward your target.
2) While stepping forward, rotate your rear shoulder toward your target. This will create useable torque to...
3) Begin rotating the rear side of your hip toward your target. Your hip will always preceed your leg when kicking.
4) Bring your leg around in a wide arc into the target, in a loose "dead leg" style while pivoting on the ball of your supporting leg. This will allow a wider rotation of your hips.
5) Kick through the target making contact with your lower shin, approximately 2 inches above your instep and 6 inches below your knee.
6) Return your to your fighting stance.

The reason why the Thai Style kick creates so much force so easily is because it is very sound mechanically. The torque created from the rotation of the shoulders, hips and pivoting of the foot (which allows a greater range of rotation on the hips) creates a great deal of acceleration on the kicker's leg. Further, the step forward into the strike commits the kicker's body mass into the attack. Remember: Force = Mass X Acceleration.

So why the dead leg? Well simply put, there is more rotational force created if the leg is at a fuller length. You want an example of that? Take a pencil and hold it an inch from the eraser with your index finger and thumb. Using only your index finger and thumb, flick the eraser end of the pencil into an object. Not too much force created there, right? Now move your grip another 2 inches from the eraser and do the same thing. More force is created right? If you continue on, you will notice that you get the maximum amount of force when holding the pencil from the very end. The same principle applies with the kick.

In contrast to the TMA style Round Kick, the MT Round kick has less technical details to train. The individual motions of the technique are easier to learn, and offer less of a chance of breaking the momentum created while initiating the kick. This makes it very easy to teach and learn.

On the bad side, the kick dedicates a lot of momentum and force into the limb that can be taken advantage of if the competitor throwing it misses their target. The momentum of the kick will bring the competitor off balance, or completely around on their foot if they miss. Both scenarios are prime opportunities to counter attack.

With that, here's some show and tell --
This first video shows both high and low kicks.
This second vid is an instructional clip from Rodney King who breaks down the kinesiology of the kick rather nicely.
This third vid is just a demonstration of the low kick.
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The youtube links in this post seem to be broken. Could anyone direct me toward the videos mentioned? My kicks are terrible and for the moment I have no other resource aside from self instrunction.
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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First let me say excellent job, Very good posts and the show and tell aspect really helped bring home your point. Very impressive.

Now, off topic, is it just me or does the guy in the very first vid have a bad habbit? He telegraphs the move not to mention opening up his head. Everytime, as he takes the step with the lead leg and starts the rotation of his hips, he drops his right hand. To my way of thinking and the way Ive been trained, that is a very bad habbit. Watching the other vids referenced, he was the only one doing that so am I correct in assuming that it is just a bad habbit he has and not a side effect of this style of kicking?

Having been trained in Tae Kwon Do I was always taught the more traditional style where you **** your leg (chamber as you described it) then snap it out and make connect with the instep. However I can see the potential power that can be generated by the muy thai style kick. Also, the hard surface (the shin) making contact with the softer surface (the thigh) is a solid concept, however, I would have concerns with the shin making contact to another hard surface such as an opponents shin could lead to my breaking my own leg as evidenced in the following vids.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VR-b3cEx0M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yee_wVjgDbc
Your thoughts?
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Old 04-03-2007, 05:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRandy
First let me say excellent job, Very good posts and the show and tell aspect really helped bring home your point. Very impressive.

Now, off topic, is it just me or does the guy in the very first vid have a bad habbit? He telegraphs the move not to mention opening up his head. Everytime, as he takes the step with the lead leg and starts the rotation of his hips, he drops his right hand. To my way of thinking and the way Ive been trained, that is a very bad habbit. Watching the other vids referenced, he was the only one doing that so am I correct in assuming that it is just a bad habbit he has and not a side effect of this style of kicking?

Having been trained in Tae Kwon Do I was always taught the more traditional style where you **** your leg (chamber as you described it) then snap it out and make connect with the instep. However I can see the potential power that can be generated by the muy thai style kick. Also, the hard surface (the shin) making contact with the softer surface (the thigh) is a solid concept, however, I would have concerns with the shin making contact to another hard surface such as an opponents shin could lead to my breaking my own leg as evidenced in the following vids.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VR-b3cEx0M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yee_wVjgDbc
Your thoughts?
Well it's important to understand that the kick is developed and drilled over and over again against objects that increase as hardness as the bone hardens. So a properly trained Muay thai student generally would not have to be too concerned with that type of damaged since they have trained to prevent it. However, yes that is a very realistic outcome for a novice.
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