Monday, 27 October 2008

High Roundhouse Kick Defence/Counters

Whatever striking art you train in, there is one kick which is used the most often. It is a kick which many feel is the most natural to perform and one which is one of the fastest to perform. It is called the roundhouse kick and everyone loves to be able to use it towards high targets. Although probably not the best weapon for the street, for the ring or cage is can be used in devastating fashion. (Just ask many of Mirko Cro Cops past opponents) For this reason I thought it right to offer some classic defence/counter tactics for it which I have been able to use and implement in my own way.

The high roundhouse is performed a little differently by each style, but its basic principals are always the same. The roundhouse kick comes in towards the target from the side, striking with the shin/instep and is either snapped back after making contact or used as a baseball bat and swung through the target.

Below are the defences/counters,

1. Move inside the kick – As the kick comes in towards your head, move in close to your opponent, keeping your guard up. The kick should pass behind your head leaving you able to counter or just push your opponent back.

2. Lean back – Against swinging roundhouses, as the kick comes in, lean back just enough so the kick swings past you. If the swing is vigorous, chances are your opponents back will be presented to you so if you’re fast enough you will be able to counter accordingly.

3. Stop hit the attack – As your opponent starts the kick, perform a quick kick or strike of your own targeting your opponents face, stomach, just above the hips, kicking thigh or supporting leg. The stop hit, if performed correctly should immediately stop the kick in its tracks.

4. Sweep the supporting foot – As soon as you see your opponents foot leave the floor, keeping your guard high, sweep your opponents supporting foot.

Tip – If you sweep the inside of the foot towards the outside, rather than from the outside/in, you should always have your back towards the kicking leg, so if your guard is down and the kick does land it will hit your back rather than your front.

5. Duck under and shoot – Especially useful for MMA. Keeping your guard high, duck under the kick and shoot in on your opponents supporting leg. It should be relatively easy to take him/her to the ground and to gain a decent controlling position.

6. Deflect the kicking leg upwards – Against swinging roundhouses, as the kick comes in, keeping your hands up, parry the kick and deflect it upwards. This may cause your opponent to lose balance and fall to the ground.

These six defence/counters to the high roundhouse kick have proved for myself to be most effective. Im sure there are many more and I invite you to share them with us, but for me, I have been able to use each one of these above and feel confident doing so.

I have found the following book to show great reading material on the high roundhouse kick and defences to it. I strongly urge all martial artists to check out the book. It’s a great purchase and a great book for all interested in strategies, drills and training methods for the striking arts.


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Anonymous said...

roundhouse kicks take to long to reach their target,give me a front kick any day.

MARKS said...

I think it all depends on the circumstances

Anonymous said...

One defence would be to turn your body to face the kick, blocking it with your right arm (assuming he’s in an ortodox stance and kicks with his rear leg) letting him hit your elbow (painful) while simultanously trapping his foot with your left arm (thus creating a wedge). The next phase is stepping away from your opponent (in the direction of the kick), spin and angle away from him. This should propell him into the air and I’d love to see him try to breakfall from that. Now I’ve never tried this on the street (no-one has ever been foolish enough to try to kick me in the head) and I imagine it would be quite dangerous in sparring. What do you think?

Personally I never use high kicks: everytime you kick you're basically inviting him to throw you (especially when it's aimed at his head) and if he does you're toast. Land on a hard surface and not even the best breakfalling-skills will keep you from harm. When down and knocked out or stunned you're nothing more than a human punching-bag for him to kick and punch as he pleases.

In my opinion martial arts are all about effectiveness (or at least they should be) and self-protection, not flashy techniques or gymnastics. In his films Bruce Lee used many flashy high-kicks but in his own, reality-based fighting system he never kicked above the stomach. The same goes for okinawan karate: very hard and practical martial art and they too rarely kick(ed) above the waist.

Today's mainstream or 'sports'-karate with all their flashy kicking and ego-driven tournaments (with loose, light clothing, no shoes and a nice mat to fall on and ample time to stretch properly first) is a far cry from the original, truly martial (that is meant for survival and warfare), art.

Taekwondo is even worse: they've all but thrown away punching (your primary weapon in a real fight) and replaced it with ridiculous hopping around throwing a flurry of showy kicks that could never cause real damage, all this while fighting in a sort side-stance with their back and kidney's all exposed (but then again it's 'forbidden' to hit someone in the back).

When you have to fight, don't make a fuss and get it over with quickly and efficiently. If he kicks high step in (while covering) and pop his knee. Fight's over and you walk away. That's what martial arts are all about, the real ones anyway.

MARKS said...

While I agree that for self defence purposes, high kicks should be limited, from a sporting aspect, from point karate to MMA, the roundhouse kick is a much used and useful technique (if performed correctly). If someone participates in martial art sporting events, it would be wise to practise the kick and defences/counters to it.

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