High kicks for realistic fighting


High kicks for realistic fighting?

Many new students or confused martial artists think the high kicks and elaborate kicks are the sh*t! They believe that the high kick is the answer for everything. Getting punched? – Kick them in the head! Getting taken down? – Kick them in the head before the do it?

For martial arts competitions and general sparring, high kicking is fine, but I am talking about a real fight or street fighting scenario.

The truth is, that in a realistic fighting scenario, a high kick should be rarely or never used. Why you may ask? Well, the high kick is inherently dangerous. It is typically a slower kick, it leaves a huge room for error, you can easily miss, and worst of all: it creates a very large opening. If the kick misses or is caught, the kicker is instantly in danger. I come from a grappling and hand to hand combat background. I would love sparring with karate or tae kwon do artists, or other high kicking martial arts people. They would instantly go for the high kick looking to knock me over. Sparring against them became easy, because I was easily able to catch the kick and knock them over. It is a simple technique that many martial arts systems teach, but is also common knowledge.

So… what type of kick should I use? Typically in a realistic fight, leg kicks and stomps are most effective. Typically aiming at the knee and groin area. These attacks are meant to disable the opponent. Here are some good kicks to learn to employ.

  • Knee stomp – side and front kick to opponents knee. Hitting knee front on or from the side
  • Foot stomp – typically in a grapple position, stomping opponents feet with heel. Typically used as a distraction technique.
  • Groin kick – aim using toes and upward direction. Aim for the nuts
  • Front stomp kick – picture kicking in a door. Aim for opponents midsection, or sternum area.
  • Knee strikes – knees to midsection and head from a grapple position. Kneeing to opponents knees and legs too
  • Head kicks – always kick to the head!! ….. kidding

When to use head kicks? If all you have done is headkicks for the last 10+ years, and your kicks are fast and pinpoint. You are more comfortable with your kicks then you are with anything else. When kicking is a second nature to you. When sparring partners think you are cheating when you kick. Basically, when you are true expert of high kicking, then I MIGHT think you could do it. But… probably not.

When facing a realistic fight scenario, you almost need to try to elimante error or the room for error. Use your basics, go with your bread and butter. Use your high percentage techniques. Use what works, not what will get you in trouble.


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