Posts Tagged ‘shin kick’

A Round Kick Is A Fight Ender

        A round kick is a very basic technique and probably the kick one will most often use in a fight. It is used more than any kick. It can be a fight ender. The regular round kick from most martial arts systems use the lower shin area and instep, top of the foot for impact. Karate being the most popular art for decades last century has emphasized kick snapping kicks with the instep to targets on an opponents body. Taekwondo, coming from Shotokan then became the next world’s most popular martial art and held that title for a very long time. Taekwondo kicks much like Karate because Taekwondo basically is a kind of Karate since it has a strong historic link to Shotokan Karate. Shotokan round kicks and Taekwondo round kicks are basically performed the same.

        It is very hard for the average know-it-all MMA fanboy or Muay Thai guy to understand that you do not always have to hit with the shin, use a loose and wide swinging leg, and turn 360 degrees after every round kick you throw. You can simply kick the way Karate kicks and hurt someone badly.

        Last night on the UFC Fight Night Lyoto Machida used a basic Shotokan round kick and hit DB Dolloway on the body and crumbled him. Dolloway slowly began to fall as Machida went in for the kill with multiple punches until he was on the floor doing nothing about it as the referee stopped the fight declaring Machida the winner. All Machida did was use timing, brains, and focus. He saw a target available and threw a very hard round kick with his instep making impact. His leg was chambered like a Karate kick with the knee aiming at the target and BAM! it hit. It was a delayed reaction for a split second before Dolloway held his rib and tried to pretend he was not hurt but to no avail he had to react to the pain and misery of the kick and eventually fall.

        Round kicks are serious business. You do not have to use a Muay Thai style shin kick where you spin 360 degrees if you miss. Often times people who want to shadow box with kicks will make sure you damn well know they know real fighting by spinning around in a full circle after throwing a round kick. If someone does not go into a 360s degree spin after their round kick people will think they are simply “Karate dorks” or “Taekwondo idiots” who don’t know how to REALLY kickbox. It is pretty pretentious. The truth is, most often you can tell a beginner and low experienced level fighter by their intentional spins after throwing round kicks for absolutely NO reason but to look cool like they know the REAL way to Kickbox. Like they know Muay Thai.

        Karate kicks and Taekwondo kicks are faster, more agile, and can be performed with pinpoint accuracy. Whereas a standard Muay Thai kick is heavier, often a harder impact (not always though), yet it’s impact covers a wider range on the opponents body with less pinpoint accuracy. Shins are devastating and it is important to understand how to kick with heavy rotation like Muay Thai, but it is not the only way to throw a round kick and knowing the fast and quick retracting kicks of Karate and Taekwondo are also important. They allow for traveling forward and covering distance and enable aperson to throw multiple kick combos using both legs. Most often a Muay Thai kick will be thrown once and very hard but not too many combos are available when overexerting. Know exactly how much force you need to use to defeat someone is a skill that only expert martial artists understand. Not the average MMA fan. So hopefully the amazing round kick of Lyoto Machida that landed last night will help get rid of the negative stigma that current low-brow pop-culture followers, who think they are fighters and MMA masters at Buffalo Wild Wings UFC night have against anyone who wears a uniform and colored belt when they train. It seems the only people allowed to wear a gi and colored belt are Brazilian Jiu Jitsu people, but anyone sporting a Karate gi or Taekwondo dobok is shunned.

        One time I was able to pull of such a devastating round kick. It was a left leg round kick just like Machida’s. It was at the University Fight Club I started at my university for MMA and all martial arts. A wrestler guy came in and wanted to strike with me. Of course such a fight always starts out with the agreement that its low to medium contact and eventually throughout the sparring session someone’s ego gets in the way and they start throwing full power blows. The wrestler of course did not like my kicks and began to throw hard punches hitting me in the face. I threw a leg kick or two and he punched me some again and then I had had it with his nonsense so I round kicked him in the ribs full power and he fell to the ground for about 2 minutes reeling in pain and out of breath. I kind of felt bad but then again he asked for me. I may have fractured his rib, but I am not sure. Quite possibly Lyoto last night broke Dolloway’s rib as well. What an inspiration!

        Thank you Lyoto Machida for being a great representative of a true martial artist and fighter and showing the world that Karate and other traditional martial arts have a real place in the fight world and are effective fighting systems that should be respected.

Anderson Silva’s Broken Leg Is A reason Why Taekwondo Kicks Should Be Considered Useful

        Shin kicks are not always the best way to kick. When you do a shin kick, especially if it is higher on the leg, the rest of your leg and foot are still full of the energy going in the direction of the kick thus causing the bone itself to slightly bend. Your foot and lower shin are basically going past the area of contact the higher part of your shin connects with. The strength of your shin will dissipate the energy, or snap your leg in half if you hit something just too strong. Hitting a heavy bag enough times, that is at least 100-200 lbs., you can feel this. This is why kicking the heavy bag with the shin over and over is an important conditioning drill for your leg. It is the best way to harden your shin and strengthen the bone density. Beginners should always go soft at the start and over months they can kick hard and harder as their bones dense up.

In this video you can see the contact of the high part of Anderson Silva’s shin on Chris Weidman’s leg causing the lower part of his shin to hyper extent and snap since the foot and ankle went past the contact part due to energy still in force. Look closely at the shin of Weidman on Silva’s leg where it is touching and you can see that the lower shin close to the ankle is snapping due to the contact point higher on Silva’s shin. Do not assume the point of contact is exactly where a bone will break. The slightly higher contact point caused the lower shin to break. 

On the other hand, if you hit something just too strong, such as the area of Chris Weidman’s shin that Silva made contact with in their UFC 168 fight, it can cause the bone to snap due to the energy still pushing the lower parts of your shin and foot not having enough time or strength for the energy to dissipate. This is why Taekwondo and Karate instep/foot kicks are also important to use. Know when to use certain kicks at certain times. Obviously even a masterful fighter such as Anderson Silva can make mistakes and freak accidents happen. Even so, the whole “Muay Thai is the only thing in the world for kicks” mentality has been proven false.

Muay Thai is good and shin kicks work well (And yes even Taekwondo has shin kicks in their curriculum for the martial art [not the WTF sport rules though]), but a martial artist should also use instep kicks a lot more, or at least kick way lower on the shin. Some people believe you MUST kick higher on the shin because it is somehow harder than the lower part, but that’s not actually true and that is why Silva’s leg got broke; because he hit with the higher part of the shin on a harder surface and bad angle.

Of course leg kicks are best done with the shin, and the instep kicks are not very effective kicking someone’s thick leg muscles and there is the problem of hyper extending the ankle on contact, but this is not to say that an instep kick is 100% ineffective on the leg. Usually a Taekwondo fighter will use both the shin and instep simultaneously to contact their intended target. The instep and lower shin also make a longer ranged weapon than the average Muay Thai, higher on the shin, kicks. Many times Taekwondo kicks are less predictable than slower Muay Thai kicks. I personally use both shin kicks and instep kicks and will try my best to make sure that when I use each kick I will be careful not to make the mistake of getting my leg broken.


White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program.