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#388081 - 03/24/08 08:30 PM snap back
student_of_life Offline

Registered: 10/12/05
Posts: 1032
Loc: Newfoundland, Canada
snaping back on your techniques can be a touchy subject in karate i've found. one problem comes up when snap kicking. have you ever herd someone say that the most important part of a snap kick is the snaping back? last night i was working on the heavy bag, and i felt darn good with the bag folding and swinging all over the place, then i class just now we go over the same technique, someone holds the pad for me, bang i kick and they stumble backwards.


my instructor, whom i love and respect dearly, tells me the most important part of the kick is the snap back. in class i don't say a word: ous and back at it. but im thinking, how in the name of god dose the pulling back of a kicking leg add power to anything what so ever? there are light snapping kicks to targets like the groin and such, but in my expirence you kick them put the foot down as fast as posible to hit again, snaping back and holding the chamber "in case you need to kick again"....come on now...

in the name of proper technique in the eyes of the style i pratice, i'll do it and smile the whole time. its commen place in self defence to be very pickey about when and how you throw your kicks, and throwing more then one off the same leg is bullshido.

there are things about shotokan i freaking love, and then there are other things. thoughts?
its not supposed to make sense

#388082 - 03/24/08 09:43 PM Re: snap back [Re: student_of_life]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3220
Loc: Derry, NH

Use of a kick's snap back can be an important part of karate.

The idea of the snap back really focuses, IMO, on kicking the lower body (legs). A sharp focused kick causes great effect as the legs are not really designed to take a lot of punishment (heavy impact training excepted).

The kick is towards a more focused target and you don't want to leave it hanging out there as in thrust kicking, in case you miss.

There is another obvious answer, at advanced kicking studies you're striking with the snap back using the heel not the outgoing foot.

Multiple kicks with one leg are not dreams, there are distinct situations where such kicking is quite appropriate, but again I find that a part of advancing studies.

It is false to believe all striking/kicking must be done for extreme power delivered. Beginners mind, especially if advanced by 'advanced' karate-ka. It is more correct to realize you should use the appropriate power for the situation, at times even a light strike will cause the appropriate disruption, especially if your using a kick to set up something else in combination.

Whether all styles approach kicking this way I can't say, but from my studies, kicking with a fast focused strike back is an important tool.

I rarely explain this to a student until their execution is developed to the point they're ready for the situational studies of the usage.

victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

#388083 - 03/24/08 10:08 PM Re: snap back [Re: Victor Smith]
harleyt26 Offline

Registered: 06/23/04
Posts: 75
Loc: Summerfield,Florida U.S.A.
The "snap" back could also be important in preventing the kick from being grabbed or to release the foot from a grab.Sometimes the kick should be practiced not only pulling it back quickly but also with enough power to yank it out of a attackers grasp.I prefer not to use the term snap,it does not infer penetrating power but only a surface slap,kicks or punches.
Tom Hodges
Thomas Hodges, train 100 practice 1000

#388084 - 03/24/08 11:23 PM Re: snap back [Re: student_of_life]
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5843
Loc: USA

Victor and Harley beat me to it.

The snap back does not add power per-se...the main point IMO is to keep the leg from being grabbed and you taken down.

Boxers don't leave their punchs extended for similar reasons....they don't want someone to get inside their guard.

It reads to me like your talking about 2 differnt things.

1-Snapping the kick back

2-"Holding the chamber" ...preseumably for the next kick.

The former sounds like a good idea to me.....the latter....not so much.

Again, don't know you or where you train but if that explination is what you are being told---to stand there holding a leg up in chamber....that sounds like a less than optimum thing to me.

Might be missing something of course.
I did battle with ignorance today.......and ignorance won. Huey.

#388085 - 03/25/08 12:33 AM Re: snap back [Re: student_of_life]
Zach_Zinn Offline

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Well, it probably goes without saying that there are very good reasons for quickly retracting your kick, but yeah power isn't one of em in my book.

#388086 - 03/25/08 03:54 AM Re: snap back [Re: student_of_life]
ButterflyPalm Offline

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
In some combat situation, you do not have the luxury of time, set-up, chambering, a static target held at optimum height and a long arcing distance to the target to generate maximum power as you would have when kicking a bag or focus pad.

Besides the idea of not having your kicking legs grabbed or pushed to one side so that you stumble a little giving your opponent an opening for a counter, the "snap" in the kick happens at the point of impact to give your kick a few extra ounces of 'impact-tension' because the snap at the point of impact tensed your leg for a split second, giving it some penetration effect. This I beleive was what your instructor was trying to demonstrate. Perhaps the "back" in the "snap-back" was causing the confusion.

Think of a bull-whip. The power, penetrating effect of a whip is not in the swing forward but in the pulling/snapping back.
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

#388087 - 03/25/08 07:57 AM Re: snap back [Re: Victor Smith]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK

It is false to believe all striking/kicking must be done for extreme power delivered. Beginners mind, especially if advanced by 'advanced' karate-ka. It is more correct to realize you should use the appropriate power for the situation, at times even a light strike will cause the appropriate disruption, especially if your using a kick to set up something else in combination.

I think that is the best explanation for the use of snap kicks. For instance, I use two different front kicks, which are actually very different techniques because of their usage and the power generation.

I have a front snap kick, which is a short sharp kick, with most of the power coming from the raising of the knee and the snap at the knee. It is useful for moving forward, or hitting softer areas like the groin or solar plexus. I have another front kick which more resembles the front kick in Muay Thai. Most of the power comes from thrusting the hips forward, the kick is usually done off the front leg and the intention is to create as much power as possible to "knock back" the opponent. I use it for jamming opponents when they try to punch, or in order to keep an opponent back at range. Two front kicks, one with snap, one without, and very different purposes but equally valid in their required situation.

#388088 - 03/25/08 08:58 AM Re: snap back [Re: Supremor]
Shonuff Offline

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 604
Loc: London, UK

The rest of the guys beat me to it, but I will just add that the more experienced I get the more important I feel generating fast and powerful snapping kicks as opposed to thrust or swinging kicks. Especially if your concerned with learning to apply your art in close quarters.
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

#388089 - 03/25/08 09:03 AM Re: snap back [Re: student_of_life]
oldman Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 5884
One important asect of snapping back the leg or rechambering is that it gives you the opportunity to choose where you place your next step. If you over comitte to a kick your foot can come down on something you don't intend it to come down on. If yu have rechambered and re establish balance you can be intentional about where you put you foot down or what you put it down on.

#388090 - 03/25/08 09:15 AM Re: snap back [Re: oldman]
underdog Offline

Registered: 09/18/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: Mansfield, MA U.S.A.
It may be the language used to explain things, but I understood it differently. Everything said above about not being grabbed and being ready to strike again is true. However, what I understood about "snap back" is the natural thing that the leg or a punch will do when it is thrown with a relaxed whipping, from the ground to the weapon kind of wave motion. The leg/arm "snaps back" a bit. Of course you rechamber and make choices about your next strike and all of that too.
The older I get, the better I was!

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