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#434440 - 01/06/12 12:46 PM High Kicks - Have they always been there?
Dobbersky Offline
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You will find that a majority of kicks in Clasiscal Karate and Okinawan Kata etc were original taught to delivered no higher than Gedan (Lower) level, Chudan (Middle) was a "rare" technique in Kata/Karate.

I believe, please correct me if I am wrong, that it wasn't until the popularity of Tae Kwon Do did Japanese Karate start to add Chudan (Middle) and Jodan (High/head) Kicks to its arsenal.

I also believe that Tobo Geri Waza (Jumping Kicks) again was a quite recent development within Traditional/Modern Karate
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A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

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#434445 - 01/08/12 08:21 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Funny Ken, my old TKD teacher once said that at the beginning of the 20th century there were hardly any known Martial Artists who had the ability and know-how to kick head height.

I've read that Gigo Funakoshi, son of Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan) was widely credited with "nipponizing" his fathers karate by blending it with Kendo movements and adding in higher kicks. TKD was based on Shotokan, so perhaps that is where it stems from?? I don't know enough about it so all I can do is speculate.

Shotokan Origins



Edited by Prizewriter (01/08/12 08:22 AM)
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#434446 - 01/08/12 10:45 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Prizewriter]
iaibear Offline
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<< Gigo Funakoshi, son of Gichin Funakoshi (founder of Shotokan) was widely credited with "nipponizing" his fathers karate by blending it with Kendo movements and adding in higher kicks. >>

Did you just imply there are kicks in Kendo?

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#434447 - 01/08/12 02:43 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: iaibear]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
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Lol! No. Not unless I've been watching the wrong Kendo. Certainly I think some of the stances of Shotokan may come from Kendo, but I'm not an expert in Karate or Kendo history. Where the high kicks come from, who knows? I've came across Gigo Funakoshi's name in the past regarding additions to modern Karate, such as high kicks.
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"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434448 - 01/08/12 06:18 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Prizewriter]
trevek Offline
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I thought many of the high the kicks in TKD came from styles like Taekyon.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taekyon
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#434450 - 01/09/12 09:07 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: trevek]
Dobbersky Offline
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Further on from this would anyone use a Jodan Mawashi Geri (Round kick to the head) or a Tobi Ushiro Mawashi Geri Jodan (Jumping spinning back round kick - made famous by Jean Claude Van Dame) in a fight/street situation
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A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

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#434453 - 01/09/12 12:22 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
iaibear Offline
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Registered: 08/24/05
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Loc: upstate New York
A paid stunt man would

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#434454 - 01/09/12 01:17 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Originally Posted By: Dobbersky
Further on from this would anyone use a Jodan Mawashi Geri (Round kick to the head) or a Tobi Ushiro Mawashi Geri Jodan (Jumping spinning back round kick - made famous by Jean Claude Van Dame) in a fight/street situation


I think someone on here (Fileboy possibly, but don't quote me on that) used a head kick against an attacker before.

There are a few examples of professional MMA fights whereby fighters have won with head kicks. That may not have been the "fight" you had in mind though Ken!:





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"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#434455 - 01/09/12 07:28 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Prizewriter]
gojuman59 Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
There are those that will say that the roundhouse kick at any level wasn't really included in the beginning in Okinawan karate.This will probably anger some, but in the beginning it was low level mae geri and yoko geri.This isn't to say that the roundhouse isn't a great and effective, but it's use came into play when karate got "sportized."I'm not saying roundhouse kicks are bad but the evolved out of competition karate.

Mark

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#434457 - 01/10/12 05:57 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: gojuman59]
duanew Offline
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Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
I have been told that some okinawan style only taught the front kick. This fall my Okinawan instructor taught us several different types of front kick based on the "old" way of doing things.
If I remember correctly they were all done with the big toe-proper conditioning required. He can literally get up on his toes and walk across the room.
One kick involved raking across the leg with the intend of cutting the skin with your toe nail. The nail being dirty and these techniques being before the development of anti-biotics the chance of infection was good.
Another involved curling the toe over and behind the crease of the junction between the leg and lower torso hitting a nerve that hurts and makes you want to sit down.
It would be interesting to know the history of the roundhouse kick. Did it start as a slapping kick (with the instep) then evolve into a toe or ball of the foot kick, was it the other way around or did it evolve differently depending on where it was "invented".


Duane

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#434458 - 01/10/12 06:02 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: gojuman59]
Ives Offline
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Registered: 04/25/05
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In Mark Bishop's Okinawan Karate (2nd edition, 1999) there is a short anecdote about Bushi Takemura/Tachimura who worked as a tax collector but was once attacked by a crowd.

Quote from this anecdote (p.139): "...his right foot would be seen to sweep up and scuff the head of an attacker who would run clutching his head in an attempt to replace a flap of skin and hair that had been removed by Takemura's extraordinary 'scalping kick'..." (This is said to have taken place around 1897.)

Since Takemura was a close friend of Sokon Matsumura I believe this is pretty much an early stage of Okinawan Karate.

I also heard that Seiken Shukumine of Gensei Ryu and Taido demonstrated Hachidan-tobi-geri in 1950 at a karate exhibition for Nippon Television. (I would like to see this demonstration, but haven't found footage.)
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#434459 - 01/10/12 11:09 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: duanew]
Dobbersky Offline
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Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 913
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: duanew
.......It would be interesting to know the history of the roundhouse kick. Did it start as a slapping kick (with the instep) then evolve into a toe or ball of the foot kick, was it the other way around or did it evolve differently depending on where it was "invented".


Duane


Would you say that the Round Kick was subject to when Karate found outside influences from Muay Thai and other Types of "Boxing" like Bokator or Lethwei etc?

I know Kyokushin adopted quite a lot of techniques in its arsenal which can be deemed as Direct input from its bouts/experience in Thailand with the Thai Fighters
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A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#434460 - 01/10/12 02:16 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
Ives Offline
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Registered: 04/25/05
Posts: 691
Loc: the Netherlands
I guess it might also come down to fighting distance. If you are at an striking and grappling range (as common in Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu) you may be more prone to kick low.
From a further distance high kicks and jumping kicks could perhaps be better applied. Also kumite-formats may have had their influence.
Old school karate didn't promote competition matches that much, more so matches for the sake of learning.
Just thought though.
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#434464 - 01/11/12 01:24 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Ives]
gojuman59 Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By: Ives
I guess it might also come down to fighting distance. If you are at an striking and grappling range (as common in Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu) you may be more prone to kick low.
From a further distance high kicks and jumping kicks could perhaps be better applied. Also kumite-formats may have had their influence.
Old school karate didn't promote competition matches that much, more so matches for the sake of learning.
Just thought though.

Well said Ives! It really does come down to what flavor one comes out of to the level of kicks. None are right or wrong, just what is the focus of your training.

Mark

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#434613 - 02/10/12 09:14 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
O-waza Offline
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Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 2
Higher kicks to Jodan begins with the 3rd son of Gichin Funakoshi known as Yoshitaka/Gigo Funakoshi into the modern karate.

Gigo started to develope and change the classical Okinawa form to a new fighting method influenced by kendo, wereas his father was responsible for incorperate the philosophical part "Do".

At the time there was no other known styles that trained high kicks to the head. On Okinawa as we know there was the selfdefence aspect. So they kept the low kicks.

I also recall reading about a fight between Gigo and another instructor of a closefighting style (goju?) .It is said Gigo lost it!? but we can't be sure. To gain an advantage he started to develope new leg techniques. This resulted in that his karate form won some matches and slowly the other styles also started to incorperate kicking techniques.

Osu

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#434614 - 02/11/12 06:53 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: O-waza]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Reading Ron Lindsey's new book- on the topic of kicks he was explaining that low "whipping" kicks were used originally because of the long robes that were worn at the time. After the change in fashion the knee was brought up higher and kicks rose.Prior to that the chance of catching your foot on your own clothing prevented this technique. He also commented on how other cultural fashions effected technique choice.
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Duane

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#434632 - 02/16/12 02:14 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: duanew]
Ironfoot Offline
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Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
I believe high kicks came in as crowd pleasers - tournament and TV stuff. They look flashy, but in a real fight? Please. High risk, low reward. Yeah, I throw them in sparring now and then, but that's mainly because kicking my uke in the leg is out.
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#434644 - 02/21/12 09:57 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Ironfoot]
EFRAIN Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 193
Loc: Paterson, NJ USA
I disagree! High kicks have their place in fighting just like low kicks do. They are effective as long as you know when and how to apply them.

Bow out from Martialist

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#434646 - 02/21/12 12:30 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: EFRAIN]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: EFRAIN
I disagree! High kicks have their place in fighting just like low kicks do. They are effective as long as you know when and how to apply them.


This then begs the question-How many "fights" have you been in? and How many head kicks have you thrown?
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Duane

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#434647 - 02/21/12 01:00 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: duanew]
EFRAIN Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 193
Loc: Paterson, NJ USA
lol That's the wrong question, it does not justify my comment. I've been in many fights specially where I grew up and they do work in the streets. You got to keep in mind that most people on the streets don't have a martial discipline to rely on except to brawling and ground & pound. I'ved used high kicks effectively numerous times of course that includes punching, clinching, controlling an opponent. I always punch to set up proper kicking whether it is for a low kick or high, doesn't matter. Like I said in the previous quote, high kicks are effective as long as a person knows when and how to apply it. Everything has it's place and time.

At the end this is my opinion and of course nothing of my experience has been documented lol...

Bow out from Martialist

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#434648 - 02/21/12 01:02 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: EFRAIN]
EFRAIN Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 193
Loc: Paterson, NJ USA
"Who keeps counts on how many heads kicks one lands when sparring or fighting?"


I don't, never have. Don't see the need to smile

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#434651 - 02/22/12 07:22 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: EFRAIN]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
Just trying to verify that your opinion comes from experience not theory, as too often happens when discussing "fights" vs sparring.
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Duane

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#434652 - 02/22/12 10:27 AM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: duanew]
EFRAIN Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 193
Loc: Paterson, NJ USA
I agree and completely understand.

I myself have asked the same question when watching others perform high kicks the wrong way, at least in my opinion.

My kicking got better when I started training Judo/Jiu-jitsu. I saw it in a different perspective. So in some ways I have changed my kicking style to better compete with grapplers(Jiujitsu,Judo, Wrestling) or better said I've modified my kicking style to better defend/compete/spar/fight anything thrown my way except a gun smile

Bow out from Martialist

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#434695 - 02/28/12 11:06 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Dobbersky]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Ken,

Could not say as was not there myself when the techniques were first used/invented. Refuse to believe that HIGH only appeared for the very, very first time ever in the last fifty years. Not buying it...

Get hit by someone, doing ANY technique effectively... its going to hurt, hopefully stop the situation period. To me, the high stuff requires too much effort, energy and maintenance...

Low far easier, less effort. Aging has not gotten any easier, and unlikely our martial predecessors were trying to somehow unhorse some the hardest way imaginable... :lol:

You are probably right, but even so, I'm not buying the basic premise. HIGH preexisted the modern age...
Jeff

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#434799 - 03/16/12 01:46 PM Re: High Kicks - Have they always been there? [Re: Ronin1966]
Ironfoot Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/10/04
Posts: 2682
Loc: St. Clair Shores, MI USA
Kicking to the lower body vs. the head:
1. is much faster
2. is much harder to block
3. is stronger
4. compromises your balance much less
5. allows you to be in a better defensive posture while delivering the technique

You may think that kicking someone in the head is great because it can be a KO, but many kicks such as a Muay Thai style to the thigh will leave your opponent a sitting duck with severely diminished balance.
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