Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Self Defense - The Knee Kick


Reach out with your hands first

A
 very reliable technique for self defense is the knee kick. It’s a favourite technique of the martial arts of Muay Thai and Kyokushinkai Karate where it is often used as a strike to the chest or the head.

Unless they’ve had prior martial arts experience, I advise my students to keep the kick low. It’s easier to maintain your balance with a low level kick. Plus a kick to the groin leaves your hands unobstructed out in front so you can combine your groin attack with techniques to the face or the throat.



Pull the hands in at the same time as you kick

1.  Place one foot ahead of the other, bending the front knee.

2.  Reach with both hands out in front. (This simulates grabbing and holding onto an attacker).

3.  Drive the knee of the back leg forward and up, pulling your hands in at the same time. (This forces the attacker in toward your knee, creating a head-on collision between your knee and the attacker’s body).


Knee kick to groin

4.  Please ensure that your knee remains bent upon impact. You’re not striking with the front of your kneecap but with your thigh from just above the knee cap and up.

5.  For extra force, some teachers recommend extending the hip of the striking knee deep into the target. Unless you’ve had prior training, I’d leave that for now. You may not be able to maintain your balance.



Knee kick to the solar plexus

Preferred targets –

1.  The groin

2.  The head…if you’re strong enough to pull his head down or if he’s already bent forward. Muay Thai practitioners wrap their arms around the back of the attacker’s head and neck.


Knee kick to the head

3.  The side of the ribs

4.  The elbow. For example, hold the upper part of his left arm with your left hand and his forearm with your right hand. The inside of his arm faces up. Force his elbow down across your knee.

5.  The hollow of the hip

6.  The spine (very dangerous!)

7.  The outside of the upper part of the thigh


The following are some drills you can try -

1.  Kick with the back leg then kick with the front. Perform a set of 10 repetitions. Shift the other leg to the front and perform another 10 repetitions.

2.  Kick with one knee up and down like a piston in the engine of a car – very fast. Now switch to the other leg.

3.  We do this one in Jiu Jitsu – perform rapid knee kicks to the front then quickly turn around to face the back, performing still more kicks. Shift into any direction, kicking rapidly. As well as preparing you to confront an attacker from any direction, this drill is a great workout!

4.  Combine your knee kicks with elbow strikes, back fists, claw attacks…fast and furious!
 
After a while, you’ll develop your own drills. Please remember to keep practising!

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