Friday, 15 August 2014

Self Defense - Inside Snap Kick

Bend the knee and snap upwards toward the inside

t’s a tough little kick, one that can cut deep into an attacker’s leg like the teeth of a bull terrier. And it lunges – through skin and bone – via the most basic to the most sophisticated angles, often without warning.

Karate refers to the kick as nami ashi (wave foot kick). If you’ve ever stood knee deep in the surf and watched a small rogue wave suddenly swell and roll toward you, you’ll appreciate the subtlety behind the term.  I’ll call this technique the inside snap kick just as a way of describing the arc the kick follows.  Practically every martial art includes a semblance of this technique in their repertoire.

THE KICK – stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend one knee slightly to support your weight then snap the other leg toward the inside and up.  Let’s choose one target on an attacker who faces you, the inside (medial) side of his right knee. Ideally, the inside edge – or the sole – of your right foot is supposed to strike his right knee on that side.

Ideally. But there’s more to this kick, much more. In fact, a good instructor could spend a day-long seminar just digging around inside the complexities of this kick, let alone spending years actually training in this specialty.

One of the many reasons I like this kick is because at medium or close range, when most attackers are doing their best to punch you or grab you, the inside snap kick comes out of nowhere, often quite low…way beneath his tussling arms. Hidden, and brutal.

With their many targets – nerves, nerve plexuses, pressure points, arteries, joints, - the legs of the attacker become a battleground, and the kick a highly flexible army, dominating every point and angle.

A knee in the groin is just the start

GROIN– your leg can actually fold enough to send the kick straight up – or from various other angles – into the groin. Don’t restrict yourself to the inner side of your foot. Remember, in fluid combat every part of your leg below the knee can be utilized. So do strike with your big toe or your heel.

Please remember too, this kick is not restricted to one angle. The attacker may be at arm’s length in front of you – and you can still reach him with a long, stretched out arc. Or your attacker may be standing sideways to you and you can reach around his hip and strike his groin from the right.

You can first drive the knee of the kicking leg straight up into the groin, or sideways into his left femoral area, buckling his left leg – then snap your right foot across to the medial side of his right knee.

Kung Fu – and old school Karate  - train these kind of secondary angles constantly during their “sticky legs” practise.

Strike a pressure point just below the inside of the knee

FEMORAL AREA – the artery and the nerve, on the inside of the leg above the knee – can be struck with the sole of the foot, the big toe (especially the pressure points), the heel, the inside of your ankle or tibia, or again, with your knee.

A type of side kick to his left knee follows an inside snap kick to his right knee

KNEE JOINT   - this can be kicked from all sides.

Here we introduce the stomp or cut-through element so often seen in Karate and Kung Fu. If you kick the knee from the front, push the attacker’s knee down on an ankle until his leg is straight, then continue stomping or pushing into the ground.

Similar hyper-extensions occur with knee attacks from the lateral or medial side – keep pushing until the joint dislocates or the leg breaks.

Bottom of foot strikes the knee then ;pushes the joint into the ground

KNEE TO ANKLE – two points I like: just below the inside of the knee in the middle of the leg, and again, in the middle of the leg halfway between the inner anklebone (medial malleolus) and where the calf muscle curves in.

ANKLE – the inside and the outside. If you angle the kick correctly, the ankle will break.

A pressure point my Karate instructor – Sensei Monty Guest – first showed me is located at the back of the leg directly in the middle of the calf muscles. After striking there, drop the inside of your foot down the back of his leg, stripping his Achilles tendon.

Judo, and some forms of Jiu Jitsu, supposedly don’t include kicks in their repertoire. Yes, you do have this one…in the form of ashi barai, the famous, and very powerful, foot sweep!

One kick: so much variety. Practise, practise, practise…and the variety of angles, targets, etc. will start to come naturally for you.

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