for Self Defense
One of the most commonly used kicks is the roundhouse.
Most beginners taking karate or taekwondo start learning this
technique within the first few weeks of their training.
Years back we never taught defenses against kicks
in our self defense training. This was because only a very small
percentage of the population trained and those that did "would
never use their martial arts training on another person in an
offensive way." Today, of course this is different.
We have literally millions who have had some martial
arts or 'self-defense' training. In the real fights I have seen
where kicks were used, a high percentage of the time they were
Obviously today, learning to defend on the street
against a roundhouse kick attack is important. But should we
use roundhouse kicks in our own self defense efforts?
I think to answer the question properly we must
look at the style of martial art we are talking about, as well
as the type of practice and training the practitioner is involved
If you train in a style where you practice and
use your kicks only below the waist, work on developing devastating
power in your roundhouse kicks, then maybe they have a place
in your self defense arsenal. For everyone else, I would say
no! Here is why.
First of all I only advocate using low kicks in
street self defense. High kicking can cause many problems like:
Not being able to accurately hit your target, especially under
and adrenal rush. Slipping on loose gravel, stone or sand. Having
your leg grabbed by your attacker. Not being able to deliver
a high kick with power.
Using roundhouse kicks to the legs, knees and
possibly the groin can be effective but only if you can deliver
them with sufficient power. This is especially true with leg
Roundhouse kicks tend to be used with the instep
in many styles. Instep kicking presents a very large striking
area and prevents focusing power into a small area. For example,
if you had to be hit with a 2 x 6 board, would you rather take
it on the flat side or on the edge. No doubt the edge would
do much more damage and be much more painful.
Overall I do not recommend roundhouse kicks to
my students for use in self defense. We do, however, teach defenses
against them. See www.street-self-defense.com.