Kicking in Self Defence: What not to do
Kicking in a Self Defence confrontation should be avoided, but if the opportunity arises then there are some basic rules that you should follow when kicking in self defence. Here are the do’s and don’ts of kicking in a street fight.
Don’t Kick Above Waist Height
Do not kick above waist height towards your attackers head, especially at close range. We’ve all seen martial arts films in which the star kicks their way through a cast of willing stunt performers. These feats are entertaining and exhilarating to watch, but the reality is that there is a degree of risk when high kicking at close range in a self defence confrontation. Your leg can be caught by your attacker or you could slip over on a cold winter pavement.
Street fights are not Kickboxing matches. Try to limit the amount of time that you are one leg in a confrontation, especially when you are at close range. Kickboxing requires a high degree of skill to strike a head with your foot. Keep your self defence simple and less reliant on a complex skill set for the street.
Do Kick or Stamp on Your Attackers Knees, Groin, and Feet.
Although, Wing Chun is a Chinese martial art, many of the old traditional Wing Chun kicking techniques are applicable to reality based self defence training. Typically, in Wing Chun kicks and punches are applied at the same range. In this sense, the legs are considered a third arm, normally applied when your arms are tied up or in a clinch or Chi Sao position (see Is Wing Chun Chi Sao Useful for Self Defence).
Wing Chun has a great range of kicks that are very practical for self defence applications. Typically the Wing Chun system has eight kicks or leg techniques. Many of the actual kicks are simply variations of the front and side kick in Wing Chun. However, there are a range of leg locks, traps, foot sweeps, in addition to close quarter kicks to the groin, knees, and feet.
Wing Chun has a method of training leg techniques in an exercise called Chi Gerk (Sticking Legs). This exercise could be likened to the aspect of training foot sweeps in Judo, however the objective is to stick to the attackers legs and strike with your hands.
It is typical in Wing Chun not to differentiate between long and short ranges as in kickboxing and other styles of martial arts. However, fighting in self defence requires a more sophisticated system of close quarter kicking that is effective at maintaining balance and stability. Kicks should typically be used in conjunction with the hand fighting skills of this style of martial art and not as a form of kickboxing for the street.
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