Monday, March 20, 2017

On High Kicks

Let me make a confession that in some circles in the martial arts would be considered shocking.

I don't like high kicks.

There.  I said it.  Happy?

It's not like I doubt the usefulness and effectiveness of high kicks.  I know there's some folks out there who do, and I don't count myself in their number.  There's too much evidence out there of high kicks working, and working well, to make that argument.

I don't like high kicks because I can't do high kicks.

Look, I have an excuse.  I sustained permanent knee damage as a teenager, when I was a runner.  So if you see me running today, my friend, you better start running too, because something BAD is coming.

Pretty much.
This causes me big time problems in martial arts.  Any move in a form where I have to get down on a knee, I can't do.  Or rather, I can, but I won't get up again any time soon.  I have to be very careful on takedowns that involve my knees, because it's easy to end up hurt and out of training.

When you have this sort of damage, it actually affects more joints than just the damaged ones.  I get knee aches in certain weather patterns, and it hurts from my hip to my ankle when I get those.

So, when I first started in the martial arts, I was in an style called PaSaRyu Taekwondo.  As everybody knows, most variants of TKD require high kicks and PaSaRyu is no exception.

Within a few months, I developed bursitis in both hips and ended up in physical therapy (because I'd fallen in love, you see, and I wasn't going to stop training) - in fact, I suffer from bursitis to this day.

I ended up leaving PaSaRyu after I was introduced to Arnis and I moved away.  After I ended up in Texas, I wound up in another version of TKD for about six months.  It was then that I realized that TKD is just not a style I can do long-term.

The main reason I quit studying taekwondo was the high kicks.  Between the bursitis in the hips and the damage in my knees, that stuff just hurts.

As a result, it's best for me to be in styles that don't ask me to try to kick high.  It can't be a part of my strategy in the martial arts. The amount of pain and damage I get in training it isn't worth the advantage I get from being able to do it well.

So no, you won't see ol' Stick Chickie kick somebody in the head.  Unless, of course, I'm on a ladder.



Do you like high kicks?  Are you good at it?  How has it affected your physical health?  Tell me all about YOUR kicks in the comments!