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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:06 pm    Post subject: Front snap kick / mae geri / ahp chaki Reply with quote

In what circumstances would you use a front snap kick?

It's fast. It's direct. It's simple.

But it's also not that powerful (I know there are powerful front kicks, but I'm talking about the rapid ball of foot snap kick)

And it's quite high risk. The number of times I've sprained my toes from this kick being blocked, or even snagging on my opponents suit.

Watching the MBA guys on TV and YouTube, they seem to rarely use it.

I get that a lucky shot to the gonads or a high shot to under the chin or nose would potentially end a fight, but equally a bad shot is at best useless and at worst will break your toes and/or leave you vulnerable to a sweep.

So with the broad spectrum of more powerful, high return low risk techniques in our arsenal, why would we use the front snap kick?
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2369
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Itís easily my most used kick. Iím not much of a kicker, and we donít kick the legs in free-sparring very often for safety reasons. If I could roundhouse the thighs in free-sparring, front kick would be my #2 kick.

As far as risk, for me itís far lower risk than any other kick (again Iím not a good kicker). Broken toes-wise, Iím pretty sure shoes will protect sufficiently. Power-wise, every strike I knowís power improved significantly from hitting a bag. Everyone thinks crescent kicks are inherently weak. After a few weeks of pounding a bag with them, they got quite powerful for me. Same for every strike.

I use front kick in many ways. Again, Iím a poor kicker and somehow Iím built for front kicks

I use it as a sort of jab - throw it and use it to get someone to back up and get inside.

I use it to push someone off/back someone up when theyíre too close. Muay Thai May call this a ďteepĒ?

I use it sparingly at longer range, but mostly at an in-between to closet range. My preferred sparring range is closer than most strikersí range that Iíve been around, and front kick just works for me at that range.

I use it at the end of a combo - Iím mostly hands, so people are most concerned with that, and a strong front kick to the stomach ends a punching combo.

My main target is right above the belt. If I were to use it in an actual fight, Iíd probably aim right below the belt, in the bladder area. Thatís a very sensitive spot to get hit.

I really try to do other kicks in sparring, but front kick is easily my most effective and go-to kick. I use it far more than anyone in the dojo. Several people have commented they love sparring me because Iím the only one who consistently throws front kicks, and I throw them well. The way my hips work, itís practically my only kick.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137, that's cool, but what you describe doesn't sound like the vanilla front snap kick. It sounds more like a forward thrusting one which is also present in Korean styles as well as karate and probably others.

There is a version we call a push kick. I think that has great value. As you describe it engages the hips a lot, and thrusts forwards in a sort of stomping action rather than upwards in a sort of whipping action. I can fault this version. It's awesome. But what I was really wondering about was the basic snap kick, which is quite feeble compared to other strikes, bring the knee up, then sort of flick the lower leg up from the raised knee.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess with the snap kick version you could use it as a distraction to set other stuff up. Kinda like how I use the front kick as a jab to get in in some cases.

Iím not a fan of throwing stuff without much power behind it. Stuff like flutter roundhouse kicks really turn me off. Thatís stuff is all fine and good for point fighting, but I donít have much interest in it. Same for the famous backfist-reverse lunch combo; all flash and no bang. Unless itís something I can reliably use to get someone to move their hands away from a target Iím going for, Iím not throwing something that wonít cause some damage.

Thereís a time and a place for everything, so play around with it. Thatís what sparring is truly for. Think outside the box a bit and try it in different contexts and combinations. It may surprise you. But also keep in mind not every technique is for everyone. Weíve got spear hand techniques in my school that just arenít for me. Same for spinning stuff.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
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Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then again with your feet/foot and what you said in the other thread... yeah... I wouldnít be trying to make any version of it work.
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shortyafter
Orange Belt
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
JR 137, that's cool, but what you describe doesn't sound like the vanilla front snap kick. It sounds more like a forward thrusting one which is also present in Korean styles as well as karate and probably others.

There is a version we call a push kick. I think that has great value. As you describe it engages the hips a lot, and thrusts forwards in a sort of stomping action rather than upwards in a sort of whipping action. I can fault this version. It's awesome. But what I was really wondering about was the basic snap kick, which is quite feeble compared to other strikes, bring the knee up, then sort of flick the lower leg up from the raised knee.

In karate there are two types of front kicks - they are called mae geri keage and mae geri kekome. Keage is the snapping motion that you were describing in your original post, like a sort of slap with your foot. It stings. Kekomi is the thrust that engages all of your hips forward, it's more of a push. Same principle applies to yoko geri (side kick) and possibly other kicks/strikes? But in my dojo we have always applied it to front and side kicks. Sounds like this is the distinction you're making here, no?

And, I don't know where I heard this but I think some video about Japanese karate? Some Japanese Sensei was out sparring in a field and he realized that the mae geri (front kick) was much more effective than a roundhouse (mawashi geri) in that environment. Why? It's hard to get the traction to twist the supporting foot in that type of environment... you're more likely to lose your balance. A front kick is more stable and more balanced. For that reason in traditional karate the roundhouse kick was never really trained, it was always front kick.
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OneKickWonder
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
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Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

shortyafter wrote:


And, I don't know where I heard this but I think some video about Japanese karate? Some Japanese Sensei was out sparring in a field and he realized that the mae geri (front kick) was much more effective than a roundhouse (mawashi geri) in that environment. Why? It's hard to get the traction to twist the supporting foot in that type of environment... you're more likely to lose your balance. A front kick is more stable and more balanced. For that reason in traditional karate the roundhouse kick was never really trained, it was always front kick.


I'm not claiming to know better than the Japanese sensei you refer to, perhaps there's some subtle difference between the Japanese version of the roundhouse and the Korean version, but I can get as much traction as I need to deliver a powerful roundhouse without having good traction on the ground. We don't put any twisting forces through the foot into the ground, other than a small amount very briefly as we pivot into chamber at the start of the kick. Most of the force comes from the momentum generated on the initial turn, and then the weight of the leg as it kicks.

Roundhouse is relatively easy to catch. Possibly a bit easier than front snap kick. That's always a risk with kicks which are generally slower than hand techniques. And that's possibly the reason why Funakoshi wrote that kicks are a last resort (in the very same book where he gives awesome applications for them).

But front snap kick, while very fast and stable, is probably the kick that's responsible for the majority of black and blue toes in our club. Not just mine. People with fully functional feet also seem to suffer a lot with it. And not just my current club. This has been the case in every club I've been to that has a version of the front snap kick. Interestingly perhaps, I trained for a while in a style of kung fu. I'd previously trained wado. One of the first things they tried to train out of me at kung fu was the front snap kick. They had front kicks but you'd strike with the heal in a thrusting action. When I couldn't let go of my wado style, they arranged a sparring match between me and a student with equivalent years experience but in kung fu. The rules were freestyle but light contact. That's probably the first time I learned the futility of the front snap kick. My kung fu comrade simply swept it down, badly spraining my toes in the process.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



I thought this thread was about the front snap kick, and not about the roundhouse kick, which of course, are two complete separate techniques all together.

Quote:
But it's also not that powerful (I know there are powerful front kicks, but I'm talking about the rapid ball of foot snap kick)

You only lack power whenever you're a beginner!! Resolved intent; without it, there's no purpose behind it. I kick like a mule, but I'm also no beginner; I'm the furthest thing from that. To me, any practitioner under a Godan, is a beginner; I don't expect anyone to support that statement.

Some things that affect the front kick:

1) Bending the back
2) Extending the hips backward
3) Not raising the kicking foot at least knee high of the supporting leg
4) Not kicking directly to the front of the body
5) Lifting the heel of the supporting foot
6) Straightening the knee of the supporting leg
7) Not re-chambering the kicking foot and not fast enough

Not many of us go about our daily routines, outside of the dojo, without some sort of shoe. In the past, I've jammed my toes of my kicking foot, more times than I care to remember, at the dojo. However, I've never jammed my toes of my kicking foot while wearing shoes outside of the dojo...not once...not even when I was a part time bouncer back in the late 1970's.

Our front snap kick, or any kick for that fact, in Shindokan, is primarily a check/disruption/set-up kick to the legs/groin for our Close Range/Tuite. Most assuredly so, our kicks are of the thrusting finality, however, the snap is the prerequisite of any thrust kick.



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singularity6
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
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Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Front snap kick / mae geri / ahp chaki Reply with quote

OneKickWonder wrote:
In what circumstances would you use a front snap kick?

It's fast. It's direct. It's simple.

But it's also not that powerful (I know there are powerful front kicks, but I'm talking about the rapid ball of foot snap kick)

And it's quite high risk. The number of times I've sprained my toes from this kick being blocked, or even snagging on my opponents suit.

Watching the MBA guys on TV and YouTube, they seem to rarely use it.

I get that a lucky shot to the gonads or a high shot to under the chin or nose would potentially end a fight, but equally a bad shot is at best useless and at worst will break your toes and/or leave you vulnerable to a sweep.

So with the broad spectrum of more powerful, high return low risk techniques in our arsenal, why would we use the front snap kick?


To the bold: All the reasons why this would be my go-to kick if I ever needed to use my martial arts.

To the italicized: You may not be breaking ribs too easy with this kick, but placement is key. Add a bit of thrust, and you'll easily knock someone over.

To the underlined: Any technique has its risks. We are discussing the art of fighting, after all!
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OneKickWonder
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: Front snap kick / mae geri / ahp chaki Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:


To the bold: All the reasons why this would be my go-to kick if I ever needed to use my martial arts.


I think against an untrained fighter it has a chance of being effective. A trained fighter, in any one of many styles, will expect it and have a myriad ways to block, trap or evade it, and the reactions needed to give them a credible chance of doing so.

Quote:

To the italicized: You may not be breaking ribs too easy with this kick, but placement is key. Add a bit of thrust, and you'll easily knock someone over.


Adding some forward thrust turns it into a different kick to the basic front snap kick. With forward thrust it becomes very powerful and relatively low risk. I like this version of the front kick. I've practiced this in several different styles. But it's not the basic front snap kick in was asking about.
Quote:

To the underlined: Any technique has its risks. We are discussing the art of fighting, after all!


Indeed. Fair point. But as martial artists we take the art of fighting, and study it almost as a science. Perhaps consciously, perhaps instinctively, on some level I think we all think in numbers. How much energy will this technique consume, how fast is it, how powerful is it, how likely is it to be effective, how effective, what is the likelihood of it missing the target, what is the risk, what is the reward etc. I don't mean over thinking it. I just mean that as martial artists we are more cold and calculating than the average drunken neanderthal in a bar brawl. By that token, I personally think that the front snap kick, the basic version, has very low effectiveness for its relatively high risk.
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