I am new here.

When I am working on the heavy bag (hangs from the ceiling) I find it incredibly hard to throw my kicks after punches. My kicks get jammed up. Say, I throw a Jab, Cross, LHook and then I want to throw a RLeg kick. I find that I am too close to the bag to hit it with my mid/lower shin. Its my upper shin that makes the contact or my knee. My kicking technique is the following:

After the LHook, I take a small step with my left leg a bit forward and outward so my Lfeet is already pivoted (my toes point 11 o' clock). I do this to open up my hips. And then I kick while my left foot pivots (from 11 to 9 o' clock) on the ground.

In this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HOUGhau4UA at 0:52 seconds, Damien Trainor throws his RLeg kick after the LHook to the body. He steps in for the punches, and after his Lhook, he repositions his Lfoot backwards before throwing the kick. Its almost like if you play it real slow, for a split of second, both his legs are on air: the left (pivot) foot coming a bit backwards and the right leg on its kicking trajectory. He does not plant the Lfoot rather he picks it up and places it backwards. That seems to give him room to land his RLeg kick. Is that the right way to throw the kick? And he does that in many of his tutorial videos.

My sensei taught me to either place my Left (pivot) foot a bit out and forward to open the hips and then kick after the LHook, or just keep it on the same spot after the LHook and just pivot on it. I remember him telling the class not to pick the Left (pivot) foot up and put it backwards: that throws us off balance and reduces the kicking power.

I think you are missing the "why". Ask yourself why you want to throw the kick. Is it just because you were taught a jab/cross/round kick combo in class? If you can answer the why behind it, then you can figure out what you to do to accomplish the kick, and what the effect of that kick will be.

That being said, your main problems are going to be distance and flexibility. For a kick to be TKO type effective, you need distance from your opponent, or flexibility to elevate it over things in the way (like limbs/torso). If you are in close enough for a jab/cross/hook, then you are already in too close to effectively use a kick. You then state the following:

After the LHook, I take a small step with my left leg a bit forward and outward so my Lfeet is already pivoted (my toes point 11 o' clock). I do this to open up my hips.

So you are in close, and then you step closer. If I am doing the combo as you describe, I am not looking to kick. I am looking to strike with the knee, either into the femoral or common peroneal pressure points.

If you want to kick, then you need to step back to create that distance, not forward. You can still pre-pivot, although I personally would not do that, I think it causes you to lose some tension in the kick. Then you can either do a front push kick (again creating distance), or a round kick, or possibly a straight kick to a shin/calf pressure point.

I would caution against wanting to do a high (above the waist) kick in an actual fight situation (As opposed to a point sparring type thing which is different application). You aren't likely to strike well enough to end the fight, and an elevated leg is an attack point for me.

It goes back to the "why". If I actually get in a fight, I am not looking to pound a guy into paste. I am looking to get enough distance away that I can get away from the situation. If I can't do that, then I want to disable my opponent as quickly as possible, and very often, a high kick is not the best way to do that.

  • I would throw the Leg Kick because if the leg is destroyed there is nothing much a fighter can do. It will take away their ability to throw power shots, to keep their balance, and more importantly will make them susceptible to other attacks as their mobility would be severely reduced. The LHook shifts the weight on their lead leg and so my RLeg kick attacks a heavy leg, doing more damage. That is pretty much why I would throw it. Not in a street fight though. I would rather throw a front kick or a side kick in that situation and then run. – RoundHouse Oct 10 at 18:31

There is really no hard and fast rule that says when you do A and B, it must be followed by C. Regarding your question, how do you throw a leg kick that is not jammed up by punches. The answer to this depends on so many variables:

  • How flexible are you? (that determines what kick you can throw from punching distance) Some people can throw high turning kicks without pivoting their supporting foot.

  • Is this for competition? self defense? practice? What is your martial art?

  • Where is the target area that you want to hit with your kick?

Now here are some variations you can try, with the assumption your last technique was the left hook and now you want to perform a kick with your right foot.

  • as your sensei said: pivot outwards
  • what Damian Trainor did (rotate the hips in mid air, so you land with left leg back)
  • same side shuffle back to create distance
  • push the sandbag back before kicking (realistically the left hook should encourage the opponent backward to setup for your kick)
  • 1
    Just as an aside - While there are people flexible enough to through turning kicks without pivoting, this is a sure road to injury somewhere along the line. – JohnP Oct 15 at 14:13
  • @kristina I think I am pretty flexible (although I can't do splits, I can throw head kicks accurately). My problem is with the spacing after the LHook. The right leg kick is to be thrown on the quad muscle, but when I throw the Lhook, my legs are pretty close to my opponents. there isn't enough room to build momentum on the kick. This is in regards to Muay Thai. – RoundHouse Oct 16 at 21:43

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