feet no higher than the knees?

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feet no higher than the knees?

Postby yat_chum » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:33 am

In many Southern Styles there is a saying "feet no higher than the knee" does this mean that your feet should not go higher than your opponents knee when kicking? Or does it mean that your foot should not go higher than your own knee? For example in a front kick would mean that you can only kick to about waist height as to kick higher would mean that your foot is higher than your knee (if that makes sense?). Jo. :?
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Postby darth_freak » Wed Jan 18, 2006 10:16 am

I think the highest you'd kick would be in the ribs with a side cut. there's such a kick in the barehand matching staff for the 4th stripe.
so that may give you the average heighth for a kick...
aswell, it kinda depends on your heighth and your opponent's :-P
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Postby Josh Young » Sat Mar 07, 2009 2:03 pm

I am curious about this saying. I have heard it applied to training and application, however I know that in training we practice kicks much higher than in application so I feel that is it an application oriented saying that is more of a guideline for southern styles than a rule.
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Postby garymthetford » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:00 am

The highest application kick I know is the kick with the heel to the bladder/lower stomach, in form though Double hand sweeps lotus leg is very high training suppleness, control and conditioning the feet. Remember Taiji is a medium range martial art so there are no long high kicks. I was always told (when fighting) 'only an idiot stands there with one leg in the air'.
Again its the form v's function argument
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Postby Dvivid » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:07 am

In training, you kick as high as you can to condition the legs.

In application, I think you generally kick no higher than the knees most times so that your opponent cant grab your leg.
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Postby willseitz » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:35 pm

"Feet no higher than the knees" refers to your first explanation (target is knees or lower)

The primary reason for this is the preferred fighting range of Southern Styles tend to be close enough so that you don't have room to kick higher than the knee. If you can kick higher than the knee you are probably too far away.

As darth mentions there is a waist level kick in staff vs. barehand (Qi Mei Twei Gun sp?), but this sequence is an exercise is distance control against a weapon and the kick comes right after the staff sweeps that leg. So I would say it is definitely the exception to the rule.
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Postby lilman » Sat Mar 14, 2009 1:43 am

That is a great rule, but the excotion is the pponent. I personally never kick higher than the groin. Unless I have the pponent in a position where he cannot defend ie off balanca or in chin na. I have never had a high kick thrown at me I couldn't defend against personally. Their issually not practicle. Mid level kicks I only use if I can put the pponents attention high. Ie during grappling or after a fake punch. They can also be used to keep an upoonent at bay, but only effective in combat when unexpected. Low kicks knee level and lower are hard to defend against, effective, and great to bring the pponents chi down for effective high attacks if used sparingly. Remember, martial arts are deception. Taijiquan is no acception.
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Postby Josh Young » Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:04 pm

I've seen a few rare people whose speed is so fast their strike based attacks are unblockable, including kicks.
I enjoy high kicks myself, they are a part of my personal style, but not part of my taijiquan.
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Postby dmattwads » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:05 am

my discipline is Karate, and personally one of my favorite techniques (I'm tall) is to use medium height kicks to the torso to keep an opponent outside punching range as I generally feel much more comfortable with kicks than punches (not to say I can't or don't punch), but it keeps them back, and makes them think twice about closing the distance again.
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Postby lilman » Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:32 am

So what do you do if your skilled enough to grab your leg? I sparred with a muy Thai fighter that loved to do that, and could stop him every time, he followed that up with skimping knee once until I destroyed his equalunrium and dropped him.
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