How to check a kick

There are two correct ways to check a kick. One with toes up and the other with toes down. Depending on the Thai camp from where you train. Or from where your US school has an affliation to. So, how many of you use toes up and how many toes down? Toes up is more traditional I believe.

As far as I'm concerned, it depends on my goal with the check. If I'm checking and stepping back, I'll toe up. If I'm checking and stepping in, I'll toe down.

This was a topic at the seminar I attended 2 weeks ago with Kaensak & Master K. Both say to point your toes down so that in the event your opponent goes low on you, he doesn't catch and break your toes with his shin.

I think that I usually have my toes up, though, because I really like to use my Push Kick a lot, and if I successfully check a kick with good balance, I'm likely to launch the Push Kick right afterwards as my counter attack

I had this same discussion with a gentleman on another forum a couple years ago. HE was a fighter out of South Africa. He always checked with toes down, saying that he HAD broken his toes once from checking with it up and getting caught by the shin, as KK is saying.

The TBA always advocates checking with toes up, and actually for the same reason...if the toes are down and the guy goes lower then his shin can break the small bones in the top of the foot.

I teach toes up,but have found myself with toes down sparring, I guess because I am not thinking about the toes, rather getting the shin up in time to check the kick, lol.

It comes down to preference..personally I like the toes up better for more reasons, like the muscle being flexed to cover a portion of the shin bone and I feel like my check/cover is more solid with the toes up and flexed as opposed to down and loose.

Here is another question: When you check do you meet your elbow with your knee on top, or do you get your elbow down slightly past your knee/thigh, or do you leave a gap adn just focus on checking the leg kick?

I bring my leg up to meet my elbow. In doing so I crunch my abs to make by body (the target) as small as possible. Also, I try to open my glove to allow an additionl inch or so of protection for my face. I always bridge with my other hand.

There are times however that I just slightly pich my foot off the ground. This is when I "know" that the kick will be low. However I do not teach to beginners as this is potentially a bad habit.

I have been trained well...

HAH! The real question is if you bring them to meet or overlap one another? If they "overlap" do you keep your knee or elbow to the outside?

Meet. But I dont have much imput with the overlap question. What are the potential benefits?

Toes up or tows down.. Comes down to this. First what are you more comfortable with. The answer will depend on how you were instructed.

With toes up broken toes

Toes down you are not flexing the tendon that runs over your shin. Potentially less protection.

However, when I point my toes down I can "absorb" the kick a little better. This is not easy to do but I teach to the mid level students.

Elbow to the outside of the knee/thigh. If the elbow meets the knee/thigh and the kick impacts the arm, then the arm can potentially be pushed into the ribs thus resulting in bruised or broken ribs. With the elbow outside of the knee/thigh, you have a stronger barrier to absorb the kick. It won't make it to the ribs or knock the arm into the ribs.

and yes, keep the glove covering the face at the same time.

Next...Do you position both hands in front of the face so as to make a "triangle" or do you point the opposite hand toward the opponent to block or push?

"However, when I point my toes down I can "absorb" the kick a little better."

Do you think this is because with the toes down the leg is "looser" so it acts as a spring sort of which will essentially ride with the kick to absorb the impact?

My legs aren't very conditioned but I find toes down hurts less because it flexes the side of the calf muscle whereas toes up seems to cover the front of the shin?

I usually go for the triangle, it gives the block more stabilty. If you extend your arm, it should be because you're simultaneously countering the kick, such as stepping in to sweep the leg, ala "Old Man Sweeps the Floor"....

I am sitting here flexing my calf right now looking stupid, lol, and pointing toes down flexes the "back" of my calves and toes up flexes my "outside" and "top"(which is really on the outside too.

Yea KK, I prefer the triangle too. IN the beginning we were taught arm extended to shoulder stop the oncoming punch and to establish inside position on the clinch, but with the triangle you are more stable, ready to launch a counter whether it be a kick knee or punch and have both hands on inside incase opponent tries to clinch..much better all the way around.

My coach (Master K) taught us to start with the triangle. But now, I often forget to extend that arm when I'm countering.... I wonder if we should have done things the other way around, or maybe its just me? LOL!

Oh yeah, and SPOT ON regarding the elbow to the outside of the thigh. I've had some fun arguments with people over that one. Even shown them photographic evidence of the Thai's in action doing it that way. That finally convinced a few....

I'm sitting in the office as well pointing toes up and down and thinking whats better. LOL...

Toes down will make the leg come up faster and expose more shin. Pulling your toes up flexes the muscle that run along side the shin actually making it protrude past the shin. And when the knee meets the elbow the elbow should be on the outside of the knee to brace for middle kicks. Both things I picked up at two camps in Thailand. However Im sure it is like most sports lots of different ideas.

I'm just happy when I actually check a kick instead of eating them all the
time ;)

Every trainer Ive ever had has told me to point my toes up to flex the muscle over my shin bone.