Kicking with Feet

My toes, quite often my toes arent bent back enough, and I could end up breaking a toe or two. Simply its easier to kick with the shin. Besides, toes still get caught. Not to mention you have such a small area to kick with. And alot of times, since the clinch range and boxing range is used alot, your too close and have no choice but to kick and land with the shins. But if they have a tight guard, the ball of the foot is a nice way to use it to penetrate their small openings when encountered with a tight defence or guard. Something from Savate and or TKD I guess. I use the ball of my foot for teeps as well.

dear olyella,

you have right , in the past itf-tae kwon do practicers have been using the ball of the feet...(ý don't know whether they have been using still, since there is mostly wtf style in europe...)in the former times of karate (mostly shotokan ,people were using mostly ball of the feet in roundhouse kicks,altough they use roudhouse very rare...)savate is using the ball mostly due to the advantage of the shoes...

however, this is an excellent form, if used properly, but you should calculate always about the danger on your foot nails and toes and it might be to your disadvantage, if you use your full force in this may use only a medium force with a very specific target aimed so that you will not be get out of shin kicks there is no need a very well defined target since the surface of the blow is bigger,but in ball kicking you have two times to measure & evaluate the target ,since the surface of the kick (contact area)is very limited... (some fighters like hoost applying this technique in their routines sometimes...)

dear joe stagner,

ý think you miss one point...if we talk about heavy weight champs ,the subject is that they are nature born heavy weights .i.e like aerts, leko...the case is not that a medium weight one have taken some 30 kg excess weight through weight training in bodybuilding way and converted to a heavy weight fighter...of course, if they take exceess kilos they will get slowing down,since the other parts (bones, tendons, ligaments)could not adapt to the muscles so easily ...however, if you are natural heavy weight ,i.e over 85 kgs ,1.95 mtr long and increased your body weight, let's say for a 8-10 kg in considerable period of time, you'll not slow down easily in kicks or punches ...since the effect of such a % 10 excess weight might be tolerated by this natural heavy weight guy...(they are born with bigger bones, ligamnets, tendons...this is very important...)naturaly, medium weighing people can tolerate the +/-effects of %6-8 weight difference on their natural weights ..the heavier can increase this up to %8-10 (of course ,in long period gaining...)

if/when I decide to try fighting Muay Thai I think I'll try it to the leg. As long as I can find the range, concentrating the impact into such a small area should do some good damage.

Some Sanda people kick with the instep to the thigh


I don't know what kind of guys you've been in the ring with, but my experience doesn't agree with youe guess.


of course. Minimized risk of injury to one's self seems like a reasonable pursuit though.

Probably no perfectly "safe" way to kick or punch without any risks. Some less risk than others.

dear misigoy,

as you also see this guy is so unlucky so that his shin kick is catched, blocked directly by the knee,where the upper leg bone matches in vertical,about 90 degree ...

bones' resistance is much much greater in vertical direction than the horizontal, because the structure is designed powerful in this direction...furthermore, in such a situation the blocking bone cannot be flexible like in shin blocks...if this guy has been blocked by a shinblock , due to the flexibility & space of small move the shin bone wouldn't be broken in this way..
shortly ,this poor guy has been blocked by a vertical bone, which affected like a vertical stick,club to the shin...

Well, I won't get into a debate over which kicking method is more practical or anything, but that clip shows what is basically a freak accident.

Khun Kao

A freak accident maybe, but I've even seen you Khun Kao advocate kicking with the lower end of the the shin near the ankle versus the middle of the shin, and that would even make a world of difference with what happened to that guy. It seems like swinging a stick at something intending to hit with the middle of it, which can really be bad like what happened there if you make contact with something that is harder, like a joint such as the knee. I'm not exactly trying to push a big argument, but I think we can at least say hitting with the middle of the shin is probably not the safest way to kick.

#1- Heavy Leg, I respectfully disagree with you. Kicking with the instep may not have the same KO power that a shin kick does, but that doesn't mean that they aren't powerful... when executed CORRECTLY! We have discussed this before. There are, unfortunately, a lot of schools that don't teach proper technique.

#2- Backing up Bad Brad's statement, though I wasn't KO'ed by an snapping instep kick, I was taken out of the fight. I had my eye socket not only ripped open, but it swelled shut to boot. I was DONE!

#3- I disagree slightly with Macdawg. Conditioning your shins for Muay Thai does increase your bone density. The same is true in boxing, your hand bones will increase in density also. Maybe not to the same level as what you have described, but those aren't the only ways to strengthen bones. Gymnasts have some of the densest bones of all athletes.

#4- Joe Stagner hits the nail right on the head. We cannot judge what happened based on what we are seeing in the clip. There are too many variables. I'm sure everyone remembers when Alexio's leg broke during his match with Stan Longinidis (sp?). The truth of the matter is that Stan's kick did NOT break Alexio's leg. The medical report showed that Alexio's leg broke in a spiral, indicating the injury was caused by a twisting motion. Like when Alexio attempted to pivot for a kick in that soft spot on the mat.

PS- Good to hear from you again Joe! It's been awhile!

Khun Kao

Thanks Khun Kao,

After being self employed for 5 years I'm taking a position with Microsoft as a Technical Evangelist for .NET Developer Technolgies.

I've been heads down finishing up my consulting work, closing the business, and getting ready for the new gig. (BAught a new Saab - trying to get a real sound system in it, etc.)

But I'm still training !!!!

Hope all is well !!


Who knows why the break happened to that guy.

Maybe he already had stress or hairline fractures from sparring or training - or a weakness from a previous break he sustained in a motorcyle accident.

Maybe he had osteoperosis, or depreciated bone density from extended use of perscription MAOI inhibitors.

I saw a guy once throw a right hook and fall to the canvas - he was later diagnosed with having broken his own rib when the punch landed on his opponents head.

CLEARLY the break in this video indicates that there is something ABNORMAL going on with this guy.

Ask any training fighter on this forum if they have ever thrown a hard kick and got trapped by another guys knee - most will say yes. Now ask them how many broke their leg - nearly ALL will say no.

We've all heard about well trained fighteres with lots of sparing and fight experience taking a punch and just dropping dead.

To suggest that we should no longer kick with the shin because we see a clip where a guy breaks his leg (and we know nothing about all the circumstances) is foolish.

The instep is NO SAFER to kick with. Ask any American Rules Pro who had broken bones in his foot on another guys elbo......... (Such breaks are sometimes more difficult to fix than a clean full break like the one seen in the video.)

Kickboxig is a FULL CONTACT SPORT. To accept this means to accept the LIKLYHOOD of injury, sometimes even extream injury.

Instead of trying to rewrite the game based to seeing ths clip - maybe we should ask what we DON'T KNOW aboutthe clip.

What round was it ? Was there a feel out round, did the guy test to see if his opponent tended to block with his knees (he might have adjusted), Was it late in the fight, were their injuries.

I just canceled a figh for one of my guys who pulled a muscle in his back and was supposed to fight n early November - he still intended to fight even though he could not duck, slip, rock, or perry.

I think this clip is fun to watch (in a sick way). It is GREAT motivation to train hard - both with our minds, and our bodies - but other than that, it doesn't mean much at all except to remind us that what he do is a serious contact spport.


I will admit that it doesn't feel great to get hit with the instep of the foot - but I would rather strike with the shin given a choice...

On another note, who is to say that the bones in that guy's foot/toes wouldn't have been broken either if he had hit the guy with that same kick? I am no doctor or anything but I know for sure that the bones in the foot area, like the hands are smaller and delicate. So, that I believe the guy who had his tibula (??) snapped would have almost certainly shattered all the bones in his foot if he hit the other guy with the instep.

Rewatch the video and you will see exactly what happened and why.

Here's the deal. Muay Thai fighters are trained to block with their knees because the knee is harder than the shin. Your opponent is more likely to injure himself than you. The video is just a very extreme example of what can occur (but usually doesn't).

If you look carefully, slowing it down, you will see that the guy not only raises his knee to block, but thrusts it forward into his opponents shin at the same time. This is important!

By thrusting forward, the first thing you are creating is a double impact. To objects moving forward in a head-on-collision.

That by itself may not be enough. Here's the other part. When you kick, your leg stays mostly relaxed until it reaches the target, where you tense everything up for impact. What I think contributed to the fighters injury is the fact that his opponent thrust forward into his shin, not only creating the double impact, but catching him before he tensed everything up to absorb the impact.

Had he tensed everything up, his muscles would have been tightened/tensed/flexed and would have protected his bone structure, most likely preventing the injury.

And, because the blocking fighter thrust forward, the kick did not impact with the part of the shin the kicker intended, I'm willing to bet...

Khun Kao

Damn, man this Misigoy dude needs some education on real ring combat!
Kicking by slapping with the foot only pisses off your opponent and won't produce knockouts. That's why Muay Thai uses the shin bone for the striking surface. When you strike with the shin bone, then you get respect. This guy obviously didn't condition his shins enough and if you look closely he didn't look to see where he was going with his kicking leg. I have hours of Muay Thai tapes at home and have you to see someone break their leg kicking to the opponent's leg. What usually happens is this:
1) If the kicker sees his opponent raising his leg to block, he either pulls the kick or tries to hit lower on the opponent's shin where the bone is not so hard and there is more give since he is hitting farther away from the hinge point (the knee).

2) the kicker will go high over the block into the soft area of the opponent like the arms, rib cage, or neck.

I have personally bumped knee to knee, and also had my upper shin bone hit an opponents' knee. They don't feel good and I have some swelling and bruising, but never broke anything. I guess I never really thought about something like this happening but, when you watch it, it definitely makes think "Do I really want to fight bone to bone and risk this?".
I guess that's what sets Muay Thai apart from other ring combat sports......

HOLY SHIT! That is what I call a nightmare.

BTW, I don't think shin conditioning has anything to do with it. There are two ways to strengthen bones, puberty and growth and weight lifting makes denser bones. "Shin conditioning" from kicking bags and such isn't going to make your leg bone density so strong that it is impossible to break your tibula & fibula in half from kicking someones knee.

I had heard about this clip before, but after actually seeing this I can't help but imagine this guy would've been better off hitting with his foot(on top of ankle). I figure at worst he might hyper-extend it or sprain it a bit, as opposed to what happened to him. What do you guys think?