T Nation

Average People Taking Low Kicks


Haha, if anyone ever needed a reminder to just how effective a low kick is:


The guy in the second video seems like a little bit of a sadistic asshole.

Kicking someone with one's shin always seemed a bit weird to me. Seems it takes out the biggest advantage there is to kicking, which is reach. Is this why it seems to be used in relatively few martial arts?


The second one is fucking gas.


You kick somebody with your foot and there's about 1.2 billion bones you could break.

But with some conditioning, you can effectively turn your shin into a piece of cement. Look up Muay thai fighters, they do this shit all the time.


Might be just my ignorance but I have not heard of people breaking their feet kicking. You also have to factor in that most striking arts concentrate on foot strikes so you would expect there to be more foot injuries regardless. The toes seem to be most at danger. I have seen footage of people breaking their own shins in half trying to kick someone though. I believe the physics are such that you can kick just about anything really hard with your (usually shoe protected) foot but throwing your shin at somebody sporting bigger legs than yours could be a disaster, not to even mention doing it to far more durable inanimate objects. Breaking one's toes could still keep one up in a fight but a busted shin could make it hard to stand up.

People of the old striking traditions have done some real harm conditioning their bodies like that, whether they became tougher or not. I suppose Wolfe's law supports the strengthening part but a lot of testimony also implies arthritis, nerve damage and such. We spend all day putting massive pressure on the balls of our feet as well as the heels, not to mention the forces generated in jumping. Banging our knuckles or shins into rock hard, thick trees and things to that direction seem like a different story.

I emphasize again that I'm not speaking from personal MA experience or trying to belittle practitioners of any one art. Just a little curious.


foot = many small bones
Shin = huge in comparison

Also have a shit ton of ligaments etc.. in your foot.. The same kick that breaks those guys shins applied to the food would be absolutely devastating to your foot. Most people that break their shins catch the knot near your knee which is like a brick wall... and their shins aren't very conditioned.


I stand by what I said earlier. Getting shin kicked in the foot is not very likely and the worst it would probably cause is an ankle sprain. Kicking someone in the shin with your foot has been taught for ages as both women's self-defense and even WWII combatives. Hardly the other way around. That's like forearm striking someone in the fist. Speaking of that, would not striking someone with the forearm then be preferred to hand strikes as the bones of the arm are bigger? Historically, most martial arts seemed not to have thought that way.


I've landed strikes improperly with my foot many times unfortunetly and I can be one to attest...you can definitely HURT or BREAK something.......lol


  1. An elbow or forearm strike to an opponent can be highly devastating with both crushing and cutting capability. However, to make this strike effective or even reach them, you have to be right in the pocket, clinched etc. Long jabs and other strikes can be thrown from further away and executed properly are just as effective.

  2. Im not going to speak for other martial arts. But with my strong standpoint behind muay thai. The majority of our "power kicks" come from the hips. With a point of impact being on the shin, just above the foot. We do a kick called "teep" which is very similar to a jab using the foot. Pushing your opponent away with the ball of your foot. Most other kicks...thai kicks, round kicks, low kicks, high kicks, mid kicks etc etc. are all landing on the shin.

  3. The foot is brittle. The shin is one of the biggest bones in the body. Much harder, more compact and is "condionable". We practice reguarly what is called shin conditioning. Be it running a piece of wood down the shin, checking each others kicks or kicking hard filled bags. In thailand they sometimes practice on banana trees. You stated u saw a video where a guy folded his shin over another guys. This is very rare but does happen. However the rate of broken feet to broken shins is much much greater.

  4. When u hit the bag or the opponent, you are going for more of a thud sound then a slap. The foot slaps your opponent. A conditioned shin is like taking a baseball bat. Would u rather be slapped by a foot or smashed with a baseball bat?

  5. You should google up some muay thai fight videos. (the tradional kind from thailand) You will soon see that these guys dont waste anytime in trying to devastate, cut, hurt and maim their opponent as quick as possible. Hundreds of years in this sport has proven kicks to be the most effective way. Most of these guys are using their hands just to settup the next kick.

  6. You are right in the aspect that alot of MA's revolve around flashy kicks, movement and kata. However much of this is just for show. The quickest way to get your leg to your opponent is a straight line. With hip domination this is possible to inflict alot of damage without all that whilry twirly karate type shit.

  7. Fight Science on Discovery channel backs all this shit up. you really cant refute proven science.

  8. Im not sure if your even involved in any of the arts but go to the gym and hold pads for some of the thai strikers and then some of the TKD, karate etc guys and u tell me.

  9. If your still a non believer...let me kick you in the leg with my shin. I wont even waste time with my foot.


Alffi you are a fucking moron.


You don't punch the same way you kick. When you kick the same way you punch, front kicks, crescent, swivel, you use your foot. If you were to swing your arm the way you swing your leg in a MT roundhouse, yes, it would be preferable to connect with the bony part of the forearm.

And yes, the foot is fragile, especially compared to the shin. When I was training karate I injured my foot a bunch of times sparring light. Connections to the elbow, hip bone, clavicle were the primary reasons. The foot holds up fine when striking fleshy areas, which is most places in the torso(unless your opponent is effing bony). Everywhere else, connecting with it is risky to dangerous. Noted high kicker Mirko Crocop has broken his foot on more than one occasion AFTER scoring head kick KOs.


Google John Hacklemans "rock on a rope" theory. Which deals mainly with hand strikes but relates to kicks as well.

"The foot is just a flimsy thing that hangs off my leg". I cant remember which fighter was quoted saying that, but its awesome.

The only reason i would use my foot besides front kicks, shin scrapes, foot stomps (if even), would be to get some extra inches up to someones face. Most pro fighters have the flexibility to do this anyway. If you break your foot your fucked. Ive kicked with my shin 1000's of time in my life and come away with nothing but bruises and soreness. Which in the long run have built my shins into rocks. Ive also broken toes, foot and fractured my heel pretty bad. Trust me...your fucked.


If you're striking with a bare fist, then yes, striking with the forearm is probably preferable because your hand breaks very easily. Many martial arts teach something called a "palm heel" for this reason as well, and tend to follow the maxim, "Hit the hard part with something soft and the soft spot with something hard."

Are you a troll or you just really don't know your stuff? There's nothing wrong with the latter.


Based entirely upon this thread, I would have to say probably both.


I'm not saying there is not anything behind shin kicks but it would seem weird to think that all the karate, kung-fu etc. martial arts going back centuries if not millenia would be wrong in their ways to advocate mostly foot strikes. As I stated, striking with the foot has the advantage of greater reach and making yourself less vulnerable to counter-strikes and takedowns which are more of a risk when striking with the leg as opposed to the foot.

In addition, a lot of kicks are plain impossible as anything but foot kicks, back kicks being the most obvious example. People may hurt their feet but they are generally protected by footwear and if a person was called upon to kick a hard object such as a tree, I'm guessing 90% or more would opt to hit it with their foot rather than their shin, as the latter would cause much greater pain and injury. Just like if you were asked to jump on top of a beam, you would prefer to land on your feet rather than your shins as it would result in agony. As I said, the feet are naturally built to deal with this kind of force, as required in running or jumping. The force is transmitted harmoniously through the foot and up the leg. It seems pretty natural. In the opposite case, a splicing kind of force is delivered to the leg as when you're breaking a board in half, only your leg is the board. Soccer players and many other sportsmen wear shin protection as well, but no special foot protection.

Feet are more specific and the force delivered by the foot is spread more specifically across a smaller target area, making it more dangerous in that sense. It's like comparing a scattered shotgun blast to a pistol. That's why a fist in the temple can be lethal, but a forearm would not be that scary unless it ended up cranking the person's neck.

So I'm saying that both have their place and shins are not superior except in the instances where they are, like when you're hopefully not a skinny person running it to somebody else's far sturdier leg. As for your straight line thing; roundhouses are not straight. They are like the lower limb equivalents of hooks in boxing and by that logic, somewhat slower. And unless you're slamming your shin in your opponent's groin (which does not seem to be advocated by many martial arts) then you're not kicking in a straight line. You need to use your feet (or knees at close range) for that. I hope nobody gives me trouble over calling those thai kicks (as in the above videos) roundhouses just because you may not call them that. It's just that it would require a very mutilated, mutant kind of anatomy of one to hit someone in the side like that, with your shin, in a straight fashion.

As for thai tradition, there are chinese styles (for example) that swear by never raising your feet far off the ground. If the general development of thai/southeastern society is of any hint regarding the solidity of their fighting science, I would much sooner side with the northeastern sphere of influence.


Notice I did not say fist strikes, I just said hand strikes which includes palm strikes.


Are you kidding? Alffi is the perhaps the worst troll on this site. He has written some of the most ignorant vile racist shit on these boards.

Like I said, a moron.


You're an idiot


Soccer players wear shoes to protect their feet.

I never said a "roundhouse" kick wasnt round.

Most fighters dont stant with one foot directly behind the other, this is called a no-no. Crossing your feet will get u knocked on your ass quick. Therefore your "roundhouse" or thai kick, does actually travel in a diagnaly straight line. I understand you dont understand any sort of fight mechanics, but your hips actually turn your leg over, not some mutant ability.

Muay Thai traces back a long long fucking time.

You should read a book before you get on the forums and start making your self sound like an idiot. This isnt a battle of opinions, this is factual information and you are wrong.


He asked a question.
Stop raging on the guy. Some people really don't know.